Buhari, Osibanjo Absent as Zulum, Sultan, Lawan, Others Attend Army Chief’s Funeral Prayer

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By Salim Yunusa

Senate President, Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum, Sultan of Sokoto, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, Senators Kashim Shettima and Abubakar Kyari on Saturday joined numerous dignitaries and hundreds of sympathizers for the Jana’iza (funeral prayers) of the late Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a plane crash in Kaduna on Friday.

However, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osibanjo were absent at the special prayer for the departed COAS and the others, at the Abuja national mosque.

The funeral began at about 1:30pm at the National Mosque, Abuja, and was attended by the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen Bashir Magashi, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba as well as the comptroller-general of immigration, serving and former public office holders, senior military officers, families, friends and associates of the late COAS.

The remains of the late COAS and five others were brought by military ambulances to the national mosque for the funeral prayers, which took place immediately after Zuhr prayers.

The late chief of army staff had, since his appointment on January 26, 2021, made official trips to Borno State more than six times, to supervise ongoing military operations against Boko Haram.

He had also visited several army formations, mobilized and motivated troops in frontline areas in the troubled parts of the north-east as the nation intensified peace building efforts.

In his remarks, Borno State Governor, Prof Zulum said that the late chief of army staff was evidently committed to the fight against Boko Haram and was determined to significantly contribute to ending the insurgency.

“The commitment of the late Chief of Army Staff to the fight against Boko Haram was very obvious. Within the short time he served, he had been to Borno on multiple occasions, meeting operational commanders and troops at battle fronts. In all his interactions, he regularly motivated troops.

“The people of Borno thank him and all our gallant fallen heroes for their unquantifiable service to Borno and rest of Nigeria,” Zulum said.

Meanwhile, Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and his Zamfara and Sokoto states counterparts, Bello Matawalle and Aminu Tambuwal, respectively, were also absent at the solemn funeral as they attended the wedding fatiha of the son of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, at Alfurqan Jumuat Mosque in Kano.

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