Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staffs General Ibrahim Attahiru, has died in a plane crash.

Details of the incident are still sketchy but a military source told reporters that the incident happened in Kaduna on Friday.

In a statement, the Nigerian Air Force confirmed that there was an accident involving one of its aircraft in Kaduna but did not go into details.

“An air crash involving a @NigAirForce aircraft occurred this evening near the Kaduna International Airport. The immediate cause of the crash is still being ascertained. More details to follow soon,” read the statement signed by Edward Gabkwet, the force’s Director of Public Relations and Information.

A source said there were eight persons on board the aircraft.

Attahiru was appointed Chief of Army Staff on January 26, 2021.

Born on 10th August 1966 in Doka, Kaduna North Local Government Area, Kaduna State, he graduated from the Nigerian Defence Academy.

He commenced cadets training in January 1984 and was commissioned into the rank of Second Lieutenant in December 1986 as an Infantry Officer. He holds a Masters degree in Strategic Management and Policy Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy.

General Attahiru has held several appointments on the staff, instructional and in command during his military career. He had a tour of duty with the United Nations in Sierra leone as a Military Observer, where he facilitated United Kingdom military engagement, Operation BARASS in September 2000.

He was an Operation Officer and later Company Commander in NIBATT 19 ECOMOG Operations in Liberia. Also, he had the unique privilege of having commanded with distinction all through the chain of command in the Nigerian Army.

Prominent among these appointments are Commanding Officer 146 Battalion Nigerian Army (Operation HARMONY IV) in the Bakassi Peninsula, Commander 13 Brigade Nigerian Army (Operation PULO SHIELD), General Officer Commanding 82 Division Nigerian Army. He was one time Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

Troubled Nigerian military

The Nigerian military is stretched thin fighting Boko Haram on multiple fronts in the Northeast, criminal gangs locally known as bandits in the Middle belt, and secessionists in the Southwest and Southwest.

Investigation reveal that three Nigerian army planes have crashed within the last four months.

On 21 Feb, King Air 350 crashed near Abuja killing all 7 personnel on board.

On 31 Mar, NAF475 “went off the radar” with 2 crew members. Boko Haram claimed it shot down the jet but the military concluded the jet crashed due to engine failure.

Today, COAS Attahiru and senior officers confirmed dead in air crash.


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