Flight Lieutenant Akweke Junior Nwakile, the MI – 35 attack helicopter pilot, who lost his life in an air crash while serving with the Operation Zamah Lafiya in North – Eastern Nigerian has been buried with full military honours at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja, according to Defence Information website.
Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Defence , Aliyu Gusau Mohammed enjoined the family of the deceased and serving members of the Armed Forces to see the unfortunate demise of the officer as a call to service of the nation.
The Minister pointed out that “though the dream of a promising and fulfilling career of this young gentleman officer has been cut short, the current security challenges we face demand courage, selflessness and great commitment from all of us, adding that we should be comforted that he is resting in the bosom of the Lord. He added that “It is the fervent prayer of the nation, that the demise of this young gallant officer who laid down his life in the course of such noble duty will not be in vain”.
Gen Mohammed (rtd) further noted that though his air craft was not brought down by enemy action as speculated in some quarters, he was able to force-land the air craft when it malfunctioned such that the other two crew members survived the crash. He stressed that the country must therefore be proud of the gallantry of this young gentleman who proudly demonstrated the doggedness and tenacity of a combat helicopter pilot.
The Minister of Defence also conveyed the condolences of the President to the family of the officer, emphasizing that the President appreciates the great sacrifice of this young man and other members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria who have continued to ensure enduring peace in the nation.
He told the gathering that the President is committed to doing all that is necessary to support the Armed Forces in carrying out its duties towards ensuring the sanctity of a united Nigeria.
(Photos: Defence Information Directorate, DHQ)