From Molly Kilete, Abuja
Tears flowed freely, yesterday, at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja, when the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) buried seven of its personnel who died in the Beechcraft King Air 350 crash in Abuja, last Sunday.
Parents, spouses, children, family members, friends and journalists could not hold back tears as the caskets bearing the bodies of the officers and Airme, arrived the cemetery.
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshall Amao, broke down and cried when he could no longer hold his emotions while presenting his address at the funeral.
Mother of the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft brought tears to the eyes of mourners when she knelt by the graveside of her son, Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama, showered him with praises and asked him to rest on until they meet to part no more.
The elderly woman, accompanied to the graveside by her husband and two other who incidentally is a retired Wing Commander of the NAF, described her son as a good boy who gave his life for Nigeria to be in peace.
As she performed the dust to dust ritual, she asked him, “Gadzama, but why did you decide to leave me now?”
In his address at the funeral, the CAS, who could not control his emotion, said: “We salute the supreme sacrifice of these young men, whose lot it became to give their lives in the defence of the peace, which we all enjoy and often take for granted. These intelligent and disciplined young officers and airmen flew their quota of ongoing surveillance missions in the North East, North West and more recently in the North Central over Niger State and its environs in connection with the concerted efforts to secure the release of the staff and students abducted from the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State.
“The loss of these confident, courageous and professional young officers and airmen must spur the rest of us not only to rededicate ourselves to the service of our Nation, but also to resolve that we shall relentlessly expose and fight all agents of destabilisation and extremism in our society. We must throw everything that we have into this fight, to ensure that our departed colleagues did not die in vain.”