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13 confirmed dead, 5 alive

Posted by By PHILIP NWOSU, Lagos, ROSE EJEMBI, Makurdi, LUCKY NWANKWERE, ABUJA on 2006/09/19 | Views: 1066 |

13 confirmed dead, 5 alive


Thirteen senior military officers have been confirmed to have perished in the tragic Dornier 228, NAF 033 aircraft which crashed into a hill in Mbakunu village, Shanger Ya district of Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State on Sunday morning.

Thirteen senior military officers have been confirmed to have perished in the tragic Dornier 228, NAF 033 aircraft which crashed into a hill in Mbakunu village, Shanger Ya district of Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State on Sunday morning.

The confirmation of the death of the military officers came as President Olusegun Obasanjo ordered with immediate effect a probe into the crash, which he described as "monumental national tragedy" and also declared a three-day national mourning for the deceased.
Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Owoye Azazi who confirmed the death of the officers also declared three-day mourning on behalf of the Army.

The deceased officers are General Officer Commanding 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, General Nuhu Bamali, who was a former Aide-de Camp (ADC) to former military president Ibrahim Babangida, General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Lagos, Major General Joseph Adesunloye, Commandant, Nigerian Army Ordinance Corps, Major General Duniya, Chief of Standards and Evaluation (Army), Major General J. T. U. Ahmadu, Military Secretary, Major General J. O. Agbola, Commandant, Nigerian Army Corps of Signals, Major General Peter Haruna, Chief of Administration (Army), Major General S. M. Lemu and Chief of Policy and Plans (Army) Major General S. O. Otubu.
Also listed among the dead are Brigadiers-General Y. J. Braimah and M. B. Bawa, Lt. Col. N. A. Mohammed and the pilot of the NAF 033, Dornier 228 plane.

Five passengers survived in the crash of the ill-fated plane which was conveying the military officers to Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State for a retreat on the future of the Nigerian Army. The survivors, are Cols. A. L. Dusu, O. C. Ajunwa and N. I. Angbaso as well as by President Obasanjo two crew members one of whom is the cabin steward, a female. They were received at the Nnamadi Azikwe Airport, Abuja on Monday evening.
Corpses of the dead were recovered from the hill-top crash site in Mbakunu village on Monday. A helicopter belonging to National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) recovered the corpses in two batches of nine and four from the scene at 11a.m. and 3 p.m. respectively. The corpses were moved to Makurdi, the Benue State capital from where they later conveyed to Abuja.

Villagers who first sighted the crashed plane and notified the police assisted with the recovery of the corpses and the evacuation of the wounded to the hospital. Daily Sun gathered that it takes three hours to trek from the base to the top of the hill where the plane crashed.

Benue State Governor, George Akume, Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Dr Walter Eneji and the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azazi were among top government functionaries at the crash site on Monday.
Presidential spokesperson, Mrs. Remi Oyo while briefing State House correspondents on the tragedy in Abuja on Monday said President Obasanjo was so saddened that he has called off his official trip abroad and was on his way back from Singapore where he was billed to address the annual meeting of the World Bank.

She also announced, as ordered by the president, the suspension of the National Arts Festival (NAFEST) which was billed to have opened in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State.
She said President Obasanjo had expressed deep condolence to the families of the bereaved.
The crash of the Dornier 228 NAF 033, was reminiscent of the September 26, 1992 crash of the C-130-H NAF 911 crash in which 163 officers of the military perished.
The Dornier crash which occurred on September 17, 2006 happened few days to 14-year anniversary of the C-130-H NAF 911.

The Dornier 228 crash incidentally had on board, three members of the Diya coup tribunal, including Gen. Lemu, Lt. Col. Y J. Braimah who was judge advocate and General Duniya, the prosecuting counsel.

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.