Before the Soul of Gen. Attahiru and 10 others rest in Peace
By Gwiyi Solomon.
In trying to scribble a few words together, following the recent death of the chief of army staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and other top10 military officers who died in military plane crash in Kaduna yesterday, it is agonizing to recall that military plane crashes in this clime is fast becoming a recurring decimal.
It is both a national tragedy and embarrassment put together that the federation’s armoury and intelligence house (as they are known) cannot boast of a healthy, reliable and trusted aircraft in its kitty, for the daunting task of carrying out its onerous and avowed responsibility of ensuring safety of Nigeria and Nigerians.
A quick look at military plane crashes in Nigeria in the recent time will reveal to this reader that in September, 2006, over twelve Nigerian military personnel, mostly high-ranking officers, onboard an air-force Dornier 228 aircraft, were killed, forcing then President Olusegun Obasanjo to rush home early from an IMF meeting in Singapore. The plane was conveying senior officers from the capital Abuja to a military meeting in southeastern Cross River state. But could not accomplish that trip.
Again, in March 15, 2008, a Crash of a Beechcraft 1900D in Nigeria killed 3; while in March 12, 2010 at 1200 hours, another Crash of an Aeritalia G.222, operated by Air-Force occured in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
In the same vein, in Aug 29, 2015, another Crash of a Dornier DO228-212, operated by the Nigerian Air-Force occured in Kaduna, killing 7 onboard; just as same occurrence repeated itself when a Beechcraft 350 Super King Air in Abuja, operated by the same Nigerian Air-Force, killed another 7.
This is in addition to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s survival of a helicopter crash-landing in Kabba, Kogi State in February 2019, when the VP, was on a tour of the state, as part of his Next Level engagements.
The above National incidences, where our finesses had lost their lives, with their families rendered fatherless, call for thorough inquest into the health and maintenance culture of air caft operated by the Nigerian military, especially as these soldiers are currently locked in a vicious battle with security challenges, left, right, front and back.
These untoward tragic happenings around the Nation’s military, especially as it confronts the Herculean task of staving of threats from bandits and Boko Haram opens up the federation that prides itself as strength of Africa for ridicul.
Suffice it to say, that the military anywhere in the world is known for its best practices, thoroughness and depth in carefulness – ours shouldn’t be different as the soul of Gen. Attahiru and his Co. Sojourners whose lives were cut short while on a National assignment can only rest in peace, if future occurrences are successfully and permanently averted.
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Gwiyi Solomon wrote from Enugu, Enugu State.