By Sumaila Ogbaje
The 3-Day prayer for the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and other departed souls was held on Monday at his official residence, the Flag Staff House, Niger Barracks, Asokoro, Abuja.
The 3-day prayer was held in accordance with Islamic injunctions.
The late Attahiru died in a plane crash involving a NAF Beechcraft alongside 10 other officers on Friday in Kaduna.
Others in the crash are the Chief of Military Intelligence, Brig.-Gen. Abdulrahman Kuliya, Army Provost Marshal, Brig.-Gen. O.L Olayinka, Chief of Staff to Army Chief, Brig.-Gen. Idris Abdulkadir and Aide De Camp, Maj. L.A Hayat.
Others are: Maj. M. Hamza, Flt.-Lt. T.O Asaniyi, Flt.-Lt. A.A Olufade, Sgt. Saidu Umar, Sgt. Adesina and ACM Oyedepo.
The Director of Islamic Affairs, Nigerian army, Brig.-Gen. Shehu Mustapha, who presided over the prayer, prayed for the souls of the departed to find eternal rest.
Mustapha also prayed God to console the families of the departed and grant the country the desired peace and security.
“We used this opportunity to pray for our leaders for Allah to continue to protect them and give them divine guidance to move the country forward,” he said.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, said that the armed forces of Nigeria remained strong in spite of the loss of the army chief and urged all officers and men to remain steadfast in the discharge of their constitutional mandates.
Irabor said that the spirits of the troops were not dampened in any way.
“Our spirits remain unshakable, immovable.
“I like every officer and men of the armed forces to remain steadfast because that which we desire to achieve by way of protecting lives and properties of Nigerians in line with our constitutional mandate would be achieved,” he said.
The former Chief of Army Staff and Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, prayed to God to forgive the shortcomings of the departed souls.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, also prayed for the repose of his boss and other departed souls.
Yerima also prayed God to restore everlasting peace to the country and also help leaders to be humane and upright.
Present at the event included the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, former Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Sen. Ali Ndume among other dignitaries.
The Federal Government has declared May 24, a work-free day for members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in honour of our highly revered Chief of Army Staff, Late Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others.
Government has also directed that the National Flag be flown at half-mast from Monday to Wednesday. (NAN)