The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN yesterday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare military plane crashes in the country as a national emergency.
It would be recalled that there had been at least three plane crashes involving military aircraft in the last three months, the latest being last Friday's crash that killed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 other military officers., near Kaduna International Airport.
At least 20 military officers were killed in the three crashes. CAN, in a statement signed by its National Secretary, Daramola Joseph, said government must ascertain that all planes are fit for flights before they take off.
The statement, titled, "CAN Commiserates With President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian Military And The Families Of Those Who Died In The Most Recent Military Plane Crash", read: "While our hearts are filled with sorrow for the supreme price they paid, we acknowledge with sense of gratitude to them, their selfless services to all of us in the nation.
"They laid down their lives in order to keep our nation safe and secure from the aggression of terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements in our nation.
"We pray for Your Excellency and all the families affected by their painful exit, fortitude and comfort of the Holy Spirit to bear the loss. We pray that this type of national tragedy will never occur again.
"It is high time thorough investigations were carried out with a view to ascertaining the immediate and remote causes of these recurrent disasters and address the causes decisively and squarely. "We cannot continue to lose our finest military and security officers to air disasters without treating the situation as a national emergency.
"CAN is genuinely concerned and suggests that while the nation still awaits the report of the cause or causes of this latest crash, adequate measures should be taken so as to avert this kind of tragedy both in our military and civil aviation in the future.
"We must ascertain that all military aircrafts are fit to fly and that the training of the flight officers is excellent.
"We further plead that adequate care should be taken of the dependants of the deceased so that they might be proud eternally of the nation the deceased served."
Vanguard News Nigeria