-AS Buhari, US, Reps’ committee condole with NAF and families of the victims
By Frontline Reporters
A statement by the Director public relations and information, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola said the panel instituted by the Chief of the Air Staff , Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao has commenced its work.
The statement further said the Nigerian Air Force also notified the Next of Kins/family members of the deceased before making public the names of the 7 personnel who lost their lives in the crash:
The deceased officers are:-
a. Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain).
b. Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot).
c. Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) Specialist).
d. Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist).
e. Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist).
f. Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist).
g. Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).
Earlier, the CAS visited the scene of the accident, in company of the Honourable Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi,rtd Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, and other Service Chiefs.
The CAS, on behalf of officers, airmen and airwomen of the NAF, also commiserated with the families of the deceased personnel and prays that the Almighty God grants their souls eternal repose.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the Nigerian Airforce and families of the deceased victims.
The President said he is deeply saddened by the fatal crash of the Nigerian Air Force NAF Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft on Sunday in Abuja that claimed the lives of seven personnel.
The President in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adeshina joined the Nigerian Air Force, the military, and other Nigerians in mourning the unfortunate loss of the dedicated and courageous personnel and extended his heartfelt condolences to family members, friends, and colleagues of those who died as a result of the tragedy.
President Buhari noted that while investigations into the cause of the crash are ongoing, the safety of the Nigerian airspace remains a key priority of the government.
He prayed that God will comfort the bereaved families and nation, and grant the souls of the departed peaceful rest.
Meanwhile, the United States and the House of Representatives Committee on Air Force have joined numerous other well-meaning personalities in mourning the victims of the military aircraft.
In a tweet on Sunday, the US Mission in Nigeria commiserated with the Force, the families of the officers and all Nigerians on the tragedy.
The United States expresses sincere condolences to the @NigAirForce, family members and all Nigerians for the loss of life in today’s aircraft crash,” it tweeted.
Similarly, Chairman of the House Committee on Air Force, Shehu Koko, promised investigation will begin in earnest to determine the remote cause.
“This is to confirm that a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft crashed while returning to the Abuja Airport after reporting engine failure enroute Minna,” he said.
“First responders are at the scene. Sadly, all 7 personnel on board died in the crash. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.”
While urging Nigerians to remain calm and await the outcome of the investigation, the federal lawmaker said the committee “under the leadership of Femi Gbajabiamila is deeply saddened by this development and will work with the Chief of Air Staff to unravel the remote cause.”
The jet en route Minna in Niger State crashed close to the runway of the Abuja airport after reporting engine failure.