The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, died in a plane crash in Kaduna on Friday.
This was confirmed in a tweet released on the official Twitter handle of Nigerian Army.
The tweet “The Nigerian Army regrets to announce the passing away of its Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru. The sad event occurred following an air crash in Kaduna which also claimed the lives of 10 other officers including the crew.
The COAS was enroute Kaduna from Abuja on Friday, 21 May, 2021 when the unfortunate incident happened.
Details of the sad incident and burial arrangements will be communicated soon.
The tweet was released by the Director Army Public Relations, Mohammed Yerima
Attahiru, who was appointed Chief of Army Staff on January 26, died alongside 10 others who were on board the aircraft with him.
The incident occurred at about 6pm while it was raining heavily.
The aircraft, with registration number 5N-R203, was billed to land at the Nigerian Airforce Base in the Mando area of Kaduna before it diverted and attempted to land at the Kaduna International Airport.
The officers were said to be on their way to Kaduna ahead of Saturday’s passing-out parade of soldiers from the Nigerian Army Depot in Zaria.
“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,” the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Edward Gabkwet, said in a statement.
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The Punch reports that an Aircraft Traffic Controller source told them that the NAF jet diverted from the military airport to the civil one due to weather, touched down but skidded off Runway 05 and went into flames.
Another military source said bad weather forced the pilot to divert the aircraft from the military airport to the civil airport.
The source said, “The crash was probably a result of the bad weather caused by heavy rain that the state witnessed on Friday.