Air Crash: Osinbajo, Mark, Omo-Agege Mourn Attahiru, Others
*Say they die as heroes
Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark and the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, have mourned the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other officers and men who lost their lives in the Kaduna air crash on Friday.
The trio in separate statements on Saturday described their death in service as reflecting their commitment to national service which has now made them heroes.
Osinbajo emphasised that the demise of the patriotic officers and men while in active service in the defense of our country reflects the depth of sacrifice nation’s military officers, men and women of the other ranks are often prepared to make.
The full statement of the Vice President:
“I received with great sadness the news of an air crash involving the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, and other officers of the Nigerian military yesterday.
“Their death while in active service in the defense of our country reflects the depth of sacrifice our military officers, men and women of the other ranks are often prepared to make. We honour the service of the Army Chief and all those involved in this unfortunate accident even as we continue to demonstrate our profound appreciation to all in our military services and in harm’s way. The gallantry of these heroes would always be remembered”.
In his condolence message, Senator Mark
described the fallen officers as gallant, patriotic and heroes who were committed to the Defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as the restoration of peace, unity and security of the nation.
Mark, who is a retired Army Brigadier-General lamented that the tragedy is not only heartbreaking but one too many while noting that the demise of the COAS and others at this time when their services were needed to rid the nation of security challenges is a huge set back.
He however told the Nigerian Armed Forces not to be deterred by the incident but rather be spurred towards winning the war against insurgency.
According to Mark, “the only way to immortalize the departed soldiers is to do all that is needed to win the war against insurgents and restore the citizens’ hope and confidence in the Armed Forces”.
The former Senate helmsman urged the Nigeria Airforce to subject their transport fleet to external safety audit under the civil/ military cooperation as recognized by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in order to unravel the immediate and remote causes of recent plane crashes.
This, he said, is necessary to prevent future occurrences.
On his part, Senator Omo-Agege described the death of General Attahiru as a personal loss to him just as it is to the bereaved families and the entire nation.
According to him, the tragic loss of the Army Chief and 10 others was a rude shock and a great loss to the military hierarchy.
Describing late COAS as a close friend, he recalled the late COAS’ passionate patriotism and how he enthusiastically congratulated him in January this year, following his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Omo-Agege described the late General as a friend and brother whose sense of duty and positive personal attributes deepen the sense of loss being felt by those who knew him.
The ranking Senator further stated:
“I feel deeply saddened by the loss of this great friend and exemplary Nigerian in whom President Muhammadu Buhari reposed so much trust and confidence about leading the gallant men and women of the Nigerian Army through the current challenges of insecurity towards making Nigeria a safer place for us all.
“I commiserate with members of the family of Lt. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru and all other affected officers. This is a deep pain borne of a very grievous loss.
“May God Almighty grant the souls of our gallant fallen ones eternal rest and may He grant members of their families the strength to recover from this irreparable loss and find comfort in the worthy legacies of patriotic service to the Federation.
“As we mourn and pay our last respects to him and the 10 other dutiful officers that we lost in the Kaduna plane crash yesterday, friends, families of the bereaved, the Nigerian military and the entire nation must resolve anew that our faith in God and expectations of overcoming myriads of challenges before us must be sustained”