By Winifred Bulus
Borno State government in northeast Nigeria says all the 54 victims of the military bomb on Rann community hospitalised in three health centres in Maiduguri are in stable condition.
Briefing journalists Wednesday, Commissioner for Health, Haruna Mshelia, said the state had set up medical emergency response units to coordinate rehabilitation of victims, saying, 32 of the 54 victims were at the state specialist hospital; 16 in Military hospital and 6 persons in the University of Maiduguri teaching hospital.
The commissioner added that bodies are still being recovered and survivors evacuated at the time of issuing the update, thus making it difficult to have an accurate number of dead persons.
Governor Shettima received a Presidential delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari who came alongside the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, Minister of information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olanishaken, Chief Army Staff, Lt-Gen TY Buratai and Chief of Army Sadiq Abubakar and other military officers operating within and outside Borno State.
“This kind of incident happens occasionally in war, especially when dealing with terrorists like Boko Haram who arbitrarily and in cowardly fashion hide among civilians. The President deeply regrets the incident. The Armed forces will take extra care to ensure this doesn’t happen again. The Federal Government is working with the State, Local, and International partners to ensure speedy resettlement of IDPs” the Chief of Staff said.
Governor Shettima through the deputy governor said the incident was an unfortunate tragedy and a painful price of war which would not be kept a secret from the citizens.
“It is most unfortunate and wasn’t meant to happen. Nothing can justify this tragedy but going memory lane, incidents of friendly fire is unfortunately as old as history of wars in the world. There are many incidents of friendly fires since the 1st and 2nd World Wars down to ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria and other parts of the world.
The Governor had particularly commended the MSF for its rapid response in providing first aid treatment to victims at the scene, while also thanking the ICRC and the United Nations (UN).
“I am happy that rather than blame game, information was made public with sincerity, mistakes were accepted and focus was channeled into evacuation and rehabilitation of victims. War comes with different kinds of very terrible prizes and this is one of such painful prizes. We pray this crisis ends and we shall remain forever grateful to all stakeholders for their support” Shettima said.