According to the Presidency, the Chief of Defense of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru died in a plane crash on Friday in the state of Kaduna.
He reportedly died while on an official visit to the state-based in the Northern Region of Nigeria. The security status in the northern state of Kaduna, amidst strong public outcry, has been one of the challenges for the latter days of resident Muhammadu Buhari.
Confirming the situation in a statement, the Air Force said that the cause of the clash is yet to be established.
“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” Edward Gabkwet, Air Commodore, Director of Public Relations and Information said on Twitter.
Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru is reported to have died along with other army officials.
The President, Muhammadu Buhari, has described the crash as a “mortal blow … at a time our armed forces are poised to end the security challenges facing the country.”
Attahiru was appointed along with other officials in January after years of mounting criticism over spreading violence by Islamist insurgents and armed gangs in Nigeria.
Recently, President Buhari indicated that both Nigeria and France are ready to strengthen their anti-terror cooperation to enable the two countries to defeat groups like Boko Haram in the Sahel region.