The Nigeria Air Force’s former Chief of Training and Operations, AVM Gbolahan Adekunle (Rtd), has said that former General Officer Commanding of 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Danjuma Ali-Keffi (Rtd), should resolve whatever issues that he has with his dismissal from the Nigerian Army with the Nigerian Army rather than bring up the death of the former Chief of Army Staff.
The former Vice Marshall said this in a right of reply interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday, replying to Ali-Keffi’s claim that the death of Attahiru Ibrahim was linked to terror financiers, who wanted to sabotage the progress the former Chief was making to end insecurity in Nigeria.
Adekunle, while saying that he was not in support of a person leaving their place of office on a bad note, said, “The General thinks because the army has treated him unfairly, somebody must have conspired to kill somebody? Let’s be fair to ourselves. If he feels like he has an issue with the army, as a gentleman, as a man that was raised by the same army, he should resolve it within the army.”
He continued, “I just am not happy about the fact that the image of one of the most decent army officers I have ever met was being dragged. That officer should be allowed to rest in peace. If General Ali-Keffi has issues, as a professional colleague, I will expect him to take it up with the system that raised him. If the system picked you up as a young school cert holder, thirty-something or almost forty years old, and develops you to the level of a General, if you have a problem with that system, I think you should be decent enough to go back to that system and be able to resolve that problem within that system, unless there is something else that he has not told us.”
Adekunle who said that General Ali Keffi must have his reasons for bringing such accusations, then said, “It is not up to me to assess his character, it is up to the army to decide whether they have promoted an officer beyond his competence or capability.”
Touching of Ali-Keffi’s request for President Bola-Ahmed Tinubu to open an investigation into Attahiru’s death, Adekunle said, “If somebody has asked that he take a second look at an incident or at an issue which I would rather assume has been already dealt with by those who are qualified so to do, then, maybe the president should set up a panel.
“But you have to also bear in mind, what is the end state you hope to achieve by setting up that panel? Because you’re going to end up opening a Pandora’s box of all types of issues. When I say Pandora’s box, I mean if you do this now, other people will say, ah, this President is a listening man. Issues that are not supposed to be on the President’s table, they will bring it to the president. And I have no problem with the president taking a look at it. The president is a listening man, he takes a long term view of issues, he’s not a man who takes decisions as a sprinter, he takes decisions as a marathoner.
“So, let that which will make everybody comfortable be done. But I can assure you, on the basis of what I’ve read here in this report, I wouldn’t want to say we’ll be wasting the President’s time, because even this report came out, listening to the facts. I knew, or I could imagine what had happened, and the deductions, the conclusion they have come to perfectly aligns with the conclusions we reached.”
The retired Air Force officer then said that he wanted to correct the impression that a full investigation into the crash had not been done as he revealed that the investigation board’s report consisted of an AIB and Air Force personnel.
“In the issue of inquest, the best in quest you’re going to get when it comes to an aircraft accident is an accident investigation report,” he said.
He further said that it can take years to compile a full report of an aircraft crash, as every part that constituted the plane has to be sent back to the original manufacturers so that they can be properly analysed to determine the main cause of a crash.
He said, “Some of what you call final report in some cases take years because maybe, perhaps a particular equipment manufacturer has not been able to submit his own findings, and that’s why the final compilation has not taken place. But I can assure you that nobody is trying to hide anything here.”