Condolences poured in torrents yesterday for the family, friends and relations of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 other officers who died in a military plane that crashed in Kaduna on Friday.
Governors, National Assembly members and the United States of America (US) were among the groups, individuals and countries that paid tributes to the COAS and other deceased military officers.
In a tweet yesterday, the U.S Mission in Nigeria described the death of the soldiers as a tragic loss.
“The death of the Chief of @HQNigerianArmy Staff, Lt. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, is a tremendous loss to Nigeria and his loved ones,” the US mission said.
It added: “During this difficult time across Nigeria when security and peace is so needed, we offer our deepest sympathy to the family of General Attahiru and to the families of all those who perished,” while the British High Commissioner in Abuja, Catriona Laing, expressed shock and sadness over the ‘terrible news.’
She said: “Profoundly shocked & saddened by this terrible news. Our deepest condolences to the family & friends of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and all who so tragically lost their lives. I have sent condolence messages to @CDS_Nig Chief of Staff to @MBuhari.”
Attahiru, others gave their lives for Nigeria’s unity, security -Lawan
Senate President Ahmad Lawan said: “This incident is saddening, coming at a time there is a fresh momentum in the nation’s war against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes.
“The Chief of Army Staff and the other officers gave their lives for the security and unity of Nigeria and will be remembered as heroes in the history of the country.
He commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari and the bereaved families over the tragic incident and wished the departed souls eternal peace.
Reps: COAS had well thought our plan to end insurgency
The House of Representatives said the late Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru had a good plan on how to defeat Boko Haram and bring other security threats under control.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Army, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, said in a statement that it was unfortunate that Lt-Gen. Attahiru did not live to see to the successful execution of his counter-terrorism strategies.
On his part, Chairman of the House Committee on Air Force, Hon. Shehu Koko, said “the news of the crash is still a shock to me as I am aware of his (Attahiru’s) hard work and tour to states across the federation in a bid to find a lasting solution to the security challenges facing the country.
“It is unfortunate that this is coming at a time when the country’s service chiefs are doing everything possible to win the war against insurgency in Nigeria.
“This is painful and shocking, as I condole with President Muhammadu Buhari, the military, Nigerian Army and Air Force.
Koko said he was not unmindful of their dedication and gallant effort to secure the country, tasking them not to relent in their fight against insurgency in Nigeria.
Defence minister Magashi mourns
Defence Minister Bashir Magashi said the death of Attahiru and the others came as a rude shock, coming barely four months of the late COAS in the saddle.
Magashi, a retired major general, described Attahiru as a gallant, dogged, disciplined and dedicated senior officer who died in the line of duty to his fatherland.
He recalled his 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).ADVERTISEMENT
He said these dedicated services culminated in his elevation to the enviable three star status as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) in January.
Attahiru, others were worthy, dedicated soldiers, says Govs’ forum
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) said Attahiru, in particular, was as an exemplary soldier whose zeal, dedication and professionalism inspired his men in the ongoing war against terrorism and to secure the peace and stability of the nation.
“Already, all well-meaning Nigerians are enjoying a renewed confidence in the army while the soldiers themselves are showing appreciation for their leaderships’ encouraging impetus in boosting their morale on the battlefields,” Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the forum and governor of Ekiti State, said.
He said all the deceased persons were “worthy and dedicated soldiers who devotedly fought for our country on the battlefield.”
He said the NGF members “will miss the gallant soldiers.’’
PDP govs: Security agencies must redouble efforts to vanquish insecurity as tribute to the dead
Governors elected on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenged the security agencies to “redouble their efforts to vanquish insecurity in Nigeria as a fitting tribute to the departed army chief, as we pledge our continued support to the Nigerian Armed Forces and security agencies.”
The PDP governors, in a statement by their chairman, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, said: “It is most painful that this tragedy is coming at a time the Army Chief is leading the war against insecurity in the land, having just recently taken command of the Nigerian Army.
“General Attahiru served the nation with dedication, skill, gallantry and total commitment, employing his long years of experience and expertise in the service of our fatherland.”
Dutiful, committed soldier, says Sanwo-Olu
On his part, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State said: “Lt-Gen. Attahiru was a dutiful and committed soldier who served Nigeria passionately.
“On behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Nigerian Army and families, friends and associates of the late Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other officers involved in the air crash.
“The late Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru will be sorely missed by Nigerians, especially this period when the country is intensifying the fight against insurgency.”
Fayemi: It’s a national tragedy
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State described last Friday as a black day for Nigeria on account of the plane crash and loss of lives.
Fayemi said the late Attahiru brought in a fresh hope in the fight against insecurity and insurgency in the country.
He added that the determination of the COAS emboldened military personnel and spurred them to reclaim some territories hitherto lost to terrorists.
Fayemi said he was not surprised at the feat recorded by Attahiru within his short stint as COAS, noting that the deceased had earlier proven his worth in previous assignments, especially as the Commander of Operation Lafia Dole in the North East.
Nigeria lost a brilliant officer – Akeredolu
Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State said Attahiru displayed his worth and gave his best within the short time he served as Chief of Army Staff.
His words: “The late general displayed vigour and total commitment to the security of the nation.
“He died serving his fatherland with great passion.
“The deaths are huge losses.”
Gombe gov: COAS demonstrated courage
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State said the accident came at a time the military and other security forces were intensifying efforts to combat terrorism, banditry and other security challenges bedeviling the country.
He described the late Chief of Army staff as a gallant officer and fine gentleman who demonstrated courage and exemplary leadership while discharging his duties.
The governor noted that the late army helmsman was at the forefront since assuming office in leading the fight against insurgency, banditry and other forms of threats with renewed vigour to bring enduring peace to the troubled parts of the country and defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
He was a remarkable officer –Gov Sule
Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule said his encounter with the late Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru in the course of finding solution to the security challenges in Nasarawa State was remarkable.
Sule, in a condolence message in Lafia yesterday, said the late COAS was a remarkable officer who was dedicated to the service of Nigeria.
He prayed that “Allah in his merciful ways will grant his soul and those of his colleagues rest.”
It’s monumental loss, says Ayade
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State said: “As a state, we are pained by the tragic loss of this thoroughbred officer.
“General Attahiru’s death has robbed Nigeria of a dedicated and gallant officer who died when his service to the nation was most needed.
“Cross River has lost a friend, a son and a thoroughbred officer who distinguished himself professionally while in Calabar as a Brigade Commander of 13th Brigade.
“We are indeed pained that General Attahiru had to leave us in this manner, but as a people of faith, we cannot question God. We can only pray for the peaceful repose of his soul.”
Don’t mourn victims like unbelievers, Oyetola urges Nigerians
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State asked Nigerians not to mourn the victims of the Kaduna plane crash as unbelievers.
He said: “The late COAS was a brave, assertive and distinguished army general who gave his best to his country by leading the war against insurgency in the North East and banditry in other parts of the country from the front.
“For me, the death of the COAS was shocking and devastating.
“But as we mourn, I urge us all not to mourn like unbelievers who don’t believe in the existence of God and life after death.
“Both Islam and Christianity preach that no leaf can fall from a tree without the knowledge of the Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth, the knower and seer of all things long before they were planned and before they happened.
“Let’s mourn like Muslims and Christians who know God and pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased while praying God to grant the families they left behind and us all the courage and fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.”
Uzodinma: Attahiru showed signs of capacity to deal with siring insecurity
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State said from the day he was appointed COAS on January 26, 2021, Attahiru showed signs of capacity to deal with the rising cases of insecurity in different parts of the country.
The governor described the day the ill-fated plane crashed as dark Friday, noting that Lt-Gen Attahiru’s career trajectory indicated that of an officer who was prepared to give his best to the country that also gave him the opportunity to be the best he could as a professional soldier.
Governor Uzodimma regretted that Lt-Gen Attahiru’s life and those of his colleagues were cut short in such painful manner when their services were badly needed. He urged Nigerians to uphold the families they left behind in prayers.
Attahiru had clear vision to end insurgency, says Wike
For Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, the late Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru had a clear vision and strategy to end insurgency in the country.
Wike described the tragic death of Attahiru and other military personnel in the plane crash that occurred in Kaduna on Friday as a colossal loss to the nation.
The governor said he was saddened by the incident and recalled his encounter with the CDS on March 23.
Wike, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said the CDS visited the Government House, Port Harcourt and with clarity articulated his vision and strategy to end insurgency in the country.
He expressed his condolences to the Nigerian Armed Forces and the families of the deceased officers who in their lifetime served the nation meritoriously.
Fintiri: Victims left too soon
Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State wished the victims had lived longer.
Nigeria, according to him, “will never forget your services and will always honour you.”
He said: “These soldiers who have given their lives in service to protect the nation were taken too soon. Their memory would endure through the life of our nation.
“It was love for country that inspired these fallen heroes to put on the uniform and join the greatest army Africa has ever known.”
We’re heartbroken in Yobe, says Buni
Governor Mai Mala-Buni of Yobe State said the death of Attahiru and others in the plane crash has left the people of the state heartbroken.
He urged the army to rededicate themselves to subdue the security challenges as a mark of honour and respect to the deceased Chief of Army Staff and the other fallen officers.
The governor prayed God to grant the souls of the deceased officers eternal rest and give their families the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses.
Nigeria will miss Attahiru’s patriotism –Marwa
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig-Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd), said: “The nation will miss Gen. Attahiru and the other gallant officers who died in active service.
“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.
We’re grieved, says House of Reps minority caucus
House of Representatives Minority leader Ndudi Elumelu, said: “The Minority caucus is grief-stricken by this huge tragedy which has befallen our dear nation, and we demand a full scale investigation into the unfortunate incident.
“Our caucus calls for a system wide investigation into the cause of the crash as well as the last two crashes of our military planes which also led to the loss of lives of our gallant and promising officers.
“As representatives of the people, we stand with the Army, the entire military as well as the families of the Chief of Army Staff and others that lost their lives in the crash.
“We also stand with other gallant officers and men who have paid the supreme price in service to secure our nation.
“Our caucus prays to God to console them at this hour of grief.”
Umahi wants crash probed
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State asked the federal government to probe the circumstances surrounding the plane crash.
He said: “We are saddened by the unhealthy news of the air crash leading to the death of Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff and other crew members onboard on Friday.
“The development is not only shocking but also a national disaster of monumental and colossal loss.
“While we urge the Federal Government to immediately commence investigation into the matter, we pray God to grant the departed rest in his bosom.”
Ganduje: I’m profoundly pained
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State said he was “profoundly pained to hear the plane crash with precious lives lost.”
He said: “Our thought and prayers are with Mr. President, the military and families of the deceased. We stand by you on this grave tragedy and comfort you and all who mourn the departed souls.
“The unfortunate incident has come at a time Nigeria is facing many security challenges. However, I hope the sacrifices of these nationalists would not be in vain.
“While I join you in taking solace in the fact that the gallant officers passed away contributing to the development of this great nation, I pray Almighty Allah in His infinite mercy to grant their souls Aljannah Firdausi, the family, the military, friends and associates to bear the loss with the spirit of acquiescence to Allah’s will.”
May Allah spare Nigeria more plane crashes —Kwara gov
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State prayed that Allah might spare Nigeria and the rest of the world a reoccurrence of such calamities in the future.
He prayed for the repose of the souls of “these fine officers” and expressed the hope that the Federal Government would leave no stone unturned to unravel the “causes of the devastating air accident with a view to preventing such occurrence in the future.”
Death of COAS setback for fight against insurgency –Ortom
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State said the death of Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and others in a plane crash was shocking and painful.
He said it was also a setback for the fight against insecurity in the country.
He noted that the late Chief of Army Staff demonstrated commitment to tackling the wave of insecurity since he assumed of office earlier this year.
Nigeria has lost well educated officers, says Olawepo -Hashim
Former presidential candidate Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim yesterday described the death of Attahiru as a monumental loss to the Nigeria’s Armed Forces.
He described Attahiru as a well educated officer and fearless military commander who had raised the morale and fighting spirit of troops within the few months he held the fort as the Army chief.
Olawepo-Hashim said in a statement that the outpouring of emotion from across Nigeria over the death of General Attahiru and other officers who lost their lives in the crashed Beechcraft King Air 350 underscored the unity among the people
He noted that the nation was robbed of an officer who strove within his three months in office to secure Nigeria against insurgency and other threats to national security.
Olawepo-Hashim recalled that the late Attahiru had the unique privilege of having commanded with distinction and honour all through the chains of command in the Nigerian Army, and was thoroughly educated, which he said stood him out as one the finest officers Nigeria has ever had.