The CDS, in a statement signed by Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, acting director of Defence Information at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) urged all military personnel and their families to take heart and be condoled in the tragic loss.
The CDS also reassured all Nigerians of the commitment and loyalty of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to the Constitution and Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as it continues to carry out its responsibilities.
The statement read in part, “It is with a heavy heart that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) regrets to announce that this evening at about 1800 hours, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru in the company of his entourage, who was on an official trip from Abuja to Kaduna, were involved in an air mishap. The unfortunate incident occurred after landing at the Kaduna International Airport due to inclement weather.
“As we pray for the repose of the souls of our gallant and committed Chief of Army Staff and other personnel on board with him, the AFN solicits the support and understanding of all Nigerians in the face of this tragic incident. We wish to state that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains resolute in combatting the security challenges bedevilling our nation. The sacrifices of our dearly departed heroes will not be in vain.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army in a statement by its spokesperson Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima said the burial arrangements of the deceased will be communicated soon.
The United States Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria also joined in mourning the tragic loss of life from today’s plane crash.
“The death of the Chief of @HQNigerianArmy Staff, Lt. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru is a tremendous loss to Nigeria and his loved ones,” the Mission tweeted Friday night.