By Sumaila Ogbaje
Family, friends and military hierarchy on Saturday converged on Abuja, in honour of the late 21st Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, to inaugurate a foundation to immortalise him.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that late Attahiru, alongside 10 other senior officers and men, died in an ill-fated Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Beechcraft aircraft that crashed in Kaduna on May 21, 2021.
The dignitaries who graced the memorial event included the Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, and Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi who was represented by the Director Army Affairs, Mr Sunday Attah.
Also in attendance were the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, leading Environmentalist, Dr Newton Jibuno and the Wife of the Chief of Defence Staff, Mrs Vickie Irabor.
Others included a former Chief of Army Staff and Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau and wife of Kaduna State Governor, Mrs Aisha El-Rufai.
Members of the diplomatic corps as well as serving and retired top military officers were also in attendance.
Mrs Fati Attahiru, the widow of the late Army chief, said the foundation was a testimony of God’s grace in the lives of her family members and celebration of the legacy of “a hero that would never be forgotten.”
Mrs Attahiru said the inauguration of General Ibrahim Attahiru Foundation (GIAF), was to ensure that the humanitarian activities of her late husband would not be abandoned.
She said the launching of the foundation was borne out of the need to have all the ideals and principles of her husband fulfilled.
On her part, Mrs Irabor commended the resilience of Mrs Attahiru, saying she had demonstrated the strength of a soldier’s wife.
The wife of the Chief of Defence Staff said the officers’ wives were not afraid to be military wives, adding that they were ready for anything.
She pledged the support of the Defence and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA) to the foundation.
The Chairman, Board of the foundation, Mr Didi Ndiomu, said the event was organised to launch the foundation and an endowment fund to sustain the projects and programmes of the foundation.
Ndiomu said the event was also designed to provide families, friends, colleagues, members of the diplomatic corps, development partners and the military family the opportunity to remember the late general.
According to him, it also provides an opportunity for all to identify with the families of the fallen soldiers for paying the supreme price to keep the country safe, free and united.
NAN reports that Attahiru’s posthumous biography titled, ‘The man, the soldier, the patriot, biography of Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim’, written by Niran Adedokun, was also unveiled.
Ndiomu said that every kobo realised from the sale of the book would be used to support the foundation. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)