ABUJA-It was an emotional sight on Tuesday, December 8, 2019, as the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), laid to rest five (5) of its personnel who died in a helicopter crash on January 2,at Damasak,Borno State, while fighting the Boko Haram terrorists.
The fallen heroes who met their untimely death in active service were;Flight Lieutenant Perowei Jacob – Pilot in Command;Flight Lieutenant Kaltho Paul Kilyofas – Co-Pilot;Sergeant Auwal Ibrahim – Flight Technician;Lance Corporal Adamu Nura – Gunner and Aircraftman Meshack Ishmael – Gunner.
The Chief of the Air Staff,Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, while speaking at the burial ceremony, which took place at the Military Cemetery, Karmajiji in Abuja, said, the gallant heroes lost their lives in the pursuit of the peace which Nigerians all enjoy and often take for granted.
According to him, “The loss of these courageous and professional gentlemen must spur the rest of us not only to rededicate ourselves in the service of our Nation, but also to resolve that we expose and fight all agents of destabilization and extremism in our society.
“We must throw in everything we have to this fight to ensure that our departed colleagues did not die in vain. We must do everything possible to bring the ongoing insurgency in the North East to a speedy end that is favourable to our nation”, he emphasized.
He went further to say, “I am indeed deeply touched and saddened by the price which our patriots had to pay in this needless fight against insurgency. Our departed heroes fought that we live in a safe and secure Nigeria where the freedom of worship and association of one and all are guaranteed under one indivisible nation.
“Jacob, Kilyofas, Ibrahim, Nura and Ishmael, today, as you go to your final resting place, may the Lord be with you forever and be assured that the Nigerian Air Force and indeed the Nation will remain ever grateful to you for your service and sacrifice”, the CAS remarked.
To the families of the deceased, he prayed that time will ease the soaring pain, adding that there can be no better consolation than the knowledge that the nation grieves with them on the loss of these amiable and patriotic Nigerians, who paid the supreme price in the course of their duty to the fatherland.
“As we conclude the interment of Jacob, Kilyofas, Ibrahim, Nura and Ishmael, we fervently pray for all our departed colleagues who have paid the supreme price in the course of ensuring the integrity of our dear nation. As Nigerians, we will persevere, taking strength from the legacy of service of these 5 gentlemen and those before them.
The burial ceremony was attended by the representative of President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali,the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, as well as the wives and family members of the deceased officers