The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has called for the grounding of all military aircraft in the country to ascertain their airworthiness.
Mr Solomon Adodo, President of NYCN, made the demand following the incessant crashing of the country’s military aircraft in the last three months.
He said that the call was necessary to give room for a thorough investigation into the crash that killed the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other officers.
Adodo in condolence letters to the Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Air Staff on the death of COAS and 10 others said the crashes were affecting the war on terror.
It would be recalled that the COAS and other top military officers as well as airforce pilots died on Friday after the military aircraft they were travelling in, crashed in Kaduna State.
Adodo noted that the spate of military plane crashes in the country had become worrisome and that urgent steps must be taken to forestall further occurrence.
“The NYCN received with shock the news of the plane crash that claimed the life of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 others, who were on an official assignment in Kaduna State to attend the passing out parade at the Nigerian Army Depot in Zaria.
“We sincerely condole with the families of our fallen heroes and pray to God to grant them strength to bear the loss; we also pray God to grant the should of the dead officer and airforce personnel eternal rest.
“Over 20 military officers have lost their lives in three crashes across the country in the last three months, and this is totally unacceptable to the youth,” he said.
He recalled that on Feb. 21, a Minna-bound military jet crashed, killing all 7 people on board; in less than six weeks, particularly on April 2, another Alpha Light Attack Jet went missing in the air, and later reported crashed.
“And, in another seven weeks, May 21, another crash of a military aircraft occurred and this time killing the Chief of Army Staff and other senior officers.
“No military anywhere in the world should pretend that it is okay to record plane crashes on bi-monthly bases, and no country or people can accept that.
“We, therefore, demand the result of earlier investigations published and a military Committee of Enquiry empanelled to investigate the incessant crashes,” Adodo said.
According to Adodo, the frequency of military aircraft crashes in the country has slowed down the fight against terrorism.
He regretted that major assets relevant to the prosecution of the war against terror were continuously coming in harm’s way.
“The morale of our soldiers is being dampened by these happenings. While this could be considered an act of nature, it is becoming worrisome.
“Pragmatic steps must therefore be taken to forestall further occurrences so as not to ridicule the war against terror.
“Recall too that, the country’s first female pilot Tolulope Arotile, that was very instrumental to the decimation of terrorist cells in the North East and North West suffered a similar fate in an Air Base that was presumably supposed to be a safe place for all persons talk more of military personnel.
“While mourning the COAS and other promising officers and others killed in their service to motherland, we urge the government not to give room for enemies and saboteurs of the war against terror to have the final laugh,” he said.(NAN)