Tukur Buratai, the immediate past chief of army staff, has said that his successor, Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in an air crash on Friday, was on the verge of making the country proud in the fight against insurgency.
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Attahiru and 10 other military officers died in a crash onboard a Nigerian Air Force aircraft near the Kaduna International Airport.
Their remains were buried at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja on Saturday.
Buratai, in a tribute, said his successor was making progress in the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts when his life was cut short.
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The former COAS, who is now an ambassador-designate, condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari, the military and the nation over the tragic incident.
He said the tragic incident robbed Nigeria of gallant officers
“He was on the verge of making the nation proud in the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts when this tragedy occurred,” Buratai said.
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“I do not doubt his ability as he had served under me in various capacities and was well-grounded for the job with active support and collaboration of his colleagues.
“I was deeply shocked and saddened by the news of the passing away of my immediate successor, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru; the Acting Chief of Military Intelligence, Acting Provost Marshal (Army), his Chief of Staff, the Aide-de-Camp and the Acting Deputy Director Finance in the office of the COAS, his Orderly, as well as the pilots and crew in an air crash on May 21 at Kaduna Airport.
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“I would like to, on behalf of my family, reiterate my deepest sympathy and condolences to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Federal Republic of Nigeria, the families of the deceased, the Honourable Minister of Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Air Staff, gallant officers, soldiers and airmen of the Armed Forces of Nigeria over the passing away of these courageous, loyal and patriotic Nigerians in line of duty.”
He urged the armed forces not relent and consolidate on the gains made in the various military operations.