Losing officers has worsened Nigeria’s woes, Buhari laments

• Saudi monarch, Anglican Church mourn COAS, 10 others

President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented the loss of military officers, especially at a time the country is facing a serious security crisis, stating that last Friday’s air crash had worsened the nation’s predicament.

Receiving yesterday at the State House, Abuja, a delegation from the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) that were on a condolence visit over the death of Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others, the Nigerian leader resolved to work harder in tackling the country’s woes.

He told the team that included NGF Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Caretaker Committee/Yobe helmsman, Mai Mala Buni and his Niger counterpart, Sani Bello, that only God knew why the incident occurred.

Buhari said: “This is a situation that only God knows when it will happen and it happened at a time when the security situation in the country is a fundamental issue.

“And losing choice officers has increased our problems, but we know what we are in for and we will continue to work harder and pray harder so that God will give us the power to appreciate and apply ourselves to the problems.”

In his remarks, Fayemi commiserated with the current administration over the death of the officers, adding that the incident was deeply felt by Nigerians.

The NGF boss recalled that when the governors requested for change of service chiefs, the President heeded, pointing out that the decision was already being felt.

While stating that the passing was a big blow, Fayemi insisted that the war against insecurity must be won.

“We’ve read your statement and this delegation considered it a duty and as part of our obligations as your representatives to commiserate with you over the loss of these gallant officers.

“We know it is an event that has touched you,” he added.

SIMILARLY, the Saudi monarch and custodian of the two holy mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, yesterday, called the President to sympathise with him.

He expressed solidarity with Nigeria over the national tragedy.

Buhari and the king exchanged pleasantries on the Eid marked after the 30-day Ramadan fast, praying for peace, security and progress in the two nations and sub-regions.

The conversation by both leaders equally covered the longstanding ties between the two countries and how to deepen them across sectors.

Buhari saluted the monarch for standing with Nigeria at all times.

The President also received a condolence message from the Nigerian-born Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, in London.

The cleric prayed for the Nigerian leader and the entire nation.

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