Bola Tinubu Nigeria’s armed forces CINC mourns shoot down of Air Force helicopter and deadly ambush that killed over 30 troops in a single engagement
Bola Tinubu the Nigerian armed forces Commander in Chief (CINC) is mourning the loss of Nigerian Army and Air Force personnel that were killed during an encounter with terrorists in the country’s Niger state.
In a post on the X micro-blogging site Tinubu wrote. “The tragic loss of our gallant officers and soldiers in a helicopter crash at Chukuba Village near Shiroro, Niger State, yesterday, brought immense sadness to me.”
“These officers and men were answering the call of duty while on an evacuation mission. In their dedicated service to our beloved country, they paid the ultimate price. While we mourn their untimely departure, we will forever remember them, not just as servicemen, but as national heroes who gave their all for the peace and security of our country.”
“They will always be remembered as courageous men who did not consider the perils and dangers of their national duty as paramount to their sacred mandate of ensuring that their fellow countrymen and women can live in peace.
We salute their sacrifice, devotion and loyalty to our dear nation – the nation they loved and served to the end. On behalf of a grateful nation, I extend my condolences to their families, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Air Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff, and the entire Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. May God grant them eternal rest.”
According to military sources over 30 soldiers were killed in a terrorist ambush and the Nigerian Air Force M-17i helicopter sent on a casualty evacuation mission was reportedly shot down late Sunday killing all on board.
Gory video of the incident has already gone viral which shows terrorists linked to the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) loitering over the crash site.
It is not known at press time if security forces had secured the crash site.
Niger State Governor Umaru Bago paid a sympathy visit to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Christopher Musa, Tuesday in Abuja where the CDS admonished Nigerians for expecting miracles in tackling the poor security situation.
“The AFN is fully aware of the situation on the ground, he noted that people always expect the Military to perform miracles, the Armed Forces of Nigeria remain strong, committed and steadfast in the discharge of its constitutional mandates. “ the general said.
On his part Bago noted that Niger State has the largest land mass in Nigeria. He added that the state is very close to Abuja, noting that the proximity to the Capital City, calls for security concerns.
Akowe with reports from Abuja