Tuesday, 25 May 2021: President Muhammadu Buhari has received the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, (NGF), Kayode Fayemi, who was in the Presidential Villa, to console him on the death of the Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 military officers.
Fayemi, who is also the governor of Ekiti State, was accompanied by the National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Mai Mala Buni, and Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger State.
Speaking at the event, the president expressed sadness over the loss of officers at a time the country was battling with security challenges, saying that last Friday’s fatal air crash had increased the country’s problems.
Buhari, however, stated that he would continue to do his best in addressing the nation’s security challenges, and enjoined all well-meaning citizens to also continue to pray for the country.
He said: “This is a situation that only God knows when it will happen and it happened at a time when the security situation in the country is a fundamental issue.
“And to lose choice officers has increased our problem but we know what we are in for and we will continue to work hard and pray hard so that God will give us the power to appreciate and apply ourselves to the problem.
“The people who elected us, they know the promises we made within the time…the circumstances in which we find ourselves…we will keep on trying and continue to do our best.”
Fayemi had earlier commiserated with the president over the death of the officers.
The governor recalled that when governors requested for the change of service chiefs, “the president heeded” noting that the impact of the action was already being felt.
He, therefore, affirmed that the death of the officers was a big blow, saying, however, the war against terrorism and banditry must be won.
“We’ve read your statement and this delegation of governors consider it a duty and as part of our obligation as your representatives to commiserate with you over the loss of your gallant officers,” Mr Fayemi said.
“We know it is an event that has touched you. When we mentioned the necessity for a change of service chiefs, you were determined to get the best set of people, you gave your assurance and the military was beginning to feel the impact.
“We know that this is a major blow and you are unrelenting in your quest/commitment to ensure peace and security in our country.
“It’s unfortunate the losses we have suffered. We only pray God gives both the families and the country the fortitude to bear the loss, pray that God gives our country greater resolve to continue on the path that the late COAS towed.
“For us, we must defeat banditry, insurgency and criminality. That’s the mandate you gave them. This should not lead to any retreat or surrender on our part.
“As you have promised, we know that our country will do everything to ensure that the administration will do all to take care of the families of the departed officers. It’s an indication of how protected the active officers would be.”