Buhari speaks to Attahiru's wife on phone after missing late Army chief's funeral

Buhari says Nigerians will continue to appreciate and support the efforts of the Armed Forces.

President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru the Chief of Army Staff in January 2021 [Presidency]

Attahiru and 10 other military officers were on board a military aircraft that crashed in Kaduna State on Friday, May 21, 2021.

All the victims were buried at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja, on Saturday, May 22, but President Buhari skipped the ceremony despite only being minutes away, a decision that drew public criticism.

The president described the late Attahiru as an outstanding soldier and an institution builder when he spoke on the phone to his wife on Sunday, May 23.

He hailed the sacrifices of the deceased military men and the Armed Forces in general, noting that Nigerians will continue to appreciate and support their efforts.

Speaking to Fati and the other grieving wives, Buhari said they should take solace in the appreciation of the sacrifices of their loved ones from all corners of the country.

The 78-year-old also noted directives has been handed down to the military to do everything to provide comfort and ease the hardships of the families of the deceased.

"Mrs Attahiru, on behalf of the rest of the families, thanked the President for the love and care he has shown to them," a statement by the president's spokesperson, Garba Shehu, noted.

The ill-fated aircraft crashed near the Kaduna International Airport on Friday evening after encountering problems landing at the military base due to bad weather.

Other military officers that died in the crash are Brigadier General M.I. Abdulkadir, Brigadier General Olayinka, Brigadier General Kuliya, Major L.A. Hayat, Major Hamza, and Sergeant Umar.

The aircraft crew members that also died are Flight Lieutenants T.O. Asaniyi and A.A. Olufade, and Sergeant Adesina, and ACM Oyedepo.

The crash is the third aircraft of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) that has crashed in the past three months.

Seven personnel were killed when a fighter jet crashed in Abuja on February 21 after reporting engine failure, and another one that went missing, with two personnel on board, on March 31 was presumed to have crashed.

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