The Christian Association of Nigeria, on Sunday, expressed concerns over the spate of military plane crashes in the country, urging the President, to treat the matter as a national emergency in order to prevent brilliant minds in the military from avoidable deaths.
in a statement signed by its National Secretary, Daramola Joseph, CAN said that government must ascertain that all planes are fit for flights before they are allowed to take off.
The Christian body also mourned the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru; and 10 other military personnel, who died in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Beachcraft 350 jet that crashed at the Kaduna International Airport on Friday.
About 20 military officers have lost their lives over the past three months in three crashes involving NAF jets, the latest being the Kaduna crash.
But CAN said Nigeria cannot continue to lose her finest military and security officers to air disasters without treating the situation as a national emergency
The statement read in part: “While our hearts are filled with sorrow for the supreme price they paid, we acknowledge with sense of gratitude to them, their selfless services to all of us in the nation.
“They laid down their lives in order to keep our nation safe and secure from the aggression of terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements in our nation.
“We pray for Your Excellency and all the families affected by their painful exit, fortitude and comfort of the Holy Spirit to bear the loss. We pray that this type of national tragedy will never occur again.
“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.
“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 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.”