A file photo of NAF personnel with an Alpha-jet of the Nigerian Air Force. Photo: [email protected]
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to treat military plane crashes as a national emergency.
Since January, the nation has recorded three plane crashes involving military aircraft resulting in the death of at least 20 personnel.
In a statement issued on Sunday by its National Secretary, Daramola Joseph, CAN asked the Federal Government to ascertain that all planes are fit for flights before embarking on any trip.
“It is high time thorough investigations are carried out with a view to ascertaining the immediate and remote causes of these recurrent disasters and address the causes decisively and squarely,” the statement partly read.
“We cannot continue to lose our finest military and security officers to air disasters without treating the situation as a national emergency.
“CAN is genuinely concerned and suggests that while the nation still awaits the report of the cause or causes of this latest crash, adequate measures should be taken so as to avert this kind of tragedy both in our military and civil aviation in the future.
“We must ascertain that all military aircraft are fit to fly and that the training of the flight officers is excellent.
“We further plead that adequate care should be taken of the dependants of the deceased so that they might be proud eternally of the nation the deceased served.”
CAN’s reaction comes two days after a Nigerian Air Force jet crashed at the Kaduna International Airport due to bad weather.
Victims on board the ill-fated aircraft were the former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, Brigadier Generals Ahmed Kuliya, O Olayinka, and MI Abdulkadir; Majors N Hamza, LA Hayat; Sergeants O Adesina, and Umar; as well as Aircraftman OM Oyedepo, Flt Lt TO Asaniyi, and Flt Lt AA Olufade.
The Beechcraft 350 aircraft conveying the military officers, with registration number 5N-R203, was billed to land at the Nigerian Airforce Base in the Mando area of Kaduna but diverted to land at the civil airport.