Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said the best way for the military and the country in general to honour Ibrahim Attahiru, the late Chief of Army Staff, and the 10 other military personnel who died in a plane crash in Kaduna on Friday is to achieve a resounding victory against terrorism.
Tinubu said this while paying tribute to the late army chief and the fallen military personnel in a statement on Saturday.
The former two-term governor of Lagos State praised the military personnel for their sacrifice to the nation while alive.
The statement read: “The death of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 others in an air mishap in Kaduna on Friday is a tragic,unspeakable loss for the nation.
“COAS Lt. Gen. Attahiru and the others were stalwarts and brave soldiers who had dedicated their careers, and now their very lives, in the service of this nation and toward the realization of the noble aspirations this nation represents.
“COAS Attahiru had a most distinguished career. The army and the nation will miss his excellent character and fine leadership at this moment when we are fighting terrorism or banditry in many parts of the nation.
“Lt. Gen. Attahiru, just like the others involved in this tragic incident, served his country with zeal and vigour. He was known as a soldier’s soldier.
“Their untimely and sad departure hurts. However, we owe it to them and to the nation to gather our strength and fortitude. We must gird ourselves that we finish the job to which they dedicated and gave their lives.
“Let us remember these brave patriots not with our tears but by achieving victory over the terrorism and violence that seek to rob our nation of its finest destiny. Let this unfortunate accident not deter us but spur us and our valiant military to continue to defend this land from violence and evil.
“We owe them a debt a gratitude that we can never truly repay except by defeating the violent challenges that now confront us.
“I pray for a repose of the souls of these men and also prays that God grant the families of these brave officers the fortitude to bear this loss.
“This tragedy reminds us all, once again, of the great patriotism of the brave men and officers who put their lives at risk in defence of our fatherland. Let us recommit ourselves to appreciating, supporting and encouraging them at all times.”
Asides from the late Attahiru, the others who died in the crash were Brigadier-General M.I. Abdulkadir (Chief of Staff to COAS), Brigadier-General Olatunji Olayinka (Provost Marshall of Army), Brigadier-General Abdulrahman Kuliya (Chief of Military Intelligence), Major L.A. Hayat (the aide-de-camp to the COAS), Major Hamza and Sergeant Umar.
The crew members of the ill-fated aircraft are Flight Lieutenant Taiwo Olufemi Asaniyi (the pilot), Flight Lieutenant Alfred Ayodeji Olufade (co-pilot), Sergeant Opeyemi Adesina and ACM Oyedepo.