Remains of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, who died alongside others in a Beachcraft 350 aircraft that crashed at the Kaduna International Airport on Friday have landed in Abuja for burial.
Their bodies were received at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja about 11am.
They were being conveyed to the National Mosque and the Nigerian Air Force Protestant Church venues of funeral prayers amidst tight security.
Reports according to PUNCH had earlier stated that the Defence Headquarters on Friday blamed bad weather condition as reason for the crash.
The crash claimed all 11 souls onboard including Attahiru.
In a statement signed by DHQ Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General, Onyema Nwachukwu, the DHQ said the sacrifices of departed heroes will not be in vain.
The statement was titled, ‘Armed Forces Of Nigeria Loses Chief Of Army Staff And Ten Others In Air Mishap’.
It read, “It is with a heavy heart that the Armed Forces of Nigeria regrets to announce that this evening at about 1800 Hours, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru in company of his entourage, who were on official trip from Abuja to Kaduna, were involved in an air mishap.
“The unfortunate incident occurred after landing at the Kaduna International Airport due to inclement weather.”
The statement also said that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, directed that an Accident Investigation Board be constituted to further probe the accident.
“As we pray for the repose of the souls of our gallant and committed Chief of Army Staff and other personnel on board with him, the AFN solicits the support and understanding of all Nigerians in the face of this tragic incident. We wish to state that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains resolute in combatting the security challenges bedeviling our nation. The sacrifices of our dearly departed heroes will not be in vain.
“Meanwhile, the CDS urges all military personnel and their families to take heart and be condoled on this tragic loss. The CDS also reassures 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,” the statement added.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had on January 26, 2021 appointed Attahiru to succeed Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai as COAS.
At least 20 military officers have lost their lives in the last three months in three crashes involving Nigerian Air Force jets.