Buhari absent as Attahiru, 10 others buried in Abuja

Late chief of army staff Ibrahim Attahiru

The remains of chief of army staff Lt- Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other military officers, who died in the ill-fated crashed NAF aircraft in Kaduna Friday, have been buried in Abuja.

Family members, friends, colleagues and sympathisers wept uncontrollably as the deceased were laid to rest on Saturday at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja.

The interment followed funeral services at the National Mosque and Nigerian Air Force Protestant Church, after the bodies were received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who recently returned from France, was represented by the minister of defence Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd.) at the funeral.

Buhari said the late army chief was a dedicated and committed officer who died when his services were mostly needed.

“These were absolute gentlemen and were one of the most disciplined officers and men who sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation and they will never be forgotten,” he said.

Chief of defence staff Gen. Lucky Irabor said the demise of the late army chief was a monumental loss to the armed forces and Nigeria in general.

He disclosed that the Attahiru was on his way to the Depot Nigerian Army Zaria for the passing out parade of regular recruits slated for today before the sad incident happened.

In attendance at the funeral were the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III; Senate President Ahmed Lawan; governors of Borno, Kaduna, Kebbi and Yobe as well as other service chiefs.

Buhari’s chief of staff Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and the secretary to the government of the federation Boss Mustapha also attended the funeral.