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Chief of Army Staff, 3 Generals, 2 Majors, 5 others died in crash ~ DHQ (see names)

By Odira Nwachukwu

The Defence Headquarters on Friday confirmed the killing of the Chief of Army Staff LT Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, three Major Generals, two Majors, two Sergeants, two Flight Lieutenants and one ACM, in the air crash that happened at the Kaduna International Airport on Friday May 21, 2021.

In a statement signed by DHQ Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General, Onyema Nwachukwu, the DHQ claimed that the Nigerian Air Force Beachcraft 350 aircraft crashed at the Kaduna International Airport as a result of bad weather.

In the statement  titled, ‘Armed Forces Of Nigeria Loses Chief Of Army Staff And Ten Others In Air Mishap’.

Gen Nwachukwu said, “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.”

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.

The DHQ Acting Director Defence Information chief, said the sacrifices of our departed heroes will not be in vain.

“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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Attahiru was appointed Chief of Army Staff on January 26, 2021, by President Mohammed Buhari to succeed Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai. He was 54.

The Nigerian Armed Forces has in the last three months lost about 20 officers and men in three different crashes involving Nigerian Air Force jets.

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On Sunday, February 21, 2021, seven NAF officers died onboard a Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft when the jet crashed in Abuja shortly after take-off for a surveillance mission to Niger State in the ongoing war against Boko Haram.

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.

See the list of officers who died alongside the Chief of Army Staff in the crash of Friday May 21, 2021.

LT Gen Ibrahim Attahiru.
Brig Gen MI Abdulkadir.
Brig Gen Olayinka.
Brig Gen Kuliya.
Maj LA Hayat.
Maj Hamza.
SGT Umar.

Crew members

FLT LT TO Asaniyi
FLT LT AA Olufade.
SGT Adesina.
ACM Oyedepo.
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