The Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru and his wife have died in a tragic plane crash that occurred today May 21, 2021 near the kaduna airport.
Also 10 other military personnel died on board the ill fated aircraft. The Nigerian Air Force has confirmed the incident but did not provide further details.
The death of the COAS has thrown the country in mourning mood especially at a time the military is battling insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 appointed new service chiefs, finally letting go of the Chief of Defence Chief, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, after the four had spent five years and five months in office.
Attahiru served as the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, before he was removed from the position barely nine months after he was appointed in 2017.
During his tenure as the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, the Theatre recorded many successes against the insurgents following concerted efforts of troops in the newly-launched Operation DEEP PUNCH 2 and Operation RUWAN WUTA in Sambisa forest
Some of the operations he led resulted in the killing of two key Boko Haram commanders, Abdu Kawuri and Abubakar Benishek, at Alafa in the Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.
His redeployment followed the deadliest attacks by Boko Haram insurgents on Biu town in Borno where at least 18 people were killed and 52 others seriously injured.
General Attahiru was redeployed to Nigerian Army Headquarters as Deputy Chief of Policy and Plans.
He was former General Officer Commanding, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu.