Saturday, September 18, 2021

Plane Crash: Buhari fails to attend burial of chief of army staff, other fallen heroes

“Attahiru died serving Nigeria. Buhari, who went to Paris for four days, could not go to Attahiru’s funeral for 30 minutes.”

• May 22, 2021
President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammad Buhari failed to attend the burial rites of the fallen Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru and six other senior military officers who died in a fatal plane crash in Kaduna on Friday.

The funeral rites were held at the National Mosque and National Christian Centre respectively in Abuja on Saturday as earlier announced by army spokesman Mohammed Yerima.

The body of the fallen officers were later interred at National Military Cemetery, just a few kilometres away from the State House, Mr Buhari’s official abode.

Nonetheless, the nation’s Commander-in-Chief was represented at the occasion by his defence minister Bashir Magashi as he remained ensconced inside the Presidential Villa.

Minister of Defence, retired Major-General Bashir Magashi
Minister of Defence, retired Major-General Bashir Magashi

Many Nigerians have, however, continued to criticise Mr Buhari for failing to attend the burial ceremony of one of his service chiefs who died while actively serving the country.

Reno Omokri, a chronic critic and ex-presidential aide, in a tweet faulted the president’s failure to attend the COAS burial.

“Sad that President Muhammadu Buhari did not attend the burial of the late Chief of Army Staff, (Lieutenant) General Attahiru. He was represented by his Defence Minister (Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd.)).

“Attahiru died serving Nigeria. Buhari, who went to Paris for four days, could not go to Attahiru’s funeral for 30 minutes,” Mr Omokri tweeted.

Mr Buhari returned from a four-day trip to France on Thursday after attending the African Finance Summit, People’s Gazette reported.

In similar fashion, Mr Buhari had in December sparked outrage over his failure to visit Kankara after over 300 schoolboys were abducted while he was vacationing in his country home, some distance away in Katsina.

He, instead, detailed a delegation led by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, to travel from far away Abuja to Katsina.

Mr Attahiru and ten other military personnel died on Friday  after a Beechcraft 350 aircraft crashed-landed at the Kaduna International Airport.

The COAS was buried at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja Saturday afternoon in line with Islamic rites. Governors, Senators, House of Representatives members and other dignitaries travelled from far and wide to pay their last respect to the late COAS.

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