He also directed that the Police Council meeting initially scheduled for Thursday be rescheduled till next week Thursday.
According to a statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the postponement was in honour of the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 others, who died in an air crash in Kaduna on Friday.
The statement was titled ‘Postponement of the Federal Executive Council and the Police Council meetings.’
It reads, “Further to the directive of Mr. President for the national flag to fly at half-mast nationwide from 24th to 26th May, 2021 and the declaration of today, Monday 24th May, 2021, as work free-day for members of the Armed Forces, the President has also directed that the Federal Executive Council meeting scheduled to hold on Wednesday, 26th May, 2021 be postponed to Wednesday, 2nd June, 2021.
“Similarly, the Police Council meeting, which was earlier scheduled for Thursday, 27th May, 2021, be postponed to Thursday, 3rd June, 2021 in honour of the memory of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 other senior military officers and service men.”
Meanwhile, Buhari admitted that the death of the COAS and 10 others in the Friday air crash in Kaduna had aggravated Nigeria’s security challenges.
Buhari said this while hosting a delegation from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The delegation was led by the Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi.
Others in the delegation are the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress National Caretaker Committee and Yobe State Governor, Mai Buni, and Governor of Niger State, Sani Bello.
In his remarks, Buhari said only God knew why the crash happened, adding that he was emboldened to work hard, hoping that God would provide the enablement to scale through challenges.
Fayemi commiserated with the regime over the death of the officers, saying the President was deeply touched by the incident.
Fayemi said: “We’ve read your statement and this delegation of governors consider it a duty and as part of our obligation as your representatives to commiserate with you over the loss of your gallant officers.”
Saudi King, Anglican Bishop condole with Buhari
Meanwhile, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday received a condolence call from the Saudi monarch, Salman Abdulaziz, following the death of the Army chief and 10 others.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Saudi King, Secretary-General of Anglican Communion condole with President Buhari on loss of COAS, military officers.’
According to the statement, the monarch commiserated with the President and Nigerians following the recent tragedy.
The statement added, “President Buhari expressed happiness with the King and thanked him for standing with Nigeria in all situations.”
In a similar vein, the Nigerian-born Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion in London, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, also commiserated with Buhari over the loss.
He prayed for the President and Nigeria as the nation mourned the late Chief of Army Staff and his top lieutenants.
‘Probe plane crash’
In a related development, the apex socio-cultural organisation in Igbo land, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to probe into the circumstances that led to the death of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and other senior military officers.
The factional Secretary-General of of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, stated this in a statement on Sunday.
The statement read in part, “This is perceived to be as a result of sabotage that should be investigated, even though the late Army chief and the others had paid the supreme price for peace to return to northern Nigeria.”
Iwuanyanwu describes incident as painful
Also, an elder statesman and Chairman, Ohaneze Council of Elders, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has described Friday’s air crash as very a painful occurrence and a big loss to the entire nation.
He said, “The late Chief of Army Staff came to the centre stage with a lot of lofty programmes for the security of the entire nation. He had a lot of capacity and enthusiasm in him. He was a man of valour.”