The Defence Headquarters on Friday said bad weather was responsible for the crash of a Nigerian Air Force Beachcraft 350 aircraft at the Kaduna International Airport.
The crash claimed all 11 souls onboard including newly appointed Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru.
In a statement signed by DHQ Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General, Onyema Nwachukwu, the DHQ said the sacrifices of departed heroes will not be in vain.
The statement was titled, ‘Armed Forces Of Nigeria Loses Chief Of Army Staff And Ten Others In Air Mishap’.
It read, “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.
“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.
Meanwhile, in an invitation released by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, saud the burial of the Chief of Army Staff and six other senior military officers who died in the Beachcraft 350 aircraft that crashed at the Kaduna International Airport on Friday holds today in Abuja.
Yerima said they will be buried at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja.
The burial will be preceded by prayers that will hold simultaneously at the National Mosque and National Christian Centre, Abuja.
The invitation read, “The burial proceedings of the Chief of Army Staff, Late Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and six other senior officers who lost their lives in an air mishap in Kaduna is slated for today Saturday, May 22, 221.
“It will commence at the National Mosque and National Christian Centre, Abuja by 1000hrs respectively.
“Consequently, the internment for the late COAS and six other senior officers will take place at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja today by 1300hrs.”