Nigeria’s army chief Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru died in a plane crash on Friday on an official visit to the northern state of Kaduna, which has had security challenges in recent months, three military sources told Reuters.
The air force said in a statement that its plane crashed near Kaduna airport and that it was investigating the immediate cause of the crash.
The crash comes three months after a small Nigerian air force passenger plane crashed just outside Abuja airport following alleged engine failure, killing all seven people on board. read more
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the army general and his aides died when an air force plane crashed on Friday
The Nigerian Air Force confirmed that a crash occurred but did not provide any details.
“An air crash involving a @NigAirForce aircraft occurred this evening near the Kaduna International Airport. The immediate cause of the crash is still being ascertained. More details to follow soon,” Daily Trust quoted Edward Gabkwet, the air force spokesperson, as saying in a statement.
Multiple reports say that some of Mr Attahiru’s aides also died in the crash.
Mr Attahiru was recently appointment army chief by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Until his appointment in January, he was the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu.
With service number 8406, he was a member of Regular Course 35 of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
At a time, he was the Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole until he was sacked in 2017 for alleged incompetence.
Under his watch, suicide bombings and attacks on military formations were on the rise.