Abiodun OBA 

The Army has announced  funeral proceedings for the late Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Ibrahim Attahiru, and six other senior officers who died in plane crash on Friday.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Mohammed Yerima, said the late COAS and six other senior officers would be interred at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja by 1p.m on Saturday.

According to Yerima, the event would be preceded  with prayers at the National Mosque and National Christian Centre, Abuja by 10 a.m. respectively.

Since the sad and shocking incident, many Nigerians have been reacting.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a release Friday night by his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, condoled with families of the deceased, the military, and Nigerians in general, describing the late senior Army officers 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.”

The Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, described as a rude shock the death of Attahiru, barely four months in the saddle.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mohammad Abdulkadir, on Saturday in Abuja, Magashi condoled President Muhammadu Buhari, the military and the Nigerian Army in particular as well as his immediate family and Nigeria in general.

He described late Attahiru as a gallant, dogged, disciplined and dedicated senior officer who died in the line of duty to his fatherland.

Going memory lane, the minister  recalled the late COAS’s unblemished track records of service to the nation as Director Army Public Relations (DAPR), Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole and as General Officer Commanding, GOC.

Magashi said these dedicated services culminated in his elevation to the enviable three-star status as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) in January.

According to him, the emergence of Attahiru as army boss at such a critical time in the nation’s efforts at surmounting internal security challenges is symbolically strategic but impactful in the annals of the service.

“Although, the late General died when his service is needed most, his short but eventful tenure as the Chief of Army Staff and over three decades of dedicated, selfless and patriotic service will never be forgotten,” he said.

Magashi prayed Almighty Allah to forgive the deceased and to grant him Alijannat Firdaus as well as prayed God to grant the nation, the military constituency and his beloved family the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.

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