A year after the plane crash that claimed the life of the Nigerian army chief, the late soldier’s ailing mother shares a bitter story

A year ago, Nigeria’s fight against insecurity suffered a severe blow with the death of the country’s army chief, Ibrahim Attahiru. Mr. Attahiru was involved in a military plane crash near Kaduna International Airport on May 21, 2021. The crash also claimed the lives of other promising Nigerian soldiers who were lieutenants to the army chief. Nigeria lost 11 brave soldiers, including Mr. Atahiru, in the unfortunate incident. Also among the dead soldiers was Olatunji Olayinka, 51, a brigadier general, whose ailing mother, Olawanle Olayinka, had had a reassuring phone conversation with him just two days earlier. After urging his mother to visit the Yaba Military Hospital for a medical checkup and treatment for her arthritis, the soldier announced that he would visit over the weekend. But that never was. Narrative of the grieving mother During a recent visit to his residence in the Lagos State Property and Development Corporation (LSDPC) Estate, Lawanson, Ms. Olayinka shared her heartbreaking story while crying uncontrollably. He said that he had called the late Olayinka, who was in Ibadan on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, to tell him that he needed to go to the hospital. “I have been managing arthritis for about five years and my late son was responsible for the care. That day I told him that his legs were swollen, so he told me to go to the Yaba military hospital, where the doctors told me to get an X-ray,” he said. Ms. Olayinka said that on Thursday, May 20, the deceased sent her the hospital bill, but did not tell her that he would be traveling the next day. “So our conclusion was that he would come home to see me for the weekend,” the 77-year-old grandmother said. However, while waiting for the weekend to arrive, Ms. Olayinka said that one of her nephews called on the night of Friday May 21 and said; “Mom, please call brother Tunji o! I heard something just happened.” She said that was how she started making efforts to talk to her son, but to no avail. “That’s how they broke the news to me,” she said between sobs. When asked if she had any premonitions about her son’s death, Ms. Olayinka said no. Speaking of his feelings during the week of the accident, he said he had prayed from 3 am to 6:30 am. She said she prayed more because she had previously lost two children and would always pray for the children. “I pray much more for him because of his work,” she said. degenerative health In the last year since her son’s death, Mrs. Olayinka said her health has deteriorated. She said that the degeneration was not really due to poor care, but to depression caused by the death of her beloved son. She said; “I have not been in the best of health since the news of the accident broke because my son was everything to me. “He was my hero, my star, my pride. Olatunji was a son in the true sense of it. His death was like the accident of my whole life.” She described him as a bridge builder who she said built unity among the people of Majidun, Ikorodu, in Lagos state, her hometown. “Everyone in the community loved him because he was humble, caring and always ready to help,” she said. “Immortalize my son” However, the mother thanked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State for what she described as his administration’s intervention in her life. She said that she now receives a monthly stipend from the state for her care. She said her other children are also doing their best to fill the void created by the late soldier’s death. He added that when Mr. Sanwo-Olu came to visit a few days after the accident, he promised many things but “has kept many of those promises.” “But I told the governor to help me immortalize my son, no matter how small he was. and he promised to do it but he still hasn’t delivered. “I don’t want to decide for the government how to immortalize it, I just want something to be done about it,” said Ms. Olayinka. She said that as the first Lagosian to be appointed Provost Marshal of the Nigerian Army, she believed her son deserved immortalization. Ms. Olayinka also thanked the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Senator for the East Lagos Senatorial District, Tokunbo Abiru, the Member of the House of Representatives for the Ikorodu constituency, Babajimi Benson, and the wife of the late General Murtala Mohammed, Ajoke Muhammed, for their visit and “reassuring words” when they visited. about the deceased Born as the seventh child on June 13, 1969, into the family of the late Lateef Mobolaji Olayinka, a high chief of Lagos, and Olawanle Olayinka, the deceased had his primary education at Yewande Memorial Nursery and Primary School before proceeding to the School Nigerian Military. (NMS), Zaria, for his high school education. The mother explained that after his secondary education, her son had wanted to be admitted to the Nigerian Defense Academy, Zaria, but that his father was opposed. “He already got admission to the defense academy, but as his father objected, he took the University Matriculation Examination (UME) and was admitted to Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo,” said Ms Olayinka. Meanwhile, as a result of his interest, the late soldier was said to have deliberately performed poorly in his first year at school, for which he was advised to withdraw. “Then he wrote another NDA entrance exam and passed it. So his father had no choice but to let him go, ”her mother also narrated. The late soldier joined the NDA as a member of the 40th Regular Course to study Economics and during his last year at the academy, he was selected along with one of his classmates to complete his training at the prestigious Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, England. . Commissioned with the rank of Second Lieutenant on September 17, 1994, the late Olayinka was posted to the Nigerian Army Military Police Corps (NACMP). Since then, he has risen through the ranks to the position of Acting Provost of the Nigerian Army. “He was appointed Acting Provost of the Nigerian Army on March 20, 2021 as a Brigadier General. He said that he had been billed to be promoted to the rank of major general in November 2021, but he died as provost marshal in May,” he recounted. Until his death, the deceased was said to be pursuing his MPhil/PhD program at the Department of Peace, Security and Humanitarian Studies at the University of Ibadan. Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; A year after the plane crash that claimed the life of the Nigerian army chief, the late soldier’s ailing mother shares a bitter story