The Northern Governors Forum on Friday night expressed shock over the death of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, in a plane crash in Kaduna.
The Chairman of the Forum, Simon Lalong in a statement issued in Jos by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr. Makut Macham, described the victims of the air crash as patriots.
The army chief died alongside 10 other military officers and crew members in a Nigeria Air Force aircraft that crashed near the Kaduna International Airport on Friday evening.
The Plateau State governor said the forum was distressed over the death of Attahiru and his team, who died in the cause of advancing the security and peace of the country.
He said: “Today is another sad day in the history of the nation, as it has lost patriotic Nigerians who gave their lives to the defence of the territorial integrity of the country, and also ensuring that its citizens live in peace and security.
“Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru was a committed soldier whose passion for defending Nigeria was very clear throughout his military career even before his appointment as the Chief of Army Staff.
“Since his appointment, we have engaged him at the Northern Governors’ Forum and individually as governors, towards enhancing the security and safety of our states, region, and the nation at large.
“Within the few months he held sway, we have seen improvements and high resolve to bringing an end to insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, and other criminal activities.
“We have been working on consolidating this before this tragic incident that took his life and that of others working with him. We are highly shocked and pained.”
The governor, who condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Army, families of the deceased, and the entire Nigerian Armed Forces, said the incident was deeply regrettable.
He said the situation should not deter the Armed Forces from giving their best in the service of the nation.
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