President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday evening paid a get-well-quick visit to the two Nigerian Air Force officers involved in a crash last week, at the Defence Intelligence Agency hospital in Abuja.
Buhari had returned to the country in the wee hours of the day from New York, United States of America, where he attended the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.
“By about 5.30 p.m, the president turned up at the hospital, to pay a morale boosting visit to the injured officers,” his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said in a statement .
He also said the president “rejoiced with Squadron Leader Batuba, and Flight Lieutenant Andy, giving glory to God for sparing their lives.
“He also commiserated with them on the loss of their colleague, Squadron Leader M. Baba Ari. He prayed that God would give the family of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss.
“Chief of Medical Services at the hospital, Air Vice Marshal Saleh Shinkafi, assured President Buhari that the medical condition of the officers was improving steadily, and that they were being kept for further rest and counseling, as part of the rehabilitation process,” Mr Adesina said.
He said the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, an Air Marshall, who was also on hand to receive the president, explained that the three pilots ejected successfully from their jets after the collision, while training for air parade to mark the country’s 58th Independence Anniversary, but the helmet of Baba Ari flew open, and he suffered head injuries that turned fatal.
Among others that received the president at the hospital were his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and Chief of Defence Intelligence, Mohammed Usman, an Air Vice Marshal.