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Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, 10 other officers buried in Abuja

The remains of late Nigeria's Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 other officers who died in a…

The remains of late Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 other officers who died in a plane crash were on Saturday buried at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja.The officers died in a plane crash on Friday night at the Kaduna International Airport.

The remains of the officers were taken to the National Mosque and the Nigerian Air Force Protestant Church, which were venues of prayers for the repose of their souls according to their faith.

Before the interment, a moment of silence was observed after which the fallen officers were honoured with a 21-gun salute.

Some of the dignitaries at the burial ceremony included the Minister of Defence, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari had on Friday said that he was sad and sorrowful over the air crash that claimed the lives of the 11 officers.

“President Muhammadu Buhari is deeply saddened over the air crash that claimed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and other military officers,” a statement signed by presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said.

President Buhari described the military officers as “heroes who paid the ultimate price for peace and security in the land.”

He also noted that the crash “is one mortal blow to our underbelly, at a time our armed forces are poised to end the security challenges facing the country.”

President Buhari pledged that the departed would not die in vain.

In a condolence message, the United States Mission in Nigeria in a tweet described the incident as a tragic loss and assured that “in spite of this devastating loss, @USinNigeria remains confident that @DefenceInfoNG leaders will continue to strive toward peace and security for all Nigerians.”

The US Mission also offered their deepest sympathy to the families of the deceased.

“We join Nigerians in mourning the tragic loss of life from today’s plane crash. The death of the Chief of @HQNigerianArmy Staff, Lt. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru is a tremendous loss to Nigeria and his loved ones.

“During this difficult time across Nigeria when security and peace is so needed, we offer our deepest sympathy to the family of General Attahiru and to the families of all those who perished,” local media reports quoted the Mission as saying.

The United Kingdom has also offered its condolences over the death of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others in a plane crash in Kaduna on Friday.

 “Profoundly shocked & saddened by this terrible news,” British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said in a tweet late on Friday.

“Our deepest condolences to the family & friends of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and all who so tragically lost their lives. I have sent condolence messages to @CDS_Nig Chief of Staff to @MBuhari,” the UK Mission said.

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