The North East Elders for Restoration and Development (NEERD) have strongly refuted claims implicating the military leadership in the recent tragic incident in Tudun Biri, Kaduna State. NEERD, in a statement released on Sunday in Abuja by its President, Buba Tanko, and Secretary, Ibrahim Bello, deemed the allegations as unfounded and insensitive.
The incident in question, which occurred on December 3, involved a Nigerian Army drone mistakenly causing casualties in Tudun Biri, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Following the unfortunate event, certain individuals and groups insinuated that there might be underlying ethno-religious motivations behind the incident.
NEERD expressed dismay at the malicious insinuations, condemning the use of ethno-religious sentiments to unfairly criticize the military—an institution continually making sacrifices for the nation’s peace and stability.
The elders emphasized the need to examine the track record of the current military leadership, with a specific focus on Chief of Defence, Gen. Christopher Musa. They highlighted Gen. Musa’s role as Theatre Commander Operation Hadin Kai during a critical period in the North-East, emphasizing that his efforts contributed to restoring peace and encouraging people to return to their livelihoods, regardless of ethnicity or religion.
NEERD expressed regret that some individuals are manipulating community members to escalate tensions in the North for personal gain. They cautioned against succumbing to ethno-religious sentiments, especially during a time when the country is grappling with economic and security challenges.
The elders praised the armed forces, particularly for their efforts in the North-East, and called on residents of the region to continue supporting the military in its endeavors to achieve lasting peace in the North East and the entire country. They concluded by stating that those raising unfounded insinuations at this critical time do not have the best interests of Nigeria at heart.