The Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), on Saturday, held a memorial service for the 165 military officers who died in a plane crash in 1992 at Ejigbo on the outskirts of Lagos.
The Nigeria Air Force C-130 plane crashed on Sept. 26, 1992 killing all the passengers and crew members.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that this is the third year the College is observing a memorial ceremony in honour of the 165 deceased officers.
NAN reports that prayers were offered for the peaceful repose of the deceaseds’ souls.
In his remarks, Commandant of the College, AVM Abubakar Liman, said it was worthwhile to honour the deceased who paid the supreme sacrifice in the service of their fatherland.
“We are gathered here once again to remember the officers and men who died in the Nigerian Air Force C-130 plane crash of 26 September 1992.
“On this day, exactly 28 years ago, at about 17:45 hours, the NAF C-130 aircraft, with tail number NAF 911 crashed some minutes after take-off in the swampy area of Ejigbo, a few kilometres from Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos, killing all the 165 persons on board.
“The persons on board included seven members of Directing Staff, 140 students of Senior Course 15 and 3 support staff of AFCSC returning from a tour of naval formations in Lagos.
“The aircraft crew and few other persons travelling from Lagos to Kaduna were also onboard the aircraft,” he said.
According to him, the unfortunate incident brought to an abrupt end the lives of promising officers, with very bright future in the Armed Forces.
He noted that the military lost a generation of middle-level officers who were staff and students of the College.
“A price that will never be forgotten by the College, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the nation in general.
“The world will not remember for long the words we say here today, but will forever remember the price paid by the beloved officers and men.”
The Commandant said the entire College community still mourn the loss of the fine officers and men and their demise will forever remain in their hearts.
Liman said the college had erected a befitting cenotaph, with the names of the fallen heroes, where their families would visit to remember their loved ones.
“This is to ensure that their names are not forgotten in the history of the College.
“The road within the senior quarters has been appropriately named September 26 Close, as approved by college committee.
“Additionally, the recently commissioned Hall of Fame of the College has segment where pictures of the victims are displayed with their names.”
Liman said the families, loved ones and relatives of the deceased should be commended for the way they held forte for the departed.
“We acknowledge that words cannot fill the void created by the death of your husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, sisters and uncles.
“We know most of these fine men and women who died were the breadwinners and pillars of their families, who had so much hope in them.
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“The College and the entire Armed Forces of Nigeria grieve with you and will continue to remember the sacrifice made by your departed loved ones.
“My prayer for you today is that God will continue to comfort you and give you the strength and fortitude to bear the loss.
“As we continue to remember our departed colleagues, let us take a moment to reflect in ourselves and our own lives as staff and students of this institution.
“As well as our various responsibilities vis-à-vis the current security situation in the country,” he said.
Mrs Hadiza Pindar, who also lost her husband in the plane crash, commended the college for honouring their husbands.
Pindar, however, urged the college to always remember them as it remembered the dead.
Also, Squadron Leader Olusegun Alege, son of one of the victims of the plane crash, commended the leadership of the college for honouring their parents.