Life is certainly like dew, it appears at the start of the day and disappears before noon. The weather was naive about the tragedy that was about to unfold in a few hours time. Four Nigerian Airforce flight crew members were already stationed in the cockpit.
They throw in casual conversation spiced with jokes. This was a routine flight which they’ve performed so many times. Seated within the jet plane’s passenger area amidst six other officers, was Lt. General Attahiru Ibrahim. His usual confident and lively manner engaged the rest in conversations covering topics from humour to issues in Nigeria. At around 6 pm, in the midst of a storm, the Airforce plane flying Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, fell to the ground and bursted into flames.
As the Federal Government of Nigeria mourn the passing away of the 21st Chief of Army Staff, Attahiru Ibrahim, who passed away on the 21st day of the 21st year of this millennium, some silent whispers are asking the question whether the COAS death has anything to do with the war against Boko Haram?
It is quite uncomfortable and perturbing to point fingers at Boko Haram but the common Nigerian will tell it to your face that financiers of Boko Haram are among top government officials. How come insurgency caused by a group such as Boko Haram has persisted, spanning almost two decades, and they are still waxing stronger with sophisticated weapons including the latest technologies in warfare such as drones? It is an open secret that these faceless and fierce death mongers are among the top echelons of the Nigerian government. They surely have become very powerful over time. One way or the other, these two faced Palpatines are manipulating the present day government. Obviously, during President Jonathan’s tenure, they were there and had contributed to the confusion in Jonathan’s government.
When Attahiru was appointed as COAS, his first priority was to deal with Boko Haram. Unfortunately, it is likely, Boko Haram might have struck the death blow first.
Ibrahim Attahiru, born on 10 August 1966 in Nigeria, is a Nigerian Army Major-General and Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria. He hails from Kaduna North of Kaduna State, and a member of the Regular Course 35 of the Nigerian Defence Academy. He was appointed on January 26, 2021, by Muhammed Buhari after the resignation of Tukur Yusuf Buratai. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru became the second Nigerian chief of army staff to die in an air crash after Lt. Colonel Joseph Akahan.
The Boko Haram Islamic sect was founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002; it has its base in Maiduguri the capital of Borno State at the north eastern end of Nigeria. Boko Haram has carried out series of vicious and pernicious attacks on the people and government of Nigeria and all her institutions with its singular aim of Islamizing the country. Despite efforts made by government to douse the problem, the group has continuously sprung mayhem within the country.
Now let us clarify certain factors that have been alleged to have caused the plane crash. The number one culprit attributed so far, according to the Nigerian Army, is bad weather.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.
It is true that an Abuja-Kaduna flight won’t take up to 30 mins. One begins to wonder if the army’s meteorological department couldn’t have given a warning ahead of the ill fated flight.
Yes, it is also true that planes do crash, but this one involves the Nigerian Army where discipline and efficiency are watch words. When a Nigerian Airforce aircraft is used to fly an important personality such as Attahiru Ibrahim, the least of expectations is to end up crashing after taking off. Certainly, this plane most have undergone a 50hrs or 100hrs maintenance schedule including several pre-fly tests to ascertain the plane’s safety and air worthiness.
That aside. Let’s look into Attahiru’s activities when he was COAS. He tried to deal with the issues of insecurity despite opposition from perpetrators who do not want it because of personal gains. Attahiru spear headed operations and busted some arms deal saga with aircrafts intercepted carrying weapons. Despite his personality of lingering lower ranked soldiers, he obviously might have stepped on a few toes.
The crash occurred three months after a small Nigerian air force passenger plane went down just outside Abuja airport following alleged engine failure, killing all seven people on board.
A statement by Ohanaeze Secretary-General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro might clarify the picture more. He said it appeares that “anyone who demonstrates vigour and will power to combat insurgency in the North will either be downgraded, axed, transferred or slain.
“The sophistication of the insecurity challenges in the North means that the leaders are unwilling to tell Nigerian People the truth.”
The Ohanaeze also warned that, “if the era of plane crashes has returned. We advise Buhari, V.P Osibanjo and others should avoid flying private jets until investigations on the NAF ill-fated flight is concluded and made open to Nigerian People.”
The alleged cause of Attahiru’s plane crash by Boko Haram maybe a mere conjecture, but they are whispered in hushed undertones. Government officials who are members of Boko Haram are faceless. You don’t know who there are. They could be the next person sitting beside you.
We commiserate with the families of Attahiru Ibrahim and10 others who passed away in the plane crash.