The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has called on officers and men of the Nigerian Army to work so as to build on the blueprint left behind by the 13 Generals who died in the ill-fated Nigerian Air Force plane crash of September, 17, 2006, in Benue State.
Speaking at an inter-faith memorial service organised by widows of the officers in Abuja, at the weekend, Buratai noted that the occasion calls for sober reflection, as the officers were among the best in Nigerian army.
Represented by Major General Abubakar, the chief of army staff advised Nigerians to pray that God Almighty will continue to be with the widows and the children the officers left behind.
“Whatever must have happened is the will of God and we cannot question. It was a sad event. The best we can do today is to continue to pray for their soul. We pray that god will continue to take care of their homes and everything they left behind.”
Earlier, a former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lieutenant- General Martin-Luther Agwai noted that their death created a huge vacuum in the army, adding that if they were to be alive today, the challenges facing the military in its counter insurgency operations in the Northeast would not have escalated to this level.
The deceased officers were on their way to Obudu cattle ranch, to attend a retreat on how to transform the Nigerian Army when the ill-fated plane, a Dornier 228-212, crashed at Oko village in Vandekiya local government area of Benue State, killing 13 of them.
The 13 army officers and Air Force officers who died in the crash include Major-Generals J.O. Adesunloye, SO Otubu, Agboola, SM Lemu, Nuhu Bamali, PM Haruna, JTU Amedu and Bitrus Duniya. Others were Brigadier-Generals Braimah, MB Bawa, Wing Commanders SS Balogun, EO Adekunle and Lieutenant-Colonel NA Mohammed.