The 40-day Fidau prayers for the repose of the soul of late Chief of Army Staff, Lt,-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and ten other officers who died in the ill-fated Beech Craft King Air 350 crash in Kaduna on May 21 was on Wednesday observed at the Niger Barracks in Abuja.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, led other service chiefs, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, Chief of the Air Staff and the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya as well as their spouses to observe the prayers.
The other ten officers and personnel of the military involved in the crash are the Acting Chief of Military Intelligence, Brig.-Gen. Abdulrahman Kuliya, Army Provost Marshal Army, Brig.-Gen. O.L Olayinka, Chief of Staff to Army Chief, Brig-Gen. Idris Abdulkadir, Aide De Camp, Maj. L.A Hayat, Maj. M. Hamza, Flt.-Lt. T.O Asaniyi, Flt.-Lt. A.A Olufade, Sgt. Saidu Umar, Sgt. Adesina and Air Craftman Oyedepo.
The prayers were led by Brigadier General Shehu Mustapha, the Director of Islamic Affairs, Nigerian Army.
While praying for the souls of the departed to find eternal rest, Mustapha said that Nigerians should understand that every soul must taste death at some point, hence the need to always live right before God.
He explained that the significance of the prayer was to remember the departed Chief of Army Staff and other officers who died with him as well as seeking Allah’s forgiveness for any of their shortcoming while on earth
He said that the event was also used to pray for peaceful co-existence among Nigerians and for God to grant victory to the troops fighting in various fronts.
“We also used the opportunity to pray for their families, our service chiefs and all Nigerians for peaceful coexistence.
“We also sought God’s intervention in the security challenges that we are facing and we asked him if it is the sin that we have committed that is making us to have difficulties with insecurity like kidnapping, banditry and other challenges, we asked him for mercy and forgiveness.
“We used this opportunity to pray for our leaders for Allah to continue to protect them and give them divine guidance to move the country forward.”
On his part, Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, said it was solemn to pray for the repose of the soul of the late Chief of Army Staff and other officers who died in the unfortunate crash pointing out that the prayer was to show that the departed souls were still in their minds and to continue to identify and sympathize with their families.
The COAS said the prayer is for the late Army Chief and for all other military and civilian personnel who have paid the supreme price in the course of defending the nation.
“We also prayed for the country, the military and all other agencies that are fighting for the nation’s security and we pray for Allah to answer our prayers,” he said.