‘Our Workers Are Safe’, UNICEF Says After Suspected Boko Haram Attack Rann Hospital

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says all its workers operating in a hospital in Rann village of Borno State are safe.

The International Organisation’s response comes a day after an attack on the hospital by suspected Boko Haram terrorists on Friday night.

The attack affected other government-owned buildings even as federal forces engaged the intruders in a gunfight.

UNICEF Nigeria’s Communication specialist, Kusali Kubwalo, told journalists in Maiduguri that all staff have been marked safe.

READ ALSO: Port Harcourt Building Collapse: Death Toll Rises To 15

The casualty figure for those affected is yet to be determined, as the affected population that fled while the attack lasted are still returning to the village.

The Northeast Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, Bashir Garga, also disclosed that details about the present situation in Rann is still sketchy, and it’s still not clear how many lives were lost.

The recent attack by suspected Boko Haram is not the first in Rann. In March 11, Boko Haram terrorists launched an attack and killed scores of people in Rann. Also, three female aid workers were abducted.

While two of the aid workers have been executed, the third woman, Alice Ngadda, a UNICEF staff abducted from that same hospital remains in captivity.

Rann Misfire: Air Force Panel Dialogues With Traumatised Survivors

Rann Misfire: Air Force Panel Dialogues With Traumatised SurvivorsThe Nigerian Air Force investigative panel set up to over the misfiring incident by one of its jets has been having series of discussions with survivors of the incident.

This is because the affected population in Rann community, of Kalabalge Local Government in Borno state have been thrown into trauma, following the incident which left over 200 people dead.

While some of those affected by the misfire have been whisked away to Maiduguri, others with minor injuries are stabilizing back home.

But anytime an Air Force jet flies over the Rann airspace, there is panic and fear of the unknown, according to officials of the 3 Battalion operating in the area.

Civilian authorities, the Nigerian Army and the Air Force have been talking to them for confidence building.

The Commanding Officer of 3 Battalion, Colonel Patrick Omoke said: “There’s been some form of panic within the community.

“Even when we send for aggressor to come and check what’s happening around us, the moment it’s airborne everybody starts dispersing maybe as a result of shock from the event of January 17th.

“But we have been doing a lot of talking to them through the community leaders, explaining to them that it was an accident and we are the ones sending for them now to come and survey and make sure that we are safe.”

Some of the locals confirmed the words of the Commanding Officer, confessing their feeling of insecurity and fear of the unknown anytime an aircraft flies over the community.

One of the survivors, Bulama Malawa, told Channels TV: “I lost my wife and daughter to the bomb from the airplane and people were in pieces that day.

“Today when we see them coming, everyone looks for where to hide especially the children. We are lucky to be alive from the last time but so no one is taking chances.”

The AVM Bala-Ribah-led board has assured the villagers of the good intentions of the Nigerian Air Force and a thorough investigation.

Part of the terms of reference of the board is to investigate circumstances surrounding the operational error that killed over 200 civilians and two soldiers.

“In the Nigerian Air Force, be it accidents, incidents or whatever, we go very thorough in our investigations; reason being that the operations will be continuous and if there was a mistake whether systemic, whether it was from the machine or from the human being; we need to find out exactly what the problem was so that we can incorporate that in our local procedure or in the rules of engagement to forestall future occurrence,” he said.

The board also visited the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, commending the Army for the show of solidarity when the error occurred.

General Irabor has also asked the Air Force Investigative Board to concentrate on detecting what went wrong and make recommendations on how future occurrences can be forestalled.

He said that the theatre command is also conducting independent investigation for record purposes.

There are about 23,000 men, women and children living in Rann, the headquarters of Kalabalge Local Government Area.

While the Doctors Without Borders (MSF), put the death toll at 90, the locals put the figure at over 200.

The Nigerian Airforce had admitted that the bombing was a mistake and apologised.

Air Force Investigative Panel Visits Borno

Osun Lawmaker Urges Air Force To Avoid Further ErrorsA six man board commissioned by the Nigerian Airforce to investigate the misfire in Rann village, Borno state, has arrived the state.

The board is chaired by Chief of Standards and Evaluation, Headquarters of the Nigerian Air Force Air Vice Marshal Sallau Bala-Riba.

The panel is saddled with the task of finding out issues surrounding the accidental bombing, number of casualties and the role of the flight crew in the accident.

Already, there are controversies over the number of people killed in the accidental bombing.

While the Doctors Without Borders (MSF), put the death toll at 90, the locals put the figure at over 200.

The Nigerian Airforce had admitted that the bombing was a mistake and apologised.

Some senior military officers, including the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, had visited the village for an on the spot assessment of the scene.

The investigative board who also visited the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, commended the army for the show of solidarity when the error occured.

General Irabor has however asked the Board to concentrate on detecting what went wrong in order to make recommendations on how future occurrences can be forestalled.

The Board has also been talking to injured persons in hospitals in Maiduguri and state government officials.

They are also expected to visit Rann in Kalabalge local government of Borno state for on the spot assessment.