Tributes galore as army buries Attahiru, others

Nigerians have continued to pay tributes to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.- Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other top military officers that died in an aircraft crash on Friday near Kaduna.

In a tribute, Mr Alhassan Yahya, Zone E Vice-President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Saturday that that Attahiru showed commitment towards ending insurgency and other criminal activities.

“I remember vividly he was with the troops in Maiduguri to boost their morale, especially those fighting insurgency and he attended to those who were injured; this is an officer with human heart,” he said.

Yahya stated that the loss of the officers was painful in view of the kind of experiences that these late officers had garnered which would have benefitted the country in its fight against insurgency.

Also, some residents of Gombe State called for the immortalisation of the late senior officers.

Auwal Ahmad, a journalist, said that Attahiru was a professional, who was committed to the welfare of his officers.

He urged the federal government and the Nigeria Armed Forces to immortalise the late COAS and all other senior military officers who died in the crash.

“Doing this will encourage the young officers and serve as a morale booster to troops fighting insecurity in all forms.

“The families they left behind should not be forgotten,’’ Ahmad appealed.

Mrs Esther Yakubu, a resident of Yelenguruza, Gombe, said that since the senior officers died serving Nigeria, government should immortalise them and take care of their wives and children

In Abuja, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, described as unfortunate and sad the death of Attahiru and others.

Tallen, in a statement, said the death of those who had paid the ultimate price in service to our motherland at this time when the nation was grappling with so many security challenges was unfortunate.

Speaking on behalf of the Nigerian women and children, the minister commiserated with the family and country over the “national disaster”.

Tallen prayed for the repose of the souls of Attahiru and other officers who lost their lives in the crash.

In his tribute, the Chairman, Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC), Rev. Samuel Ikpea, expressed shock and sadness over the death of the officers.

“We pray for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident and admonish the military to continue with the patriotic efforts to secure the country.

“Lt. Gen. Attahiru served Nigeria meritoriously, bringing his skill, experience and expertise to bear in prosecuting the war against terrorism in the country.

“He will always be remembered for his gallantry, patriotism, commitment, service and dedication to our fatherland,’’ Ikpea, chairman said.

He noted that Attahiru died at the time his services were needed most by Nigerians.

Also, former President of the Senate David Mark expressed shock and sadness over the death of Attahiru and other top military officers in the ill fated plane crash.

In a condolence statement, he
described the fallen officers as gallant, patriotic and heroes who were committed to the defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as the restoration of peace, unity and security of the nation.

He noted that the demise of the COAS and others at this time when their services were needed to rid the nation of security challenges “is a huge set back”.

He however told the Nigerian Armed Forces not to be deterred by the incident but rather be spurred towards winning the war against insurgency.

” The only way to immortalise the departed soldiers is to do all that is needed to win the war against insurgents and restore the citizens’ hope and confidence in the armed forces,” Mark said.(NAN)