Precisely five months after his tragic death, Nigeria’s late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru has been posthumously honored with a PhD in Military Science by the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, the nation’s foremost military university,.
It would be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff died alongside 10 others in a plane crash at the Kaduna International Airport in May, 2021.
The award was received by his widow, Mrs. Fate Attahiru during the Convocation Lecture in honour of 68 Regular Course Cadets and Postgraduate students of the NDA, Kaduna
Shortly after receiving the award which she dedicated to Nigeria’s fallen heroes, Mrs Attahiru said her husband while alive was guided by three principles – sense of purpose, self-confidence and fearlessness.
Speaking further, she described her husband as a combination of courage, loyalty, poise and gallantry personified.
She said, “he indeed was and remains an inspiration to all as he lived a very simple life focusing on three guiding principles which I would like to share with the graduands here today.
“The need to have a sense of purpose by aspiring for something that pulls you into the future, overcoming all challenges encountered on the way as you climb through the ladder in your careers as military officers.
“Self-confidence is essential in your careers to believe in yourselves by not neglecting the small daily disciplines, by doing your best in all you do no matter how little to develop yourselves to be persistent in your efforts not to quit.
“More importantly, to be fearless; he would have challenged the graduating cadets to be fearless and aspire to be the best by reaching the peak of their careers like he did.
“His, started like a dream, but for his fearlessness, drive and willingness to sacrifice his all for a country he so much loved, and above all his faith in God as the ultimate decider of fates of mortals made him achieve his dreams.
“So be fearless, dare to dream and chase your dreams.
“I would like to dedicate this award to the fallen heroes of the May 21 plane crash, my dearest husband, his committed team, all military personnel who sacrificed their today to secure our tomorrow and to the families they left behind who miss them dearly, for indeed as a widow I know first-hand what it means to lose a dear one while paying the supreme price for a nation.
“Finally, for the outpour of love and support from friends, family, the Nigerian Armed Forces, the COAS, Lt. Gen Farouk Yahaya, wives of the service chiefs, the entire Nigerians far and wide who shared in our grief and pain when the sad incident occurred in May, We thank you for your support means a lot to all the widows.
“Mrs Maryam Kuliya, Mrs Iman AbdulKadir, Mrs Toyin Olayinka, Mrs Hamza and Mrs Zeenah Hayat thank you all for being my pillar of strength.”