President Bola Tinubu has been asked to probe the air crash that killed former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru. This calls was made over the weekend by the former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj Gen Danjuma Ali-Keffi (rtd).
He alleged that the crash was linked to a terror sponsor which was targeted at no less a person than the chief of army staff and 11 senior officers who died in a “suspicious” plane crash and the matter was swept under the carpet, as the full report of the crash investigation was not made known.
The former GOC, Ali-Keffi stated that Attahiru devised the strategy to end terrorism in the North, part of which was infiltration of terror groups and the instigation of crisis among terror leaders, which resulted in the elimination of Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, by a rival terror group, Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP).
Also, Part of the strategy was to also cut off the oxygen of terrorism, including funding and logistics, and to take down terror financiers, Ali-Keffi stated.
Attahiru and 11 senior military officers died in a plane crash in Kaduna, when the aircraft was preparing to land at the Kaduna International Airport. The crash also killed the crew members.
Gen Ali-Keffi, who had been billed to receive the late army chief, as GOC 1 Division in Kaduna, pointed to the sudden change of time for Attahiru’s trip to Kaduna, the change of aircraft, change of airport of landing, from the military airstrip to the Kaduna International Airport, his landing in a turbulent, stormy weather, and the ear-shattering explosion that occurred before the crash.
He maintained to the fact that there was no crater or impact on the crash area, noting that the bodies of the passengers were flung out of the aircraft and burnt beyond recognition long before the aircraft came down, a strong indication that there was an “explosion”.
The Nigerian Army had listed the officers, who died in the crash, to include Attahiru, Brig Gen. M. I. Abdulkadir, Brig. Gen. Olayinka, Brig. Gen. Kuliya, Maj. L.A. Hayat, Maj. Hamza, and Sgt. Umar. The crew members were Flt. Lt. T.O. Asaniyi, Flt. Lt., A.A. Olufade, Sgt. Adesina, and ACM Oyedepo.
But speaking in an interview with THISDAY, Ali-Keffi, decried that the crash was swept under the carpet as the full report of the crash investigation was not made known, while insisting that the crash was linked to terror sponsors.
He said, “Let me put it succinctly, late General Attahiru showed strong commitment to end the insurgency ravaging the northern parts of the country.”