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Ceaseless rain of tributes for departed officers

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• Govs, Senate President, Ministers, Others Console Buhari
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The news of Friday’s military plane crash jolted many, considering just three months ago, a military plane crashed with the seven officers onboard died. The late officers were returning to Abuja from Minna at the time of the incident. Just after that, in March, a Nigerian airforce jet went missing and it was latter discovered that it crashed. So, it is three crashes in three months, as the first and third clashes occurred exactly three months apart, February 21 and May 21.

As many continued to input different insinuations around the plane crashes, the military and federal government especially through its agencies should be able to tell Nigerians in the coming days the real and remote cause of the mishap. But with this new incident and as the nation mourns; more rain of tributes has continued to pour in for the departed military officers. Those that died in the Friday crash were Brig-Gen Mohammed Idris Abdulkadir, Brig-Gen Olatunji Lukman Olayinka, Brig-Gen Abdulrahman Kuliya, Maj Lawal Aliyu Hayat, Maj Nura Hamza, Sgt Umar, while the crew members include, flt-Lt TO Asaniyi, flt-Lt AA Olufade, Sgt Adesina and Acm Oyedepo.

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello described the death of Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, and other top military officers in the plane crash as devastating to the nation.

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In a statement, he stated that COAS’s and other officers’ death came at a time when the newly appointed Chief of Army Staff along with other service chiefs had developed renewed efforts in tackling the country’s insecurity.

Bello said the late Attahiru within his short time in office, demonstrated and showed remarkable commitment and professionalism in discharging his duty.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, his deputy Ovie Omo-Agege have described the tragedy as a national disaster of immense proportion that has thrown the entire nation into mourning.

“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.

Omo-Agege, in a statement, said the tragic loss of the Army Chief and 10 others was a rude shock and a great loss to the military hierarchy.

Omo-Agege described the late General as a friend and brother whose sense of duty and positive personal attributes deepen the sense of loss being felt by those who knew him.

On his part, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom described the death as a major setback to the fight against insecurity in the country, maintaining that the late Chief of Army Staff demonstrated commitment to tackling the wave of insecurity since his assumption of office earlier this year.

Ortom, in a statement, sympathised with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Army and the bereaved families, praying to God to grant the soul of Attahiru as well as other military officers eternal rest and their families the strength to bear the losses.

Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu praised the late General Attahiru’s contributions in Nigeria’s efforts to end the war against insurgency, saying the country would miss the rich experience and knowledge of the late army general.

“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.”

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Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-rufai expressed shock and grief over the death. The Governor said the news of General Attahiru’s death has left him deeply shaken, with a sense of great personal loss, coming so soon after his appointment had brought immense pride and a sense of hope to the people of Kaduna State.

“He prayed to Allah to forgive their shortcomings and grant them eternal rest, and comfort their families as the nation, grapples with this colossal and very painful loss.”

Also, the Speaker, Kaduna State House of Assembly and Chairman Northern Speakers Forum, Yusuf Zailani expressed shock over the sudden death of the Chief of Army Staff, Attahiru.

Similarly, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Lucky Irabor urged all military personnel and their families to take heart and be condoled on the tragic loss.

In a statement, the CDS also reassured all Nigerians of the commitment and loyalty of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to the constitution and government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as it continues to carry out its responsibilities.

On his part, Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya commiserated with the President and Commander-in- Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari over the death of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and other senior military officers in Kaduna on Friday.

Inuwa, in a statement, described the incident as a national tragedy coming at a time the military and other security forces are intensifying efforts to combat terrorism, banditry and other security challenges be-devilling the country.

Moreover, Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky E.O Irabor and the entire country on the unfortunate death of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other persons on board the ill-fated aircraft.

“My thoughts and prayers are with families of the deceased. May God grant their souls eternal rest,” Oyetola said.

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However, Concerned Nigerians for the Protection of Human Rights and Rule of Law Initiative enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari to employ the services of independent aviation accident experts to investigate the cause of the Nigerian Air Force jet that killed Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, General Ibrahim Attahiru and others.

In a statement, its convener, Deji Adeyanju said that death of the Chief of Army Staff and other military generals must be thoroughly investigated by independent Air Accident experts.

Also speaking on the crash, Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who mourned the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, described the death as deeply saddening and devastating, especially now that the nation was in dire need of their services at this critical time of intense fight to win the war against insurgency and banditry.

Okowa also commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Army and the Attahiru family on the tragic death of Attahiru.

In a statement, he said the deceased had a rich military career, and had held several command positions with distinction, including Theatre Commander, “Operation Lafia Dole’’, an experience the nation hoped to gain from as Army Chief.

Lending her voice, the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Pauline Tallen expressed shock over the death of Chief of Army Staff, (COAS), Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and other senior officers and men in the ill-fated plane crash.

She said the passing of the COAS at this time, when the nation is grappling with so many security challenges is very unfortunate.

In a statement, Tallen said: “I on behalf of Nigerian women and children commiserate with the families, colleagues and friends of these great Nigerians who have paid the ultimate price in service to our motherland.”

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, lamented that the 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.

Abiodun maintained 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.

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For Yobe State Governor and Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC) Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni, the deaths of Attahiru and other senior military officers is a great loss to the nation.

He described the deaths of the 11 military officers as fallen heroes, who laid their lives for the country, expressing optimism that Nigeria would overcome the security challenges and emerges victorious over the terrorists and enemies of humanity.

Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri said the unfortunate incident has denied the nation of the contributions of one of Nigeria’s finest officers who was determined to change narratives in the battle against myriad security challenges facing Nigeria. Fintiri regretted that the officers died in a military assignment.

Also, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, expressed deep pains over the tragic death of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and other military personnel in the ill-fated plane crash.

The governor, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, described the death as a colossal loss to the nation.

“We feel deeply saddened by the colossal loss of these patriotic and thoroughbred officers who sacrificed their lives to make our nation safe. Our thoughts are with the Nigerian Armed Forces and affected families in this hour of grief.”

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, also expressed deep shock, stating that the late COAS died untimely when his services were badly needed in the nation.

In a statement, Uzodimma regretted that Lt. Gen. Attahiru’s life and that of his colleagues were cut short in such painful manner when their services were badly needed.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) described the death of Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru and other senior officers as a great loss to the country.

Marwa, who sent his condolence message from Vienna, Austria where he is attending a meeting of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, said: “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.”

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Meanwhile, Kano residents yesterday held special funeral prayers for the repose of late Chief of Military Intelligence, Brigadier General Abdulrahman Kuliya.

The Chief Intelligence officer was part of the entourage of Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a plane crash.

Likewise, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in a statement, expressed sadness over the ill-fatal accident.

The Governor said while the unfortunate incident came at a time Nigeria is facing many security challenges, it is hoped the sacrifices of these senior military officers would not be in vain.

Also, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in a statement, saluted the heroic and dignified stance of late Army Chief Attahiru to dismantle the conglomerate siphoning the wealth of the nation through insurgency.

He stated that Ohanaeze Ndigbo were quick to point out through its belief that anyone who demonstrate vigour and will power to combat insurgency in the North will either be downgraded or axed or transferred or slain.

“We believe that Attahiru and other military officers that had paid the supreme prices for peace to Nigeria should be mourned as “ heroes of democracy and should be immortalised.”

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