Niger crash: Tinubu mourns military officers

NIGERIAN President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reacted to a helicopter crash which occurred on Monday, August 14, leaving some officials of the Nigerian Army dead

In a statement on Tuesday, August 15, Tinubu said the incident caused him “immense sadness.”

“These officers and men were answering the call of duty while on an evacuation mission. In their dedicated service to our beloved country, they paid the ultimate price.

“While we mourn their untimely departure, we will forever remember them, not just as servicemen, but as national heroes who gave their all for the peace and security of our country. They will always be remembered as courageous men who did not consider the perils and dangers of their national duty as paramount to their sacred mandate of ensuring that their fellow countrymen and women can live in peace,” the statement read.

Acknowledging the loyalty of the deceased officers, Tinubu condoled the families of the deceased and the Armed Forces.

On August 14, a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) MI-171 helicopter crashed around Chukuba village in the Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State.

The helicopter was conveying officials of the Nigerian Army, travelling from Niger to Kaduna on a casualty evacuation mission, at the time of the crash.

This is the second military air crash recorded in 2023.

On July 14, exactly a month before the Niger incident, an aircraft belonging to NAF crashed in Makurdi, Benue, during a routine training exercise.

No tragedies were recorded in the Benue crash, as the two pilots on board ejected the aircraft quickly enough, according to a statement by NAF.



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    Two officers also died in an air crash involving a military trainer aircraft in Kaduna state in 2022.

    In 2021, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Ibrahim Attahiru died in a plane crash on his way to Kaduna less than four months after his appointment. There were 10 other soldiers aboard the aircraft who also lost their lives in the crash.

    The plane crash, which killed Attahiru, was the fourth such incident to claim the lives of military personnel in 2021.

    NOTE: The name “Attahiru Jega” was corrected to Ibrahim Attahiru.

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    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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