June 14, 2021

Nigerian Chief of Army Staff Ibrahim Attahiru dies in military plane crash

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The immediate cause of the crash is still being ascertained.”

The Nigerian Chief of Army Staff Ibrahim Attahiru has died in a plane crash in Kaduna, Vanguard has learnt from military sources.

The incident occurred on Friday in Kaduna.

According to a statement by Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, Director of Public Relations and Information of the Nigerian Army has revealed that the immediate cause of the crash is still being ascertained.

“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.”


Akahan was a 30-year-old, who was appointed as Nigeria’s chief of army staff a couple of months before his death, in May, 1967.

It was the inception of the Nigerian civil war, Akahan, after a visit to the frontline in Nsukka, returned to his hometown in Gboko for a brief rest.

He then commenced the journey back to Makurdi, Benue state capital.

He had barely left his native land when the helicopter conveying him crashed.

He and two pilots in the aircraft did not survive the crash.


Alao died at the age of 32, just two years into service as Nigeria’s chief of air staff.

He showed promise and intent as he was one of the young officers who was capable of taking the wheel of the Nigerian Air Force from foreign hands and leading it successfully.

He died in active duty while taking a solo flight in an L-29 aircraft. He encountered bad weather somewhere around Benin and ran out of fuel while straining to navigate the fog.

His attempt to make an emergency landing was terminated by trees and the aircraft crashed. He did not survive it.


Unlike others on this list, Azazi died after he had left service.

He was first appointed chief of army staff in 2006 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Then he was named chief of defence staff by the administration that came after, led by the late Musa Yar’Adua.

He was replaced by Paul Dike in 2008 and he retired from the military subsequently.

He was tapped to be the national security adviser (NSA) by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010.

He was sacked in June 2012 owing to the rising security challenges in the north.

Just a few months later, he died in a helicopter crash around Okoroba Village in Bayelsa. He was aboard the aircraft with Patrick Yokowa, former governor of Kaduna, and none of them survived.

They were returning to Port Harcourt airport after attending the burial ceremony of the father of Oronto Douglas, a special adviser to Jonathan on research and documentation.


The 54-year-old only replaced Tukur Burutai as chief of army staff in January.

As the country’s security situation worsened, some Nigerians called for the removal of the service chiefs, and President Muhammadu Buhari heeded.

Attahiru was appointed alongside Lucky Irabor, chief of defence staff; Zubairu Gambo, chief of naval staff; Isiaka Amao, chief of air staff.

Attahiru was on an official trip from Abuja to Kaduna when the aircraft encountered inclement weather, according to military authorities.

He and his entourage of 10 officers died as the aircraft nosedived aground.

“I extend my condolences to the Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian Armed Forces and the families of Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, the late Chief of Army Staff and other military officers who died on Friday in an air crash in Kaduna State, says the former president of of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan

The death of these officers is a national tragedy, as the victims were patriots who died with their boots on, in our collective quest for peace and security.

May God console the families of all the bereaved and restore unto them strength and peace.

Governor Yahaya Bello says death of COAS shocking…commiserates with family, President Buhari, NA

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has described as shocking the tragic death of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru who was killed this Friday evening in an ill-fated plane crash while on an official assignment to Kaduna.

The Governor’s commiseration was contained in a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Muhammed Onogwu

Governor Bello described the death of the COAS a colossal loss to Nigeria particularly at such a time when the country was confronting numerous insecurity challenges in different parts of the country.

While commiserating with the family, friends and associate of the late COAS, Bello described Lt. General Attahiru as a hero who gave his all to the service of his fatherland and similarly died while attending to his duties

He also extended his condolences to the families of the COAS’ aides and entourage who also lost their lives in the tragic incident.

In the same vein, The Governor commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari over the loss of one of his service chiefs stating that he would be dearly missed while he also condoled with the Nigeria Army over the loss of the COAS and others who died alongside him.

The Governor prayed for the repose of their souls while he also asked God to give those grieving the death of their loved ones the fortitude to bear the loss

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.


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