Immediate past Chief of Army Staff and Ambassador Designate, Tukur Buratai, says the death of General Ibrahim Attahiru and other senior military officers came at a time successes were being made on counterinsurgency operations, urging the military to close ranks to preserve their legacy.
Mr Buratai in his tribute to the late Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru described the incident as tragic to all Nigerians and peace-loving people, adding that Mr Attahiru and the officers that died with him were top-level officers whose records of service were meritorious.
He said the unfortunate incident deeply saddens him as it robbed us of the services of the Chief of Army Staff who had left no one in doubt as regards his determination to succeed in the various military operations across the country.
“He was at the verge of making the nation proud in the counterinsurgency and counterterrorism efforts when this tragedy occurred. I do not doubt his ability as he had served under me in various capacities and was well grounded for the job with active support and collaboration of his colleagues.
“I was deeply shocked and saddened by the news of the passing away of my immediate successor, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, the Acting Chief of Military Intelligence, Acting Provost Marshal (Army), his Chief of Staff, the Aide-de-Camp and the Acting Deputy Director Finance in the office of the COAS, his Orderly, as well as the pilots and crew in an air crash on May 21 at Kaduna Airport,” he said.
Mr Buratai however, urged the armed forces to close ranks and make sure that the legacy of the officers lives on by consolidating on the gains made in the various operations.
According to him, they gave their lives in the line of duty and patriotic service to the nation.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of these great heroes. May the Almighty Allah grant them eternal rest,” he said.