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Late Army Chief Attahiru’s Death Sabotaged Effort To End Insecurity In Nigeria, Says Ali-Keffi

“Within the short period of his headship of the Nigerian Army, we all witnessed tremendous progress in the security situation, largely in the North-West.”

A former General Officer Commanding of 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Danjuma Ali-Keffi, has said that the death of the former Nigerian Army Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, truncated the efforts that had been put in place to end insecurity in Nigeria.

The retired General said this in an interview with ARISE NEWSNIGHT on Tuesday, where he discussed his earlier claims that there was a form of sabotage involved in the Army Chief’s death.

Ali-Keffi said, “Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, the late Chief of Army staff who died in that ill-fated plane crash on the 21st of May 2021 was highly committed to the fight against terrorism and insurgency in the country. And within the short period of his headship of the Nigerian Army, we all witnessed tremendous progress in the security situation, largely in the North-West and other parts of the country.”

He further said that Attahiru had “outlined strategies that would have led us, in a manner of speaking, to the promised land. His death without a shadow of a doubt, truncated or sabotaged that effort.”

Speaking on his behalf of the possibility of sabotage in Attahiru’s death, Ali-Keffi said, “There were chain of events that preceded the actual day of the crash that gave room for questions. There are so many questions that needed to be answered,” as there was a sudden change of plans in the trips that Attahiru had planned the night before the crash took place.

The former general revealed that on the day of the accident, the late Chief of Army Staff was supposed to depart Abuja by 4:00pm to be at Kaduna within the hour, but however, the flight was delayed for reasons unknown to him for about an hour and half despite warnings of bad weather in the Kaduna airspace.

He also expressed scepticism that the aircraft, which had apparently crashed, did not leave any craters in the ground as he explained, “The aircraft was at tree top level when we sighted it coming in. So, the altitude wasn’t so high. Now, if an aircraft should fall from that altitude, from that height, it will fall like a box. I mean, it wouldn’t disintegrate. But, again, if it fell from that height at that descent, the impact, it will come with dead weight, heavy weight, and there will be some crater that is boring some holes into the ground.”

Furthering his doubt, he explained that while he and his team were examining the wreckage, the corpses were not found in the plane, but flung out of the aircraft. He said, “If there wasn’t an explosion in that aircraft, that mid-air explosion. They would have come down with that aircraft, and they will be strapped to their seats, perhaps, on the ground with that. But that was not the case, they were flung out of the aircraft.”

Ali-Keffi has asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to probe the death of Attahiru, as well as the other senior military officers who were on board the aircraft with him.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi