The Defence Headquarters on Friday said bad weather was responsible for the crash of a Nigerian Air Force Beachcraft 350 aircraft at the Kaduna International Airport.
The crash claimed all 11 souls onboard including newly appointed Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim 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.”
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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.
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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.
On Sunday, February 21, 2021, seven NAF officers died onboard a Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft when the jet crashed in Abuja.
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Also, on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said an Alpha-Jet aircraft involved in the anti-terror war against Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province lost radar contact in Borno State.
Two officers were onboard the missing jet which was later declared crashed and the whereabouts of the two airmen unknown till date.
Attahiru’s death suspicious, could be act of revenge for Shekau’s death – Bamgbose
Olusegun Bamgbose, Esq., National Coordinator, Concerned Advocates for Good Governance, CAGG, has described the death of Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru as shocking and suspicious.
According to him, this is one death that must be thoroughly investigated, adding that the sad news will certainly pose a serious setback to the fight against terror in Nigeria.
Speaking with DAILY POST on the development, Bamgbose added, “The just reported death of the Chief of Army Staff this evening is very shocking and almost unbelievable.
“This is most unfortunate and disheartening. His death will certainly pose a serious setback to the fight against terror in Nigeria.
“It’s tantamount to a coup. This is one death that must be thoroughly investigated. His sudden death is highly suspicious.
“Only just recently we heard the news of the death of Abubakar Shekau and the next thing is the death of the Chief of Army Staff.
“There is certainly a nexus. The late Chief of Army Staff could have masterminded the death of Shekau, this possibly could be an act of revenge.
“This has clearly shown that the forces behind Boko Haram are very powerful. No one knows their next target. There is something fishing somewhere.
“His death is not natural. The security architecture of the nation must be overhauled as this is tantamount to a direct attack on the Presidency.
“Nigeria is in danger as this insecurity is taking a dangerous weapon trend.”
Other very important military officers and crew who died with the Chief Of Army Staff are –
Brig Gen MI Abdulkadir.
Brig Gen Olayinka.
Brig Gen Kuliya.
Maj LA Hayat.
FLT LT TO Asaniyi
FLT LT AA Olufade.
The video below shows tThree pilot officers who died in plane crashes this year enjoying a day out in the sun before their death.
According to reports, the first and last men were among the 7 officers that crashed on Feb 21, 2021, in Abuja.
The one in the middle, Flt Lt AA Olufade, passed on yesterday, May 21, when a military aircraft crashed at the Kaduna Airport.
He had great plans to tackle insecurity – Marwa
The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brigadier General Buba Marwa (retd.) stated that the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru had great plans to tackle insecurity in the country.
A statement signed by the NDLEA Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, on Saturday revealed that Marwa sent his condolence message from Vienna, Austria where he is attending a meeting of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
The NDLEA boss described the death of the Chief of Army Staff and other senior officers as a great loss to the country.
“The nation will miss Gen. Attahiru and the other gallant officers who died in active service,” Marwa stated.
Recalling his meeting with Attahiru, Marwa pointed out that he was impressed with the late Army Chief’s plans for tackling the security challenges confronting the country.
“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.
“This is a great loss for Nigeria. Our condolences go to his family, the Nigerian Army and also to the families of the other gallant officers and men in his entourage as well as the flight crew who died in the crash. May their souls rest in peace,” the NDLEA boss said.
Remains of the Chief of Army Staff, Gen Ibrahim Attahiru and five other Muslim officers who died in Friday, May 21, military aircrash, have been buried after arriving at the National Mosque in Abuja.
First Lady, Aisha Buhari and her children pay condolence visit to the family of late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru on Sunday afternoon, May 23.
The absence of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the burial of the late Chief of Army Staff, General Ibrahim Attahiru, on Saturday attracted criticism from some Nigerians.
After prayers at the National Mosque and the Nigerian Air Force Protestant Church respectively, the bodies were laid to rest in full military honours at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
However, the obvious absence of President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo didn’t go unnoticed by Nigerians who took to Twitter to express their views.
Former presidential aide, Reno Omokri wote: “@MBuhari called General Attahiru a “hero”, but he did not attend his funeral just 15 miles from Aso Rock. Yet, he travelled 4000 miles to Paris.
“Even @ProfOsinbajo did not attend, yet he traveled 2500 miles to Kampala. Why will anyone then want to die for Nigeria? ”
Buhari had earlier expressed sadness over the deaths of the Chief of Army Staff and others who died in a plane crash.
A statement released through his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said the deceased officers will not die in vain.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is deeply saddened over the air crash that claimed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and other military officers.”
“The President condoles 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.”
“While praying that God receives the souls of the patriots, the President says 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.
“The President pledged that the departed would not die in vain.”
Also a former presidential candidate, Adamu Garba says its a National Embarrassment that Buhari was absent when Gen. Attahiru was buried.
Garba went on saying that if the death of a whole Chief of Army Staff does not deserve the attention of the highest National Authority, what will a lower cadre officer be thinking. He then stated it categorically that the president and all the governors should have attended his burial.
Furthermore, Adamu Garba made it known that we must work on the spirit of our national consciousness. He then urged our leaders to try and love our national heroes, dead or alive.
After some Northern Governors were spotted celebrating a Wedding amidst the COAS burial, he added –
LESSON and NO PEACE
Following the tragic death of Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 other officers, the Biafra Nations League, BNL, sent a strong message to President Mohammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police and all Service Chiefs, describing the deaths as a lesson.
In a statement signed by BNL’s National Leader, Princewill Chimezie Richard, the group said it will not pray for the deceased to rest in peace.
According to them, Attahiru had ordered a shoot at sight against the Biafra agitators in the South East and South South, especially in Imo State where the military is said to be conducting a 7 days show of force.
The BNL said that the Nigerian leaders should know that everyone has just one life to live, adding that anyone can die unexpectedly.
The group said that “the President and Governors, including all Service Chiefs are human beings who, when they die, would be buried like commoners.
“No one has spare life, it’s unfortunate for them that after giving orders for execution against us, they die terribly, when their own death comes, you won’t find or recognize their corpse,” the group added.
They warned of more plane crashes ahead adding that the more the government tries to kill it’s people the more they die in plane crashes.
Nnamdi Kanu’s Reaction
Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has reacted to the death of Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru.
In a post on his Twitter handle, the IPOB leader in a cryptic reference to the Army Chief’s death stated that those involved in the extermination of the Biafra race shall perish.
This is coming at a time when the Nigeria Army has stepped up operations in the southeast to clamp down on IPOB members.
“When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy”~Proverbs 11:10
“All involved in the ongoing extermination of the #Biafran race shall perish. For as they have made mothers childless, so shall their mothers be childless amongst women,” Nnamdi Kanu wrote.
The pro-Biafra activist also mocked President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to attend the burial of the late Lt. General in Abuja.
Nnamdi Kanu said: “The absence of the masked up impostor in Aso Rock, Buhari version 4, at the burial of his own Chief of Army Staff ATTAHIRU, the mass murderer; is confirmation that indeed, “the Dead cannot bury the Dead”.
“Today, #Nigeria is as naked as Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. #Zoo”
Military Take Over and Blackbox Recovery
As the remains of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and other top military officers killed in the Friday plane crash in Kaduna were laid to rest in Abuja, the site of the crash has been taken over and cordoned off by the military.
Civilians including members of the management and staff of the Kaduna International Airport were prevented from accessing the scene of the accident, which occurred within the Airport’s perimeter fence.
General Attahiru was going to Kaduna to serve as the Special Guest of Honour and Reviewing Officer at the Passing Out Parade of the Regular Recruits Intakes from Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria.
Speaking to journalists at the Airport on Saturday, Kaduna Airport Manager, Mrs. Amina Ozi Salami said, the aircraft was originally billed to land at the NAF base, Kaduna, but was diverted to the civil airport due to bad weather.
She however pointed that, though the plane crashed right inside the Airport, it did not affect the normal operation of the airport because it did not affect the runway.
She said that scene of the crash had since been taken over and cordoned off by the military.
According to her, “the unfortunate incident happened Friday at about 5:59 pm. We learnt that the aircraft was supposed to land at the Nigerian Air Force Base, but due to bad weather, it was diverted to the civil airport, but unfortunately, it crash-landed probably due to bad weather, we do not have the report yet at the moment.
“The AIB will be coming for an investigation, so I really don’t have enough details to give you now.”
Meanwhile, the Passing Out Parade of the Regular Recruits Intakes billed to hold on Saturday at the Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria was cancelled.
Also, the Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria, on Saturday, said it has recovered the black box of a Nigerian Air Force Beechcraft 350 jet which crashed on Friday near the Kaduna International Airport.
AIB-N said its investigators will download and analyse vital information contained in the recorders to ascertain the cause of the crash that claimed the lives of 11 military personnel including the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru.
This was contained in a statement titled, ‘AIB-N To Conduct Kaduna Crash Investigation’ signed by AIB-N General Manager, Public Affairs, Tunji Oketunbi.
According to the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the United Nations specialised agency for global aviation regulation, black boxes, also known as flight recorders, are one of the most relied upon resources for the improvement of aviation safety. Audio recordings from cockpit voice recorders are valuable for post-accident safety analysis, especially to know what transpired in the aircraft (mostly pilots’ last conversation) prior to accidents.
Usually, the AIB-N, according to its mandate, only probes civil aviation accidents and incidents in Nigeria and not military accidents or incidents. But Oketunbi said NAF mandated AIB-N to lead the investigation into the crash.
“The Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) from the accidented aircraft have been recovered and investigation has commenced.
“Investigators will download and analyse vital information contained in the recorders at the AIB-N’s world class Flight Safety Laboratory, in Abuja.
“The mandate given to AIB-N is based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two agencies on July 1, 2020 covering areas of mutual assistance,” the statement partly read.
The President, Muhammadu Buhari has declared Monday, May 24, work free day for members of the Armed Forces.
According to Bashir Ahmad, PA to the President on New Media, the holiday is to honor the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru and other military officers who perished in last Friday’s aircrash in Kaduna
“Sometimes in February this year, NAF 201 crashed in Abuja and killed all the eight Air Force crew men on board.
“We also reliably learnt that this was the third military air disaster in the space of three months.
“If these reports are true, then it is high time thorough investigations are carried out with a view to ascertaining the immediate and remote causes of these recurrent disasters and address the causes decisively and squarely.
“We cannot continue to lose our finest military and security officers to air disasters without treating the situation as a national emergency.
“CAN is genuinely concerned and suggests that while the nation still awaits the report of the cause or causes of this latest crash, adequate measures should be taken so as to avert this kind of tragedy both in our military and civil aviation in the future.”
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), stated through its National Secretary, Daramola Joseph, while condoling with the Prsident.
It added, “We once again call on the international community to come to the aid of our country to end the menace of insecurity occasioned by criminals manifesting as kidnappers, bandits and terrorists before they take over the country or turn it into a battle ground.
“We call on all Nigerians to join us in CAN on May 28 to 30 to pray to God in the attitude of mourning and soberness for the unprecedented shedding of innocent blood in our nation and to pray to God for his quick intervention in our situation so that normalcy might return.”
There is no new Chief of Army Staff yet.