Where exactly is safe in Nigeria? The roads are not safe. Recently installed train tracks are being vandalised and the elite’s option, the sky, is getting dark.
The latest is the crash that killed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru; as well as seven other top brass in the military. This is not the time for flowery condolence messages of “what an angel Attahiru was”. Instead, it is a time for a rigorous investigation into what is happening with our Air Force assets.
This year alone, Nigeria has recorded two crashes, with maximum casualties and one missing plane.
One is an accident, two is a coincidence, but three; that is an ungodly pattern that deserves prompt attention, not the setting up of a committee. Rather, we should get experts to audit our entire military flying hardware.
It could be an issue of human resources. It could also be a case of sabotage as is being already peddled in some quarters. Whichever it is, we ought to take a deep and thorough look into it. In fact, this is not the time for a six-month investigation. Speed is paramount, especially giving the fact that the Air Force is crucial in the fight against terrorists.
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Furthermore, Nigeria has just entered another phase of the battle with a formidable enemy, ISWAP. The group that is linked to the ISIS terror network just took out Abubakar Shekau; leader of Boko Haram and someone whom the Nigerian military allegedly took out several times but kept ‘resurrecting’.
It is commendable that this administration is investing in strengthening the air capacity of the military. But it will be counterproductive if they keep dropping out of the sky at the current rate. We have now witnessed three military air mishaps in five months.
But it is not just the military jets that are having issues on our sky, even civilian aircrafts also.
Last week, the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero and 139 others escaped death while flying from Kano to Abuja on Max Air. Similarly, a bird strike almost crashed an Aero Contractors flight carrying 90 passengers. The plane had to return to base.
Swift action must be taken by all concerned that we do not return to the days of Sosoliso and Dana. Those were ugly days, the dark days of Nigerian aviation.
While we mourn Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, the late Chief of Staff and seven others killed in the crash; it is expedient to call on ‘Baba go slow’ to appoint a new COAS now.
Shekau: Military should bow in shame than celebrate
If the military in Nigeria had been responsible for the death of Abubakar Shekau, the infamous Bok Haram leader; Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior, ought to have declared a public holiday.
It would have been symbolic. It would have been a dagger into the heart of Boko Haram. Rather, he went out in style, blowing himself up.
Equally sad is the fact that ISWAP, a group that is linked to ISIS, orchestrated his death. Now there is a more formidable enemy at our gates.
God help us all….