Abiodun OBA

Nigerians received with shock, the death of The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, on Friday.

The CoAS died in an air crash along with some aides while on an official trip to Kaduna State Friday evening.

A top military officer at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja initially confirmed the death of the General and other aides.

The military plane was said to have crashed at the runway of the Kaduna Airport around 6:00 p.m. during the heavy downpour.

According to locals, the I’ll fated plane had exploded and got burnt completely when it touched the ground. 

“All the crew members and passengers died in the crash,” a source at the airport told journalists in Kaduna. 

According to the source ” the crew lost control of the aircraft due to sudden change of weather before the evening rain in Kaduna.”

Meanwhile, reactions have started pouring in on the crash.

Friday night, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed shock over the air crash that claimed the lives of Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and other military officers. 

President Muhammadu Buhari who expressed sadness in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina condoled with families of the deceased, the military, and Nigerians in general.

The President  described them as “heroes who paid the ultimate price for peace and security in the land.” Buhari addeed that 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.”

He pledged that they would not die in vain.

General Attahiru who succeeded Lt. General Tukur Buratai as Chief of Army Staff assumed office earlier this year along with other service Chiefs.

With this crash, the Nigerian military has recorded no fewer than three air crashes this year.

Attahiru was appointed Chief of Army Staff on January 26, 2021.

Born on 10th August 1966 in Doka, Kaduna North Local Government Area, Kaduna State, he graduated from the Nigerian Defence Academy.

Attahiru commenced cadets training in January 1984 and was commissioned into the rank of Second Lieutenant in December 1986 as an Infantry Officer.

He holds a Masters degree in Strategic Management and Policy Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy.

General Attahiru had held several appointments on the staff, instructional and in command during his military career and had a tour of duty with the United Nations in Sierra leone as a Military Observer, where he facilitated United Kingdom military engagement, Operation BARASS in September 2000.

He was an Operation Officer and later Company Commander in NIBATT 19 ECOMOG Operations in Liberia. 

General Attahiru had the unique privilege of having commanded with distinction all through the chain of command in the Nigerian Army.

Prominent among them are Commanding Officer 146 Battalion Nigerian Army (Operation HARMONY IV) in the Bakassi Peninsula, Commander 13 Brigade Nigerian Army (Operation PULO SHIELD), General Officer Commanding 82 Division Nigerian Army. 

He was one-time Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE. Unconfirmed list of officers and crew in the ill-fated flight :

  1. LT GEN I ATTAHIRU – COAS 
  1. BRIG GEN MI ABDULKADIR – Chief of Staff to Army Chief 
  2. BRIG GEN OLAYINKA – Acting Provost Marshal, Nigerian Army 
  3. BRIG GEN KULIYA – Acting Chief of Military Intelligence 
  4. MAJ LA HAYAT – ADC to COAS   READ ALSO Buhari expresses shock over Gen Attahiru’s death 
  5. MAJ HAMZA – Chief Security Officer (CSO) to COAS 
  6. SGT UMAR – Orderly to COAS Aircraft Crew 
  7. FLT LT TO ASANIYI – Pilot 
  8. FLT LT AA OLUFADE – Co-Pilot 
  9. SGT ADESINA. 

11. ACM OYEDEPO.

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