NAF Aircraft on ‘Reprisal Mission’ Kills Civilians in Niger State

Barely two days after a military aircraft was shot down by the Boko-Haram-allied Dogo Gide bandit group in Chukuba village of Shiroro local council, Niger State, a military airstrike believed to be on a reprisal mission, killed many unsuspicious civilians, this evening, in neighbouring Kwaki village, multiple sources told WikkiTimes.

The aircraft, the sources said, rained bombs on the villagers around 6 pm.

“A military plane dropped bombs in Kwaki town in Kwaki/Chukuba ward of Shiroro LGA, Niger State,” Usman Baba, a local familiar with the incident, told WikkiTimes by phone.

‘We Took Down This Plane with AK-47’ — Dogo Gide Bandit Group Releases Video of NAF Aircraft Grounded in Niger State

“The bombs dropped on civilians,” he continued, adding that the number of casualties is yet unknown “because the village has no network.”

He explained that survivors of the bombing mounted a hilltop where they could find a network to inform them about the incident.

WikkiTimes understands the military was trying to retaliate against the heavy casualties they suffered over the weekend from the terrorists. Sani Yusuf Kokki, Convener, Concerned Shiroro Youths of Niger State, corroborated this.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) had described as “propaganda” the claim by the terrorists that they were responsible for taking the military aircraft.

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‘WHY TODAY’S COUNTERATTACK?’

He wondered why the military would return to the area to shell locals if they denied the helicopter bombing was the work of the terrorists.

“It was a reprisal attack. By this attack, it is a tacit approval that the helicopter was shot down by bandits,” he believed. “Ordinarily, if it were a crash, there wouldn’t be a need for all these reprisal attacks.”

Kokki believes the military is playing politics with people’s lives, adding “the corporate image is more important to the military than people’s lives and security.

BREAKING: Terrorists Take Down Military Jet in Niger State

The youth leader also berated the state government for peddling the NAF’s storylines.

Mohammed Umaru Bago, Niger State governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Bologi Ibrahim, sympathised with the Air Force.

“The Bago government is starting on a very wrong footing,” he noticed, lamenting the government preferred to outright deny the fact. “I don’t know why the state government is aligning with NAF. It is not the fault of the state government if a helicopter was shut down by terrorists, so why would the governor choose to stand with the Air Force?”

“Corporate image is more paramount to the governor than the people’s lives he campaigned and promised to protect,” he said.

Edward Gabkwet, NAF’s spokesman, could not immediately be reached. A text sent to had not been responded to as of press time.

THE STRONG ‘DENIAL BOND’ BETWEEN NAF AND NIGER STATE GOVT

This was not the first time the Niger State government and NAF chose corporate image over people’s lives. Last year, NAF mercilessly killed six minor GIRLS in Kurebe village, Shiroro LGA.

The girls, identified as Maryam Lawal, Hafeezah Basiru, Shamsiyah Lawal, Shafaatu Jamilu, Asmau Isa, and Hakumi Danlami, were killed near a mobile borehole situated somewhere in the village. They would be buried in three graves, according to an investigation by PREMIUM TIMES.

Air Force Chief Who Denied Killings of 6 Minors in Niger Community Reappointed Spokesman

Sadly, both the Niger State government under the leadership of Abubakar Sani Bello [now a senator] and the NAF denied it. At the time, it was the government that prepared a storyline for the military.

“Work with what the state government said on it and stop sniffing around for what you want to hear, do you understand me?” Gabkwet had said. “What else do you want to hear? The SSG came out and told you that these allegations are unfounded, so what else do you want to hear from us? They own the state.”

Four months after the girls were killed, NAF jet returned to the same village and bombed eight civilians, namely: Alhaji Ibrahim Tanimu, Mustapha Hamisu, Iliya Shuaibu, Aminu Guda, Basiru Dalami, Luka Goje, Sahabi Isiya and Asmau Audi.

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