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Last moments before COAS Attahiru died in crash

Late Chief of Army Staff Lieut-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru observed Juma’at prayers on Friday shortly before he was killed in a plane crash. It would be…

Late Chief of Army Staff Lieut-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru observed Juma’at prayers on Friday shortly before he was killed in a plane crash.

It would be one of the last things he did before a military aircraft carrying him crashed in Kaduna, killing him and 10 others, including his principal officers, personal aides and the crew.

“We prayed alongside him in the afternoon,” a source confirmed.

“We greeted him; he answered but moved on hastily,’’ he said.

He was billed to be Reviewing Officer at the 80th Passing out Parade of the Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria.

“The COAS was to arrive in Kaduna on Friday and sleep over at his guest house. He was then expected to pay homage to the Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamali on Saturday before proceeding to the depot for the PoP,” a source said.

The parade has been cancelled.

Findings by Daily Trust last night indicated that the military plane couldn’t land at the Air Force Base in Kaduna, which is supposed to be their designated aerodrome.

However, it was not clear why the crew chose to use the Kaduna Airport runway.

Another source in Kaduna Airport told Daily Trust that the incident happened after the airport had already closed.

“The crash happened on approach at the Kaduna Airport. I really can’t explain what happened and why the pilot chose to use Kaduna Airport runway instead of the Air Force Base. But the Kaduna Airport closes by 6pm. Besides, activities in the airport have not fully resumed due to the recent strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), but investigation would reveal what actually happened,’’ the source, who pleaded anonymity, said.