Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and the chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume, have described the death of the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, and other military officers killed in an air crash on Friday while on official trip to Kaduna as a national tragedy of immense proportion that has thrown the entire nation into mourning.
Lawan, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, however, posited that the Army Chief died a worthy hero.
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Chief of Defence Staff and the entire members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria over this tragedy.
“This incident is saddening, coming at a time there is a fresh momentum in the nation’s war against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes.
“The Chief of Army Staff and the other officers gave their lives for the security and unity of Nigeria and will be remembered as heroes in the history of the country.
“I commiserate with the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari and the families of the deceased over the tragic incident and wish the departed souls eternal peace,” the Senate President said.
In his own, Ekweremadu, in a statement signed by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu, described them as patriots, who gave their best to fatherland, adding that the deaths were a heavy loss to the nation.
“What a dark Friday it was for the entire nation. The late Lieutenant General Attahiru was a man of high professional pedigree and his experience, leadership qualities, and patriotism stood him out. This is, therefore, a grievous loss to the entire nation.
“My heart goes out to his family and the families of other deceased compatriots, the Nigerian Army, the armed forces, and the President and Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari”, the lawmaker said.
He prayed God to grant the souls of the departed mercy and eternal repose, and equally called on the Federal Government to immortalise them as gallant soldiers and patriots, who served their fatherland till their last breaths.
Also, Ndume, in a statement personally signed by him on Saturday, lamented that the late gallant General died at a time when the nation was looking up to him to effectively provide the necessary leadership that would eliminate insurgency and other forms of criminality in Nigeria.
The lawmaker, who is also the Senator representing Borno South District, described Attahiru and members of his team as a highly dedicated and patriotic Nigerians who have already commenced the implementation of strategies that the Nigerian Army needed to tackle external and internal forces that are threatening the nation’s peace.
Ndume prayed Allah to grant eternal salvation for all that lost their lives in the air mishap as well as fortitude for their family members to bear the loss
He said, “No doubt, this is a difficult loss for the entire Armed Forces at this crucial time when we are confronted by insecurity in all parts of the country.
“I pray that Almighty Allah (SWT) will grant the families and the Armed Forces the strength and fortitude to bear the painful loss. Amen.”
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