Shettima Visits Kaduna Bombing Victims, Promises New Houses, Schools

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Vice President Kashim Shettima has said the Federal Government will rebuild the Tudun Biri village in the Igabi local government area of Kaduna State which was hit by a misfire from drones belonging to the Nigerian military.

According to the VP, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has directed that the Pullako Initiative should be kick-started in Kaduna State, with a complete package, including houses, clinics, schools, veterinary clinics, empowerment initiatives and solar energy, among others, in Tudun Biri community as a way of compensation for the destruction caused by the drone misfire.

The Vice President disclosed this on Thursday after visiting the victims at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital in Kaduna State where some of the casualties, most of whom are women and children, are receiving treatment.

A presidency statement issued after the visit revealed that Shettima battled to hold back tears from rolling out of his eyes, during the visit during which he directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to ensure that the victims get adequate relief materials.

Announcing President Tinubu’s decision to rebuild the community, VP Shettima who spoke at a meeting with leaders and other stakeholders of the community said, “Most importantly, the President approved the commencement of the Pullako Initiative by next month. The Pullako Initiative is the President’s unique response as a non-kinetic approach to the challenges in the North West.

“Beneficiary states are Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, and for equity and justice, we deliberately included Niger and Benue States.

“We intended to kick off the programme in Sokoto, but in the light of recent developments, the President directed that the Pullako Initiative should be kick-started here in Kaduna State. And Tudun Biri will be the first beneficiary of that scheme. We are going to build houses that will complement the efforts of the Right Honorable Speaker.

“But ours is a complete package as well, including houses, clinics, schools, veterinary clinics, empowerment initiatives and solar energy. It’s a complete package of solutions as a non-kinetic response to the problems of banditry and kidnapping in the North West.”

The Vice-President also noted that President Tinubu is worried about the tragic incident, as he pointed out that away from the number of casualties, it is gruesome to lose even one life.

Taking a leaf from the late Dele Giwa, VP Shettima said, “I am here because the President is deeply concerned. He was deeply touched by what happened. As the late Dele Giwa rightly said, let’s not talk about the numbers; ‘one life taken in cold blood is as gruesome as millions lost in a pogrom’.

“The heart of the President is with the bereaved families. We were in the hospital to sympathise with the victims and be rest assured that the federal government stands by the community affected, the government and the people of Kaduna State on this unfortunate incident.

“It is already directed by Mr President and an investigation is being conducted, to prevent a recurrence of the incident and we expect a report to be submitted in the shortest possible time,” said the Vice President.

Shettima thanked religious leaders and elders of the community for not yielding to what he described as a plot to politicise the incident in an attempt to inflame passions.

“I want to register our profound gratitude to our religious leaders, to our community leaders, who have served as stabilizing forces in this trying moment.

“Efforts were made to politicise, to inflame passions, but our leaders chose to err on the part of decency, on the part of moderation, on the part of maturity, and I cannot but thank you most profoundly.

“Incidentally, among them are two of my friends, Imam Tukur and Sheikh Al-Misri. They are my very good friends and I want to thank you,” he noted.

Earlier at the hospital, the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Shuaibu Musa, told Vice President Shettima who was at the health facility to commiserate with victims of the drone misfire, that the hospital received 71 victims with different degrees of injuries.

He said some of the casualties have been referred to 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna.

The Vice President, in the company of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas; the state Governor, Uba Sani; APC National Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje; Minister of Defence, Ibrahim Badaru and other senior government officials, moved from bed to bed consoling victims of the attack, while receiving briefings on the health condition of each of the patients on their hospital bed.

Shettima, who battled to hold back tears from rolling out of his eyes, directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to ensure that the victims get adequate relief materials.

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