President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed grief over the over the air crash on Friday evening that killed Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and seven other top military officers.
There were four crew members in the plane.
The aircraft crashed near the Kaduna international airport at about 6 pm on May 21, 2021, also killing seven others including Brig-Gen M Abdulkadir, Brig-Gen S Olayinka and Brig-Gen A Kuliya.
The crash was due to bad weather occasioned by heavy downpour.
The Nigerian Air Force plane was initially billed to land at the NAF Base, but was diverted to the Kaduna Airport due to bad weather.
The NAF had earlier said eight passengers were aboard the ill-fated plight.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Mr Edward Gabkwet, said: “An air crash involving a @NigAirForce aircraft occurred this evening near the Kaduna International Airport. The immediate cause of the crash is still being ascertained. More details to follow soon.”
Already, the area leading to the site of the crash had been condoned by military authorities.
President Buhari condoled with families of the deceased, the military, and Nigerians in general, describing them as “heroes who paid the ultimate price for peace and security in the land.”
The President said the crash “is one mortal blow to our underbelly, at a time our armed forces are poised to end the security challenges facing the country.”
Born in Doka in Kaduna North local government, 55-year-old Army General was appointed as Chief of Army Staff on 26, January, 2021 by President Buhari.
He is a graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji and Nigerian Army School of Infantry.
He commenced cadets training in January 1984 and was commissioned into the rank of Second Lieutenant in December 1986 as an Infantry Officer.
He holds a Master degree in Strategic Management and Policy Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy.
Mr Yahaya Bello, the Governor of Kogi State in north central Nigeria Governor, has described as shocking the death of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Attahiru.
Bello described the death of the COAS as a colossal loss to Nigeria particularly at such a time when the country was confronting numerous insecurity challenges in different parts of the country.
“While commiserating with the family, friends and associate of the late COAS, Bello described General Attahiru as a hero who gave his all to the service of his fatherland and similarly died while attending to his duties.
“He also extended his condolences to the families of the COAS’ aides and entourage who also lost their lives in the tragic incident.
The Governor commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari over the loss of one of his service chiefs, stating that he would be dearly missed.
“He also condoled with the Nigeria Army over the loss of the COAS and others who died alongside him