The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, the deputy, Ovie Omo-Agege and the Chairman, Senate committee on Army have expressed deep sadness over the tragic death of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, and other military officers killed in an air crash on Friday while on official trip to Kaduna.
Lawan describes the tragedy as a national disaster of immense proportion that has thrown the entire nation into mourning.
A statement issued by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, the Senate president said: “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.”
Also, the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege described the death of Chief of Army Staff as a personal loss to him just as it is to the bereaved families and the entire nation.
Omo-Agege, in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday, said the tragic loss of the Army Chief and 10 others was a rude shock and a great loss to the military hierarchy.
Describing Lt.-Gen. Attahiru as a close friend, he recalled the late COAS’ passionate patriotism and how he enthusiastically congratulated him in January this year, following his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Omo-Agege in a statement signed by his media aide, Yomi Odunuga, he described the late General as a friend and brother whose sense of duty and positive personal attributes deepen the sense of loss being felt by those who knew him.
“I feel deeply saddened by the loss of this great friend and exemplary Nigerian in whom President Muhammadu Buhari reposed so much trust and confidence about leading the gallant men and women of the Nigerian Army through the current challenges of insecurity towards making Nigeria a safer place for us all.
“I commiserate with members of the family of Lt. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru and all other affected officers. This is a deep pain borne of a very grievous loss,” he said.
Also, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army who is also the Senator representing Borno South Senatorial District, Mohammed Ali Ndume, said he received the news of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 others, with shock.
The Senator 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.
He described Attahiru’s death as a national tragedy and that the army chief died a worthy hero.
“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,” Ndume added.