Buhari, Osinbajo Missing As Late Army Chief, 10 Others Are Buried


Families, friends and well-wishers of the late Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other officers on board the ill-fated aircraft that crashed in Kaduna on Friday were inconsolable as the remains of the fallen heroes were laid to rest at the military cemetery on Saturday.

The crash, which claimed the lives of the military personnel, was said to have occurred in Kaduna due to bad weather after attempting landing at the Kaduna International Airport.

The wife of the late COAS and relatives, as well as well-wishers of the fallen officers could not hold back their tears during the burial on Saturday.

The interment followed funeral services at the National Mosque and Nigerian Air Force Protestant Church, after the bodies brought back from Kaduna through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

Both President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were absent at both the funeral service and internment of the fallen officers. There was no reason given for their absence.

However, Buhari was represented by the Minister of Defence, retired Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi, who eulogised the late Attahiru and other deceased officers on behalf of the president.

Buhari said the late army chief was a dedicated and committed officer, who died when his services were most needed.

He said that late Attahiru had demonstrated a high level of commitment as well as inspired courage and confidence in the officers and soldiers of Nigerian army.

“These were absolute gentlemen and were one of the most disciplined officers and men who sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation and they will never be forgotten.

“These fine gentlemen had a glorious career in the armed forces in the course of which they served gallantly in several capacities,” he said.

According to him, the late Gen. Attahiru was an icon of professionalism, bravery and discipline and he actually demonstrated these attributes throughout his national and international assignments.

He said that the late majors and crew members were also promising young officers that were dedicated and committed to the service of their fatherland.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, who titled his remarks, “Love for Country” said that the demise of the late army chief was a monumental loss to the armed forces and Nigeria in general.

Irabor, who recounted their thoughts on how to move the armed forces forward, said they were together at the Training and Doctrine Command when their appointments were announced.

In attendance at the funeral were the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III; President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; governors of Borno, Kaduna, Kebbi and Yobe as well as other service chiefs.

Also, the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, attended the event.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have continued to pay tribute to the COAS Attahiru and other top military officers that died on Friday. (DailyTrust)

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