Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has expressed sadness over the military plane crash which claimed the lives of the Chief of Army Staff and 10 others in Kaduna on Friday.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, Afenifere said that the crash, the third within four months, is becoming too many, totally inexcusable and unacceptable, insisting that the incessant plane crashes are raising a lot of questions.
Commiserating with the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident and praying that the Almighty God console them and let the souls of the dead rest in peace, Afenifere lamented that the Defence Headquarters, through its spokesman, Onyema Nwachukwu, while announcing the constitution of a panel to investigate the crash, said the crash was caused by bad weather, noting that it is amazing that a reason for the crash could be so quickly given, even before an investigation was conducted.
Calling on the military authorities to look inward and check its folds, the organisation stated that the tenor of the crashes makes it difficult for one not to smell some rats.
It also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to let his government operate more adroitly and be more alive to its responsibilities in all ramifications, lamenting that every aspect of Nigeria’s national life is on the precipice.
The statement read in part, “Our shock and sadness were deepened by the fact that the one that occurred on Friday, May 21, 2021, was the third of such tragic incident within four months. All of which claimed lives of military personnels.
“We recall that on Sunday, February 21, this year, seven officers of the Nigerian Air Force lost their lives in a crash that occurred near Abuja International Airport. The plane involved was that of the Nigerian Air Force, NAF.
“On Wednesday, March 31, 2021, an Alpha-Jet aircraft on counter-terrorism duty against Boko Haram and ISWAP crashed in Borno State. The two airforce officers in the aircraft had not been found till date, according to reports.
“On Friday, May 21, 2021, another one happened leading to the death of 11 lives, including that of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru. The list of those who lost their lives along with the CoAS included that of another army general and young officers, who are at the beginning of their promising career.
The loss of any life is painful enough, not to talk of lives of officers on whom the nation has spent millions of naira. Not to talk of the high expectations that their families and associates had on them.
“Afenifere deeply commiserates with the families of those who lost their lives. We pray that the Almighty God console them and let the souls of the deads rest in peace.
“Afenifere is however not comfortable expressing sympathy over avoidable deaths. The incessant plane crashes are raising a lot of questions. Three high level crashes within four months? That’s totally inexcusable and unacceptable.
“We in Afenifere are deeply concerned about the avoidable losses of lives, not to talk of billions of naira being wasted.”