Buhari: Gen Attahiru, Other Officers’ Death in Plane Crash Has Compounded Nigeria’s Problems
By Deji Elumoye
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said the death of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 other military officers and men in Friday’s plane crash in Kaduna has compounded the nation’s problems.
The President who spoke at the State House, Abuja while receiving a delegation from the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) that paid him a condolence visit over the death of 11 military officers and men in the plane crash, expressed concern over the loss of officers at a time the country was battling myriad of security problems.
President Buhari told the NGF delegation led by the Chairman and Governor of Ekiti state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, that only God knew why the plane crash happened and expressed resolve to continue to work hard hoping that God would provide the enablement to deal with the challenges.
His words: “This is a situation that only God knows when it will happen and it happened at a time when the security situation in the country is a fundamental issue.
“And to lose choice officers has increased our problem but we know what we are in for and we will continue to work hard and pray hard so that God will give us the power to appreciate and apply ourselves to the problem.
“The people who elected us, they know the promises we made within the time…the circumstances which we find ourselves…we will keep on trying and continue to do our best.”
Earlier in his speech, Governor Fayemi commiserated with the administration over the death of the military officers and men, stressing that the incident was deeply felt by the President.
He recalled that when governors canvassed for the change of service chiefs, the President heeded, adding that the impact of the action was already being felt.
While emphasizing that the death of the officers was a big blow, Fayemi said the war against insecurity must be won.
He said: “We’ve read your statement and this delegation of governors consider it a duty and as part of our obligation as your representatives to commiserate with you over the loss of your gallant officers. We know it is an event that has touched you. When we mentioned the necessity for a change of service chiefs, you were determined to get the best set of people, you gave your assurance and the military was beginning to feel the impact. We know that this is a major blow and you are unrelenting in your quest, commitment to ensure peace and security in our country.
“It’s unfortunate the losses we have suffered. We only pray God gives both the families and the country the fortitude to bear the loss, pray that God gives our country greater resolve to continue on the path that the late COAS toed. For us we must defeat banditry, insurgency and criminality. That’s the mandate you gave them. This should not lead to any retreat or surrender on our part.
“As you have promised, we know that our country will do everything to ensure that the administration will do all to take care of the families of the departed officers. It’s an indication of how protected the active officers would be.”
The NGF delegation include Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) National Caretaker Committee and Yobe state governor, Mai Mala Buni, and his Niger state counterpart, Sani Bello.