The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, has described as a rude shock the death of the 21st Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, barely four months in the saddle.

Magashi said that the mishap that claimed the lives of the Chief of Army Staff, alongside others senior officers and his aides, represents a huge national disaster.

Magashi stated this in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mohammad Abdulkadir, on Saturday in Abuja.

He condoled President Muhammadu Buhari, the Military and the Nigerian Army in particular as well as his immediate family and Nigeria in general.

Magashi described late Attahiru as a gallant, dogged, disciplined and dedicated senior officer who died in the line of duty to his fatherland.

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He recalled his unblemished track records of service to the nation as Director Army Public Relations (DAPR), Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole and as General Officer Commending, GOC.

He said these dedicated services culminated into his elevation to the enviable three star status as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) in January.

According to Magashi, the emergence of Attahiru as Army boss at such a critical time in the nation’s efforts at surmounting internal security challenges is symbolically strategic but impactful in the annals of the service.

“Although, the late General died when his service is needed most, his short but eventful tenure as the Chief of Army Staff and over three decades of dedicated, selfless and patriotic service will never been forgotten,” he said.

Magashi prayed Almighty Allah to forgive the deceased and to grant him Alijannat Firdaus as well as prayed God to grant the nation, the Military constituency and his beloved family the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss. (NAN)