From Molly Kilete, Abuja

The Chief Of Army Staff, Thursday, launched the General Ibrahim Attahiru Foundation (GIAF), scholarship programme in Abuja.

The foundation was established by the family of the late Chief of Army Staff, who died in a plane crash on May 21, 2021.

The Scholarship Programme, which is in partnership with the Nigerian Army, will cater for the sponsorship of children of serving and retired officers of the Nigerian Army to any Federal and state University in Nigeria, presented scholarships to 50 students drawn from Command Secondary Schools across the six geopolitical zones of the country and the FCT.

In his address at the occasion, Gen. Lagbaja, while noting that the GIAF Tertiary Education Scholarship Scheme was another commendable initiative that would benefit the army community, which was the late General’s primary constituency, charged the beneficiaries of the maiden scholarship to reciprocate the noble gesture by focusing on their studies and shying away from societal ills.

He noted that though the army had an established scholarship scheme for children of its deceased personnel, collaborating with the foundation is considered a viable option to complements the existing efforts of the army by covering a gap in its scholarship and welfare schemes.

According to him, “Our existing scholarship scheme focuses on children of deceased personnel only and not those of serving and retired personnel, as is the case with the General Ibrahim Attahiru Foundation’s scheme being launched today.

“While Army Headquarters is aware that funding is not a challenge for the foundation, we have chosen to help with the funding of this inaugural scholarship scheme for 50 carefully selected beneficiaries as a mark of respect for the late General.

“We believe that this gesture will assist the Foundationin properly taking off for subsequent scholarship awards.

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“As part of our commitment, the Army Headquarters Department of Army Administration and the Nigerian Army Education Corps will continue to assist the Foundation in identifying and screening suitably qualified candidates to benefit from this noble gesture,”.

While noting that the tertiary institution environment was filled with vices that could derail students and truncate their life aspirations, the COAS, charged the beneficiaries to take this gesture as a challenge to becoming the best in whatever career path they had chosen to follow and ultimately give back to the foundation and the larger Nigerian society in the future.

Lagbaja, who said the late COAS implemented significant policies that had a profound and lasting impact on army’s counter-terrorism operations, particularly in the North East within the short time he held sway, thanked Mrs Fati Attahiru, for her wisdom, courage, and doggedness to pull resources together to celebrate the late General’s life, bravery, energy, and, most importantly, his identity as a detribalized Nigerian.
He said this aspect of his character is a testament to his belief in the unity and inclusivity of our great nation.

“I once again most sincerely, thank Mrs Attahiru and the General Ibrahim Attahiru Foundation for this scholarship initiative and for keeping the name and legacy of the late General Ibrahim Attahiru alive and shining brighter and brighter,” he added.

In her address, the founder of the GIAF and wife of the late COAS, Mrs Attahiru, said her late husband’s background propelled him to work hard and had big dreams.

Mrs Attahiru disclosed that her husband shared with her his dream to become the army chief when he was a lieutenant Colonel, urging the beneficiaries never to stop dreaming and look beyond the challenges they would face in life.

She urged them to develop the will power to respond to the happenings around them so as to be able to control what happens in life.

She said there are challenges we face, the trials, the tragedies and so on but what we can control is how we react.

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