The remains of the two pilots and three crew Nigerian Air Force personnel who died on January 2, while on counter insurgency operations in the North East has been laid to rest.
They were interned at exactly 11:15am, amid tears and eulogies from families, friends and members of the armed forces.
At the funeral service held at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar said the death of the officers rather than demoralise personnel of the NAF, would spur them to expose and fight all agents of destabilisation and extremism in the country.
He said: “The loss of these courageous and professional gentlemen must spur the rest of us not only to rededicate ourselves to the service of our nation, but also to resolve and expose and fight all agents of destabilisation and extremism in our society.
“We must throw in everything we have into 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.
“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.”
Abubakar, while sympathising with the immediate family of the deceased officers and personnel, NAF, and all Nigerians for the great loss said “the families of the deceased, I know Nigerians everywhere will join me in praying for you as you shoulder this heavy burden of grief.
“May time ease the soaring pain of today and please note that the entire nation shares this grief with you. There can be no better consolation than the knowledge that the nation grieves with you 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 five gentlemen and those before them. May God continue to bless them and keep our land prosperous and free.”