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How Nigerian Army Clashed With Late Chief Of Army Staff, Attahiru’s Family During Burial

Top army officials disagreed and asserted that the late army chief’s or his family’s religious convictions were less relevant than his or their national position.

On Saturday, the Nigerian Army persuaded the family of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, to have him buried in a casket, in violation of Islamic traditions.

Top army officials disagreed and asserted that the late army chief’s or his family’s religious convictions were less relevant than his or their national position.

According to SaharaReporters, the disagreement caused a delay on Saturday before Attahiru was laid to rest.

“It was after the army authorities got to the National Military Cemetery that they ordered the grave to be widened to accommodate the coffin. Some of the family members were not happy that the army did not respect his and their religious stance,” a source said.

On Friday, while attending an official occasion at the Kaduna International Airport, the late army chief and ten other military commanders were engaged in a mishap.

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Brigadier Generals Ahmed Kuliya, O Olayinka, and MI Abdulkadir; Majors N Hamza, LA Hayat; Sergeants O Adesina, and Umar; and Aircraftman OM Oyedepo, Flt Lt TO Asaniyi, and Flt Lt AA Olufade were among those killed.

The National Military Cemetery in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, was where the 21st Chief of Army Staff was laid to rest.

Attahiru was killed in a Nigerian Air Force Beechcraft 350 plane crash at Kaduna State International Airport, with no one else on board.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Mohammed Yerima, had said the burial was slated for 10am. He later recanted that said it was to be held by 12.30pm.


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“The Burial proceedings of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Late Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru earlier scheduled for 10.00 hours has been changed to 12.30hours. all other details remain the same,” Yerima said on Saturday amidst the confusion caused by the military versus Islamic burial arrangements.


The Nigerian Air Force said it had started an investigation into the cause of the NAF plane crash that killed the Chief of Army Staff on Friday.

Although the air force has a history of not making its air accident investigations public, the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Gabkwet Edward, announced this in a release.

The NAF has yet to provide an update on its Alpha Jet, which went missing in the North-East two months ago during a Boko Haram mission.

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