The Nigerian Army has announced that the remains of the late Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and six other officers who died in a plane crash on Friday will be laid to rest today, May 22 at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja.
The New Diplomat had reported that Attahiru, alongside six military officers and four crew members lost their lives in a plane crash that occurred in Kaduna State at about 6pm, Friday, plunging the nation into an atmosphere of mourning.
Attahiru was among the new Service Chiefs recently appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in January.
The aircraft, with registration number 5N-R203, was billed to land at the Nigerian Airforce Base in the Mando area of Kaduna State, cashed after making a diversion to land at the Kaduna International Airport due to bad feather.
The Armed Forces of Nigeria had also stated that the crash might be partly attributed to bad weather in Kaduna, Friday, but said investigation is underway to unravel the remote cause of the tragic incident.
Asides the Army Chief, General Attahiru, checks by The New Diplomat reveal the names of the 10 officers who were on board the ill-fated aircraft on Friday.
The names of the officers are; Brig Gen Abdulkadir, who is the principal general staff officer to the COAS; Brig Gen Olayinka; Brig Gen Kuliya, who is the directorate of military intelligence; Maj. Lawal Hayat, who is the Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to the COAS; Maj Hamza and SGT Umar.
The crew members are; FLT. LT. Asaniyi; FLT. LT. Alfred Olufade; SGT Adesanya and ACM Oyedepo.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army is set to give a ceremonial burial for the officers who died in the crash.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Director Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, on Saturday. According to the statement, the late officers will be buried after prayers at the National Mosque and National Christian Centre respectively.
The statement reads: “The Burial proceedings of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Late Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and 6 other senior officers who lost their lives in an air mishap in Kaduna is slated for today Saturday, 22 May 21.”
“Consequently, the interment for the late COAS and 6 other senior officers will take place at the National Military Cemetery, today by 1300hrs,“ the statement added.
The plane crash in Kaduna State makes it the third plane crash recorded by the NAF in 2021.
On March 31, a NAF Alpha jet went missing.
The NAF Alpha jet was on a routine operation mission against Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State when it went off military radar.
The two crew members who were on board of the jet disappeared and their whereabouts remains unknown as of press time.
Also, on February 21, a Beechcraft KingAir B350i NAF aircraft also crashed while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport after reporting engine failure en route Minna.
Seven crew members on board the jet died. The NAF was yet to make public the details of investigation into the incident.