By Amos Matthew
As Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) celebrate 2021 passing out parade with a convocation ceremony held in honour of cadet and postgraduate students, the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru has been awarded Doctorate Degree in Military Science in recognition of his service to fatherland.
Widow of General Attahiru Mrs Fati Attahiru who received the award for her late husband dedicated the award to all victims of the ill-fated Kaduna crash in May 2021, all military personnel who sacrificed their lives and families they left behind.
Mrs Attahiru while commending NDA and its council members for finding her husband worthy of recognition, paid glowing tributes to the late 21st Chief of Army Staff, Officers and Men of the Armed Forces who were with him in the ill-fated aircraft for their dedication and service to the nation.
She noted that the fallen General signified hope to Nigerians of ending insurgency and other forms of insecurity so they could sleep with both eyes closed, expressing confidence in the ability of the armed forces under the leadership of the CDS , Gen Irabor to effectively accomplish the war against insurgency.
Speaking further, Mrs Attahiru relived her experience with her husband, describing him as a combination of courage, loyalty, poise and gallantry personified, urging graduating cadets to pursue their dreams with vigour, commitment and perseverance so they could reach the peak of their military careers.
She added that the late senior officer was guided always by three principles; sense of purpose, self-confidence and fearlessness, which had eased the General’s way to reaching the peak of service in the Nigerian Army.
“He indeed was and remains an inspiration to all as he lived a very simple life focussing on three guiding principles which I would like to share with the graduands here today.
“The need to have a sense of purpose by aspiring for something that pulls you into the future, overcoming all challenges encountered on the way as you climb through the ladder in your careers as military officers.
“Self-confidence is essential in your careers to believe in yourselves by not neglecting the small daily disciplines, by doing your best in all you do no matter how little to develop yourselves to be persistent in your efforts not to quit.
“More importantly, to be fearless; he would have challenged the graduating cadets to be fearless and aspire to be the best by reaching the peak of their careers like he did.
“His, started like a dream, but for his fearlessness, drive and willingness to sacrifice his all for a country he so much loved, and above all his faith in God as the ultimate decider of fates of mortals made him achieve his dreams.
” So be fearless, dare to dream and chase your dreams.
“I would like to dedicate this award to the fallen heroes of the May 21 plane crash, my dearest husband, his committed team, all military personnel who sacrificed their today to secure our tomorrow and to the families they left behind who miss them dearly, for indeed as a widow I know first-hand what it means to lose a dear one while paying the supreme price for a nation.
“Finally, for the outpour of love and support from friends, family, the Nigerian Armed Forces, the COAS, Lt. Gen Farouk Yahaya, wives of the service chiefs, the entire Nigerians far and wide who shared in our grief and pain when the sad incident occurred in May, We thank you for your support means a lot to all the widows.
“Mrs Maryam Kuliya, Mrs Iman AbdulKadir, Mrs Toyin Olayinka, Mrs Hamza and Mrs Zeenah Hayat thank you all for being my pillar of strength , ” she said .