On Thursday, seven Nigerian Air Force (NAF) officers killed in Sunday’s air crash at Abuja will be laid to rest at the National Cemetery, Airport Road, in the Lugbe area of the Federal Capital.
The NAF disclosed this on Wednesday in an invitation to journalists.
The Beechcraft King Air B350i in which the victims were flying crashed short of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after reporting an engine failure.
The deceased include the Captain, Fl. Lt. Haruna Gadzama; Fl. Lt. Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot); Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System Specialist); Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist); Fl. Sgt. Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist); Sgt. Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist) and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).
The tragic incident generated an outpouring of grief nationwide.
The Chief of Air Staff (COAS), Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao, has ordered an investigation into the mishap.
The CAS said the deceased personnel had been in Minna, Niger State, for days conducting Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions in connection with efforts to secure the release of the 42 students and staff abducted from the Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, visited the Ado Ekiti residence of Olawunmi on Tuesday to commiserate with his family.
The widow, Mrs. Omolola, recalled the last time she spoke with her husband.
She said, “When I got home on Sunday, I called him that, ‘Dear, we have returned from church.’ He said, ‘We are taking off now, I would call you back when we land.’ I am still waiting for that call.”
Fayemi, who consoled the widow, led the prayer for protection for the family of the late Olawunmi.