The Christian Association of Nigeria has mourned the death of the Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other officers aboard the ill-fated military King Air 350 aircraft that crashed on Friday.
In a statement by its national secretary, Daramola Bade Joseph, the body said the military personnel paid the supreme price for the security of the nation by laying down their lives.
It urged the Federal Government to care for the dependants of the deceased so that they might be proud of the nation the late personnel served.
CAN also prayed that such a national tragedy will never occur again.
The statement read, “The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) commiserates with President Muhammadu Buhari, (GCFR), the military high command, the security chiefs, and the immediate and extended families of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru and other officers who were killed while on board of the ill-fated military King Air 350 aircraft that crashed on Friday, May 21, 2021, near Kaduna Airport.
“While our hearts are filled with sorrow for the supreme price they paid, we acknowledge with a sense of gratitude to them, their selfless services to all of us in the nation. They laid down their lives in order to keep our nation safe and secure from the aggression of terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements in our nation. We pray for Your Excellency and all the families affected by their painful exit, fortitude and comfort of the Holy Spirit to bear the loss. We pray that this type of national tragedy will never occur again.
“According to reports, Nigeria had four King Air 350 named NAF 201, NAF 202, NAF 203 and NAF 204. Sometime in February this year, NAF 201 crashed in Abuja and killed all the eight Air Force crewmen on board. We also reliably learnt that this was the third military air disaster in the space of three months.
“If these reports are true, then it is high time thorough investigations are carried out with a view to ascertaining the immediate and remote causes of these recurrent disasters and address the causes decisively and squarely. We cannot continue to lose our finest military and security officers to air disasters without treating the situation as a national emergency.
“CAN is genuinely concerned and suggests that while the nation still awaits the report of the cause or causes of this latest crash, adequate measures should be taken so as to avert this kind of tragedy both in our military and civil aviation in the future. We must ascertain that all military aircraft are fit to fly and that the training of the flight officers is excellent.
“We further plead that adequate care should be taken of the dependants of the deceased so that they might be proud eternally of the nation the deceased served.
“We once again call on the international community to come to the aid of our country to end the menace of insecurity occasioned by criminals manifesting as kidnappers, bandits and terrorists before they take over the country or turn it into a battleground.
“We call on all Nigerians to join us in CAN on May 28-30 to pray to God in the attitude of mourning and soberness for the unprecedented shedding of innocent blood in our nation and to pray to God for his quick intervention in our situation so that normalcy might return. We pray that evil will not overcome us in Nigeria and that Nigeria shall overcome all her challenges in Jesus’ name.”