NAF Apologises for Rann Bombing, Says It Remains Traumatic for Pilots

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Paul Obi in Abuja
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Monday said the bombing of Rann and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Borno State has remained a traumatic incident to its pilots fighting Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east.

While tendering apologies to victims of the Rann bombing, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, said authorities are working hard to prevent any future incident.

He said: “Sequel to the official statement by the Defence Headquarters on the unfortunate Rann bombing incident on 17 January 2017, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), being the service directly involved in the incident, would once more like to convey its deepest regrets to all concerned.
“It is important to reiterate that no NAF pilot leaves his base with the intention of going to kill the same set of people that he greatly sacrifices day and night to protect.

“The unfortunate bombing of innocent civilians in Rann, Borno State has, therefore, remained a traumatic incident for the NAF pilots involved and indeed, the entire NAF community.
“The NAF and other stakeholders are already taking necessary measures to prevent a recurrence of the unfortunate incident.”

Adesanya stated: “For instance, they are engaging humanitarian organisations in the North-east with a view to understanding their programmes and locations of such programmes in order to prevent gaps in communication.”

Meanwhile, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has directed appropriate NAF officials to intensify humanitarian intervention schemes for IDPs at Rann and other parts of the North-east.

Adesanya added: “There is an ongoing NAF medical outreach programme during which over 164 IDPs from various IDP Camps in Borno State have undergone free surgical operations in the NAF medical facility in Maiduguri. The programme is still ongoing and is scheduled to last for another three days.

“The NAF solicits the understanding and support of all Nigerians and members of the international community regarding the tragic incident.
“More importantly, the NAF again extends its most sincere condolences to all the families of the victims of the incident.

“The NAF assures the general public that it remains resolute in its task of preserving the territorial integrity of Nigeria and ensuring the security of all Nigerians,” Adesanya stressed.