President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday praised the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, for his gallantry in the war against insurgency and described him as a military chief, who led from the front.
Speaking at the burial of the fallen officers and men, President Buhari, who said it was a sad day for Nigeria, hinted that the late army chief was appointed as successor to Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, because of his bravery.
In the same vein, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who joined millions of people across the world to mourn the passing of Attahiru and others said, their deaths in service reflected the depth of their sacrifice.
This is as former President Goodluck Jonathan, in a message of condolence to the families of the deceased officers, described them as patriots, who died with their boots on.
The Borno State Governor, Professor Babangana Zulum, said the late chief of army staff was evidently committed to the fight against Boko Haram and was determined to significantly contribute to ending the insurgency.
In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, who said the death of the army chief and other personnel was a sad day for the military, however, promised that sacrifices of the deceased would not be in vain.
The late army chief and ten other military officers, who died in an air crash in Kaduna, while on official assignment, were laid to rest at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja, at a ceremony attended by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawan; Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
Others were the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni; Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi; the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar; Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali baba and the Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammed Babandede, amongst other serving and former public office holders, top military officers, families, friends and associates of the deceased.
The senior military officers, who died in the crash include the army chief, Attahiru, Brig-General Idris Abdulkadir, Brig Gen Olayinka, Brigadier-General Kuliya, ADC to the late COAS, Major LA Hayat, Major Hamza and Sergeant Umar.
The list of the crew members are Flight. Lt. T.O Asaniyi, Flt. Lt. AA Olufade, Sgt Adesina and ACM Oyedepo.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), said the army chief and the officers served the nation gallantly.
“Lieutenant General Attahiru was an epitome of gallantry and bravery which culminated in his being appointed the chief of army staff.
“He led the Nigerian Army from the front and was emulated by others. He will be remembered for his landmark contributions to the unity of the nation”, he said, expressing his heartfelt condolences to the families of the departed officers and men and all Nigerians.
Irabor, who said the death of the army chief and other personnel was a sad day for the military, described the late army chief as a reliable, professional colleague. He recalled the time both of them served at the army’s Training and Doctrine Command in Minna.
“I called him my second in command. We had dreams to take the military to greater heights. This is what we were doing when we were called by the defence minister to report to Abuja. He has left at a time he was needed most”, he said.
The defence chief said the military establishment mourned with the families of the army chief and others.
“We say to you, weep not for the sacrifices of our colleagues will not be in vain”, he said, assuring them that the president and the military would continue to support them, adding that the the military remained undaunted by the development with regards to its fight against criminal elements.
“The armed forces remained undaunted. The war against insecurity must be won. For the military, let’s march to defend the country from all forms of security threats”, he said.
Earlier in his remarks at the funeral service held at the the Nigerian Airforce Protestant Church, Bill Clinton Drive, Airport Road, Abuja, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, spoke in tandem with the Chaplain of the church, Group Captain Dogo Gani, whose sermon was on the topic: “Confidence in God”.
“The chaplain said that our confidence is domicille in God. We urge the families to have confidence in God. The God in heaven that watched this happen will be with you and keep you”, he said.
He also told the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, who had earlier expressed sadness on the loss of the officers, to be confident.
“I know that CAS will be asking himself, why is this happening under my watch. Be confident in God. Don’t doubt God”, he said.
Director, Chaplaincy Protestant Church, Nigerian Air Force, Group Capt. Gani, who spoke at the funeral service for the fallen officers, warned Nigerians against undue confidence in riches and position, which he said could lead to disappointment.
Gani, who anchored his sermon on Psalm 23, warned against undue confidence in riches and position,which could lead to disappointment. He urged the families of the departed, the armed forces and Nigerians to put their confidence in the Lord.
“No matter the challenge, the situation, don’t give up. Our Lord is willing and able”, he reassured.
Osinbajo, who was said to have received the news of the mishap with great sadness, however, said the gallantry of the deceased officers would always be remembered.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said,”Their death while in active service in the defense of our country reflects the depth of sacrifice our military officers, men and women of the other ranks are often prepared to make.”
His three-paragraph statement stated further: “I received with great sadness the news of an air crash involving the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, and other officers of the Nigerian military yesterday.
“We honour the service of the Army Chief and all those involved in this unfortunate accident even as we continue to demonstrate our profound appreciation to all in our military services and in harm’s way. The gallantry of this heroes would always be remembered.
“I join the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to commiserate with families, friends and colleagues of these gallant officers and men, who died in the crash. I pray that God grants them the fortitude to bear the loss. May the memories of the departed remain ever blessed.”
Jonathan, in his message of condolence to the families of the deceased said, “I extend my condolences to the Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian Armed Forces and the families of Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, the late Chief of Army Staff and other military officers, who died on Friday in an air crash in Kaduna State.
“The death of these officers is a national tragedy, as the victims were patriots, who died with their boots on, in our collective quest for peace and security. May God console the families of all the bereaved and restore unto them strength and peace.”
In his comment, Zulum said Attahiru was evidently committed to the fight against Boko Haram and was determined to significantly contribute to ending the insurgency.
“The commitment of the late chief of army staff to the fight against Boko Haram was very obvious. Within the short time he served, he had been to Borno on multiple occasions, meeting operational commanders and troops at battle fronts. In all his interactions, he regularly motivated troops. The people of Borno thank him and all our gallant fallen heroes for their unquantifiable service to Borno and rest of Nigeria” Zulum said.
Zulum was however joined by his predecessor, Senator Kashim Shettima, Senator Abubakar Kyari and other top dignitaries and hundreds of sympathizers for the jana’iza (funeral prayers) in honour ofAttahiru.
Bodies of the late COAS and five others were brought by military ambulances to the national mosque for the funeral prayers that took place immediately after zuhr prayers.
The fallen officers were given the traditional 21-gun salute, amidst a mammoth crowd of sympathisers, before the interment which took place at 4:15pm. Each fallen personnel including the late army chief were buried by their course mates and service chiefs.
The late chief of army staff had since his appointment, been to Borno state more than six times, to supervise ongoing military operations against Boko Haram. He had visited different army formations, mobilised and motivated troops in front lines in peace building efforts.
Sanwo-Olu: A Dutiful, Committed Soldier Is Gone
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has described the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, as a dutiful and committed soldier, who served Nigeria passionately.
Commiserating with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Army over the death of the 21stArmy chief, Sanwo-Olu also sympathised with families, friends and associates of the late Chief of Army Staff as well as other victims of the unfortunate crash.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, Sanwo-Olu praised the late Attahiru’s contributions to Nigeria’s efforts in the war against insurgency, saying the country would miss the rich experience and knowledge of the late Army General.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Nigerian Army, families, friends and associates of the late Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru and other officers, who were involved in the unfortunate air crash.
“The late Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru will be sorely missed by Nigerians, especially, at this period when the country is intensifying the fight against insurgency and other criminal elements in different parts of the country,” Sanwo-Olu said, praying God to grant the deceased eternal rest and the families they left behind, the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable losses.
Fayemi: He Was Patriotic, Fearless
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has described the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, as a patriotic and fearless officer, who was always ready go the extra mile to protect the sovereignty of his beloved country, a quality he said was the hallmark of his military career.
While condoling with families of other military personnel in the air crash Friday, a situation he described as a national tragedy, the Governor said it was a black Friday for the country as 11 gallant officers fell, making the third of such disaster involving military aircrafts in the last few months.
Fayemi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Olayinka Oyebode, said the late General Attahiru, who resumed office as COAS in January, brought in a fresh hope in the fight against insecurity and insurgency in the country, adding that the COAS’ determination had emboldened the military personnel and spurred them on to reclaim some territories hitherto lost to the terrorists.
The Ekiti State Governor said he was not surprised at the feat recorded by Attahiru within his very short stint as COAS, stressing that the deceased had earlier proven his worth in previous assignments including as Commander of the Operation Lafia Dole in the North East.
Fayemi, however, prayed God to console the families of the COAS and 10 other military personnel,who died in the crash and grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
“The Government and good people of Ekiti State express deep condolences to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed forces, President Mohammadu Buhari, immediate and extended family members of the late General Attahiru and other military officers, who died in the crash.
“We also pray Almighty Allah to grant the families of dear departed the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” the governor said.
It’s a Sad Day in Nigeria’s History, Say Northern Governors
The Northern Governors Forum has expressed shock over the death of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and his entourage in an ill-fated air crash in Kaduna, describing the incident as sad history in the country.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong in a statement said the forum was distressed that the Army Chief and other officers and men of the Nigerian armed forces died while on official assignment in the course of advancing the security and peace of the country.
Lalong lamented that the country has lost patriotic Nigerians, who gave their lives to the defence of the territorial integrity of the country, and also ensured that its citizens lived in peace and security.
He said, “Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru was a committed soldier, whose passion for defending Nigeria was very clear throughout his military career even before his appointment as the Chief of Army Staff. Since his appointment, we have engaged him as Northern Governors Forum and individually as governors towards enhancing the security and safety of our states, region and the nation at large.
“Within the few months he held sway, we have seen improvements and high resolve to bringing an end to insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities. We had been working on consolidating this before this tragic incident that took his life and that of others working with him. We are highly shocked and pained”.
While condoling President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Army, families of the deceased officers and men, as well as the entire Nigerian Armed Forces, the governors said the sad event was regrettable but should not deter the Armed Forces from giving their best in the service of the nation just as the deceased COAS, officers and men did before their tragic death.
Buni: Attahiru’s Death, a National Loss
Yobe State Governor, Mai-Mala Buni has described the death of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and the other senior military officers in an air crash as a great national loss.
Buni, who is also the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, in a statement on Saturday by his spokesman, Mallam Mamman Mohammed, said he was shocked, heartbroken and saddened by the unfortunate air crash that claimed the lives of the Chief of Army staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other military officers.
He said: “The demise of these top military officers at this moment, when Nigeria needs their services most, is indeed a great loss to the army and Nigeria and the people of the country.
“I, therefore, condole with His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, the Nigeria Army and the families of the deceased officers.”
Buni also described the death of the officers as fallen heroes, who laid their lives for the service of the country, optimistic that Nigeria would overcome her security challenges and emerge victorious.
He said: “The Nigerian Army should re-dedicate itself to defeat the security challenges as a mark of honour and respect to the deceased Chief of Army Staff and the other fallen officers.”
Ortom: It’s Shocking, Painful
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has described the death of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, in an air crash as shocking and painful.
The governor, in a press statement by his media aide, Mr Terver Akase, said the loss of Attahiru and the other military officers on board the aircraft was a major setback to the fight against insecurity in the country.
He stated that the late Chief of Army Staff demonstrated commitment to tackling the wave of insecurity since assuming office earlier this year.
Ortom, therefore, sympathised with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Army and the bereaved families.
He prayed God to grant the soul of Attahiru as well as those of the other military officers eternal rest and their families the strength to bear the losses.
It’s Devastating, Says Niger Governor
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has described the death of the Chief of Army Staff,Lt General Ibrahim Attaihiru and 11 other officers in a plane crash in Kaduna on Friday as “very devastating to the nation at its trying moment of insecurity”, saying he received the news with “deep shock”.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Minna yesterday, the governor added that, “The death of COAS and others came at a time, when the newly appointed Chief of Army Staff along with other service chiefs had developed renewed efforts in tackling insecurity in the country.
“The late Chief of Army Staff has within his short time in office demonstrated and showed remarkable commitment and professionalism in the course of discharging his duty”, Bello said in the statement.
He, therefore, urged the family, the Nigerian Army, friends and associates to accept the deaths as “the will of Allah and bear the irreparable loss with equanimity”.
A Gallant Warrior Just Passed, Say PDP Governors
Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, mourned the death of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Attahiru Ibrahim and some other members of the Armed Forces in an unfortunate aircraft crash on Friday in Kaduna State, saying the nation just lost a gallant warrior.
A statement by the chairman of the PDP governors, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, stated: “It is most painful that this tragedy is coming at a time the Army Chief is leading the war against insecurity in the land, having just recently taken command of the Nigerian Army. This is a very sad loss and a huge blow to our nation and her effort to secure the nation”, he said.
The chairman of the PDP governors also said late General Attahiru served the nation with dedication, skill, gallantry, and total commitment, employing his long years of experience and expertise in the service of his fatherland.
He prayed God to rest his soul and those of his colleagues, who died in the aircraft and also God forgive them their sins, noting that death is inevitable for all mortals.
The PDP governors also commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Army, the entire Armed Forces, and Nigeria for this sudden and irreparable loss.
“We admonish the Military and all security Agencies to redouble their efforts to vanquish insecurity in Nigeria as a fitting tribute to the departed Chief, as we pledge our continued support to the Nigerian Armed Forces and Security Agencies”, the PDP governors maintained.
House Mourns Army Chief, Attahiru, Others
Members of the House of Representatives have expressed sadness over the death of Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and his entourage in an air crash in Kaduna.
Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, in a statement described as shocking and sad the death Attahiru and others involved in the plane crash.
Gbajabiamila said the death of the Army Chief was unfortunate coming at a time the Nigerian military was finding solutions to the security challenges in the country.
He said having taken over from the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, a couple of months ago, Attahiru has shown a lot of commitment in tackling the security situation in the country.
He said the Nigerian military, especially, the Nigeria Army, has lost a dedicated and committed senior officer, whose services to fatherland will be sorely missed.
The Speaker sent his condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian military, and the Attahiru family over the loss.
Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase, on his part said, he was pained by the tragic loss of the gallant officers, who had served the nation with honour and dignity.
He also commiserated with the president, the Nigerian Military and the families of the deceased, and prayed to Almighty Allah to grant the departed souls eternal rest.
Also, the Minority Caucus of the House in a statement issued by its leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, said the lawmakers were grief-stricken by this huge tragedy, demanding a full scale investigation into the unfortunate incident .
The caucus, described Attahiru and the other officers as courageous and patriotic soldiers, who gave all in the defence of our dear fatherland.
The caucus charged the military not to be weighed down by the tragic event but to remain focused and undeterred so as to ensure that the heroes did not die in vain.
The House Committee on Army, while expressing deep shock to the tragic news, said Attahiru was an energetic officer, who was committed to improving the security of the country, especially, prosecuting the war against insurgency.
The Committee, in a statement by its Chairman, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas said, in his brief stay in office as the COAS, the late Attahiru had a rolled-out plan on how to defeat Boko Haram and bring under control, other security threats, which the country faced in recent years.
The committee lamented that it was unfortunate that Attahiru did not live to see to the successful execution of his counter-terrorism strategies.
The House Committee on Airforce also expressed sadness over the tragic death of Attahiru and other gallant officers.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Shehu Koko, in a statement said the news came to him as a shock, having embarked on an official duty to Makurdi, Benue State on Thursday with the late chief of army staff.
”The news of the crash is still a shock to me as I am aware of his hard work and tour to states across the federation in a bid to find a lasting solution to the security challenges facing the country. It is unfortunate that this is coming at a time, when the country’s service chiefs are doing everything possible to win the war against insurgency in Nigeria. This is painful and shocking, as I condole with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Military, Nigerian Army and Airforce.”
…Lawan, Ekweremadu Too, Say It’s a National Disaster
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan and a former Deputy President of the, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, have described the Friday air crash that claimed the lives of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru and ten other soldiers as a national disaster.
The ranking Senators, in separate condolence messages on Saturday, said the incident has thrown the entire nation into mourning.
Lawan, while expressing deep sadness over the tragic death of General Attahiru, and other military officers killed in the Kaduna air crash, described the incident as a national disaster of immense proportion.
He said: “I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Chief of Defence Staff and the entire members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria over this tragedy. This incident is saddening, coming at a time there is a fresh momentum in the nation’s war against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes.
“The Chief of Army Staff and the other officers gave their lives for the security and unity of Nigeria and will be remembered as heroes in the history of the country.
“I commiserate with the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari and the families of the deceased over the tragic incident and wish the departed souls eternal peace”.
In his condolence message, Ekweremadu described the late Army Chief and the other soldiers as patriots, who gave their best to fatherland, adding that the deaths were a heavy loss to the nation.
“What a dark Friday it was for the entire nation. The late Lieutenant General Attahiru was a man of high professional pedigree and his experience, leadership qualities, and patriotism stood him out. This is, therefore, a grievous loss to the entire nation.
“My heart goes out to his family and the families of other deceased compatriots, the Nigerian Army, the armed forces, and the President and Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari”, Ekweremadu said.
Obaseki: He Brought Skills, Expertise, Experience to Bear
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has mourned the passing of Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, saying he brought skills, expertise and experience to bear in the fight against insurgency.
In a statement, Obaseki expressed shock and sadness over the unfortunate incident, praying God to grant the repose of their souls.
“We pray for the repose of the souls of those, who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident and admonish the military to continue with the patriotic efforts to secure the country.
“Lt. Gen. Attahiru served Nigeria meritoriously, bringing his skill, experience and expertise to bear in prosecuting the war against terror.
“He will always be remembered for his gallantry, commitment to service and dedication to our fatherland,” Obaseki said.
He Died When His Services Were Badly Needed, Says Uzodimma
Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, has expressed shock and regret over the death ofNigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others, who lost their lives Friday when an Air Force Kingair 350 plane crashed near the Kaduna airport runway, saying the COAS met his untimely death when his services were badly needed.
Uzodimma, who described Attahiru as a gallant and intelligent officer said, from the day he was appointed COAS on January 26, 2021, he showed signs of capacity to deal with the rising cases of insecurity in different parts of the country.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser Oguwike Nwachuku,described the day the ill-fated plane crashed as dark Friday, noting that Lt. Gen Attahiru’s career trajectory indicated that of an officer, who was prepared to give his best to the country that also gave him the opportunity to be the best he could be as a professional soldier.
Uzodimma regretted that Attahiru’s life and that of his colleagues were cut short in such painful manner, when their services were badly needed, and urged Nigerians to uphold the families they have left behind in prayers.
He said because the deceased COAS and his colleagues paid the ultimate price pursuing peace, unity and security for the land in line of duty, patriotic Nigerians will forever remember their good works.
NMA: Nigeria Has Lost a Rare Breed
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has extended its condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Armed Forces and families of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, and other officers who died in the fatal plane crash, near Kaduna Airport on Friday, saying the nation has lost a rare breed.
In a condolence message jointly signed its president, Prof. Innocent. Ujah and Secretary General, Dr. Philips Uche Ekpe, the association said it was particularly pained, bearing in mind that the nation has lost a rare breed and one of her most decorated intelligent tactical officer.
“The NMA joins other Nigerians in sharing the pains and grief of the Presidency and other well-meaning Nigerians and prays that their souls find peace in God’s Kingdom while praying for the families the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss,” it said.
Fintiri: He Was Determined to Change the Narrative
Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, has said the unfortunate demise of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, has denied the nation of one of her finest officers,who was determined to change the narratives in the battle against the myriad security challenges facing Nigeria.
In a press release by his Press Secretary, Mr. Humwashi Wonosikou, the governor described the death as painful and shocking, such that requested the nation’s prayers.
“I join the President and Commander-in-Chief as he leads the country in mourning 11 active and finest Officers killed in a plane crash in Kaduna. Nigeria will never forget your services and always honour them,” he said.
The statement said, “Fintiri regretted that the trip, which was supposed to be a Military assignment claimed the lives of the Officers. These soldiers, who have given their lives in service to protect the nation were taken far too soon. Their memory would endure through the life of our nation.
“It was love for country that inspired these fallen heroes to put on the uniform and joined the greatest Army Africa has ever known,” he said.
Nigeria Will Miss His Patriotism, Says Marwa
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), has described the death of Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru and other senior officers in a military plane crash in Kaduna on Friday as a great loss to the country.
Marwa, who sent his condolence message from Vienna, Austria, where he was attending a meeting of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, recalled his recent meeting with Gen. Attahiru and said he was impressed with the late Army Chief’s plans to tackle the security challenges confronting the country.
“The nation will miss Gen. Attahiru and the other gallant officers, who died in active service. I recall my recent meeting with him at the Army Headquarters, where I was impressed with his patriotism and plans for tackling the myriad security challenges facing our country.
“This is a great loss for Nigeria. Our condolences go to his family, the Nigerian Army and also to the families of the other gallant officers and men in his entourage as well as the flight crew, who died in the crash. May their souls rest in peace”, he stated.
They Died as Heroes, Say Mark, Saraki, Omo-Agege
Two former Presidents of the Senate, Senator David Mark and Dr. Bukola Saraki and the current Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, have joined millions to mourn the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other officers and men, who lost their lives in the Kaduna air crash on Friday, saying they died as heroes.
The trio in separate statements on Saturday described their deaths in service as reflecting their commitment to national service which has now made them heroes.
In his condolence message, Mark described the fallen officers as gallant, patriotic and heroes, who were committed to the Defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as the restoration of peace, unity and security of the nation.
Mark, is a retired Army Brigadier-General, lamented that the tragedy was not only heartbreaking but one too many, noting that the demise of the COAS and others at this time, when their services were needed to rid the nation of security challenges was a huge setback.
He however told the Nigerian Armed Forces not to be deterred by the incident but rather be spurred towards winning the war against insurgency.
“The only way to immortalise the departed soldiers is to do all that is needed to win the war against insurgents and restore the citizens’ hope and confidence in the Armed Forces,” Mark said.
In a two-paragraph statement, Saraki said, “As the nation mourns the passing of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and the ten military personnel that were onboard the aircraft that crashed in Kaduna, I send my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to their families.
“Undoubtedly, this is a difficult loss for the entire Armed Forces, especially, at this time when we are confronted by insecurity on several fronts. It is my prayer that Almighty Allah (SWT) grants the families and the Armed Forces the strength that is needed at this time.”
Omo-Agege, on his part, described the death of General Attahiru as a personal loss to him just as it is to the bereaved families and the entire nation, saying the loss of the Army Chief and 10 others was a rude shock and a great loss to the military hierarchy.
“I feel deeply saddened by the loss of this great friend and exemplary Nigerian in whom President Muhammadu Buhari reposed so much trust and confidence about leading the gallant men and women of the Nigerian Army through the current challenges of insecurity towards making Nigeria a safer place for us all,” he said.
Tinubu: It’s an Unspeakable Loss for Nigeria
One of the national leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described the death of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 others in an air mishap in Kaduna on Friday is a tragic and unspeakable loss for the nation.
Tinubu, in a condolence message on Saturday by his Media Office in Abuja, condoled President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Army, the Defence Headquarters and families of the deceased military officers over the unfortunate incident.
He said: “The death of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 others in an air mishap in Kaduna on Friday is a tragic, unspeakable loss for the nation.
“COAS Lt. Gen. Attahiru and the others were stalwarts and brave soldiers, who had dedicated their careers, and now their very lives, in the service of this nation and toward the realisation of the noble aspirations this nation represents.
“COAS Attahiru had a most distinguished career. The army and the nation will miss his excellent character and fine leadership at this moment when we are fighting terrorism or banditry in many parts of the nation. Lt. Gen. Attahiru, just like the others involved in this tragic incident, served his country with zeal and vigour. He was known as a soldier’s soldier.
“Their untimely and sad departure hurts. However, we owe it to them and to the nation to gather our strength and fortitude. We must gird ourselves that we finish the job to which they dedicated and gave their lives.
“Let us remember these brave patriots not with our tears but by achieving victory over the terrorism and violence that seek to rob our nation of its finest destiny. Let this unfortunate accident not deter us but spur us and our valiant military to continue to defend this land from violence and evil.”
PDP Mourns, Demands Probe into Military Plane Crashes
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said though it was grieved by the death of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other officers in a military plane crash on Friday, it however demanded a probe into constant military plane crashes in the country.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the party described Gen. Attahiru and the other officers as heroes, who gave their lives for the security of the nation, adding that the tragic incident was a huge blow to Nigeria.
“Our party commiserates with the military high command, the families of Lt. General Attahiru and the other officers and men, who have paid the supreme price for the security of our nation and prays God to give them the fortitude to bear the loss”, the PDP said.
The opposition party, however, demanded an extensive inquest into this military plane crash as well as the last two in which lives of officers were lost.
The party urged Nigerians to be at alert and continue to pray for the fighting men and women, who are risking their lives at the front to secure the nation.
AbdulRazaq: We’ll Never Forget the Date
Kwara State Governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has described the death of 11 military top brass, including the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, in an air crash as a national tragedy, saying Nigeria would never forget the date.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, the governor said, “I join our compatriots worldwide to commiserate with the military establishment, especially, the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force, on this devastating development.
“It was indeed a black Friday for the fatherland. It is a date we will forever remember for the loss of true heroes and a significant depletion in the ranks of the Nigerian military
“On behalf of the people and government of Kwara State, I commiserate with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Defence Staff, the entire military establishment and the immediate and extended families of the fallen officers of our great Armed Forces.
“It is our prayers that God Almighty will spare our nation and indeed our world of a recurrence of such calamities in the future. We pray for the repose the souls of these fine officers. We have no doubt in the resolve of the federal government to unravel the causes of the devastating air accident with a view to preventing such occurrence in the future,” the statement stated.
It’s a Moment of Grief and Sorrow, Says Mustapha
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha has described the death of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other officers and service members, who were killed in military plane crash in Kaduna on Friday as a moment filled with sorrow and grief.
Mustapha made the remarks yesterday at the church service for the five victims of the crash at the Air Force Protestant Church, Airport Road, Abuja, while delivering the message of President Muhammadu Buhari on the altar.
He expressed the government’s deepest condolences and prayed for strength for the families of the deceased and the Nigerian Army at large to shoulder the loss.
The SGF said: “Our safety is domiciled in the confidence of God. I extend the deepest condolences to the families of the late officers and the entire members of the Nigerian Armed Forces,” he said.
Also, in a different statement issued from his office yesterday, Mustapha said on behalf of members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), he received with deep shock, the news of the fatal air crash.
He expressed the consensus of all members of the FEC on the passion and professionalism with which General Attahiru discharged the responsibilities of his office especially, the prosecution of internal security operations across the country, since his appointment in January, 2021.
He also conveyed the condolences of members of the FEC to President Muhammadu Buhari, members of the defence and security forces as well as government and people of Kaduna State.
Particularly, he commiserated with families of the departed heroes and prayed to God to grant them comfort and peace of mind at these trying times.
FCT Minister Mourns Attahiru
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has expressed sadness over the death of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other members of the Nigerian Armed Forces in a plane crash that occurred in Kaduna on Friday.
In a statement issued yesterday on behalf of the FCT Administration and residents of the FCT, the minister extended his deepest condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen Bashir Magashi, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Isiaka Amao, the officers and men of the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Airforce as well as the families of the deceased.
He prayed for the repose of the souls of the departed, and for the Almighty to spare Nigeria such a national tragedy in the future.
NEMA: It’s a Big Blow to Nigeria
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has commiserated with the Nigerian Army over the death its Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others, in an air crash, in Kaduna, on Friday.
According to NEMA’s Director-General, AVM. Muhammadu Muhammed (rtd.), “The untimely death of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, in an air crash in Kaduna, on Friday, is a big blow to our country. It came at a period our military forces are on the brink of ending the security challenges confronting our dear nation.”
The NEMA Director-General, in the statement by Manzo Ezekiel, Head, Media and Public Relations, also condoled with families of the other brave service men and air crew that perished in the crash and prayed that Almighty God would console and strengthen them at this period.
“To the grieving families of the service men and aircrew that died in the crash, we share your grief and pray that the Almighty God consoles and strengthens you all,” he said.
Abiodun: Winning the war would be greatest tribute to memory of the departed
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, condoles with President Muhammadu Buhari; family and friends of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and those of other officers and men who died in the ill-fated plane crash that claimed 11 military officers on Friday.
Governor Abiodun laments that these accomplished officers died while their services were most needed in the nation’s search for peace and security.
“Notwithstanding their young ages, they served meritoriously in the military and their untimely exit is very painful”, he said.
The governor commiserated with the Defence headquarters, other service chiefs and all officers and men of the Armed Forces, saying that losing an army chief appointed only four months ago is devastating.
He adds that the greatest tribute to the memory of the departed would be to win the war against insurgency and insecurity in the country, urging all to find comfort in the good works of the gallant officers.
“Lt-Gen. Attahiru stood firm in defence of the country’s indivisibility. Nigeria will remember him as one officer who held unto its indivisibility until he breathed his last.
“Well decorated, level-headed, the deceased was a thoroughbred officer and gentleman who led from the front, and will be sorely missed,” he said.
Governor Abiodun prays that the Almighty God receives the souls
Boss Mustapha: He was a Forthright and Courageous Soldier
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, yesterday also expressed his heartfelt condolences to the Nigerian Army, over the untimely death of its gallant Chief of Army Staff (COAS), in the Kaduna air crash, on Friday.
According to the SGF, “The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru was a forthright and courageous soldier whose professional career stands him out as a committed and patriotic man. His sudden death in the Kaduna air crash on Friday represents a major setback for the nation’s renewed fight against the existing security challenges.
“As I commiserate with the Nigeria Army, his first constituency and his grieving family, I also condole with the families of the other courageous service men and air crew that died in the unfortunate crash.”
He prayed that the Almighty God grant his soul, as well as other fallen servicemen’s, eternal rest and comfort their families.