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JUST IN: Abuja air crash victims for burial Thursday

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The seven Nigerian Air Force officers who died in the Sunday air crash will be buried at the National Cemetery, Lugbe, Airport Road, Abuja, on Thursday.

The NAF disclosed this on Wednesday in an invitation to journalists.

The Beechcraft King Air B350i in which they were flying crashed short of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after reporting engine failure.

The deceased include the Captain, Fl. Lt. Haruna Gadzama; Fl. Lt. Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot); Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System Specialist); Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist); Fl. Sgt. Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist); Sgt. Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist) and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

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The tragic incident generated an outpouring of grief nationwide while the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao, ordered an investigation into the mishap.

The CAS said the deceased personnel, had been in Minna, Niger State, for days conducting Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions in connection with the efforts to secure the release of the 42 students and staff abducted from the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State.

Speaking while receiving the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, who paid a condolence visit to the Nigerian Air Force headquarters on Monday, Amao further said the aircraft had carried out several Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions in virtually all the theatres, including the North-East, North-West as well as the North-Central.

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Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, visited the Ado Ekiti residence of Olawunmi on Tuesday to commiserate with his family.

The widow, Mrs Omolola, recalled the last time she spoke with her husband.

She said, “When I got home on Sunday, I called him that ‘dear, we have returned from church,’ he said ‘we are taking off now, I would call you back when we land.’ I am still waiting for that call.”

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Fayemi, who consoled the widow, led the prayer for protection for the family of the late Olawunmi.

Fayemi said, “We do not want this, we did not pray for this, it is not our desire, it is not our expectation. If this is your wish Lord, we can only pray that you give your children the courage, the fortitude to bear this unfortunate development.”

Credits: PUNCH

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