George Olufade, the father of Flt Lt Alfred Olufade, the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft that killed 11 military officers, including the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, said only prayers could sustain him as George was his only son.
The grieving father decried the state of military aircraft in the country and called on the authorities to overhaul the planes and focus on staff welfare.
Alfred got married three months ago amid pomp and circumstance.
George said, “It is devastating. I just need prayers for strength. I pray that God should hold us because he was my only son. He was very intelligent, generous, extremely humble, and dedicated to his duty. He was a giver and a lover of Christ.
“He was in the seminary before he eventually got into the military school.
“He was the only Airforce officer in my state. He was a special child. He graduated as the youngest in his set. When he wanted to join the military, I encouraged him from the beginning to the end because he had a passion for flying. I encouraged him and prayed for him.
“They should take care of their planes. Most of their planes are outdated and not properly taken care of. They stress their pilots, too. He just returned from Maiduguri and he had to fly again. They need to take care of their planes before they lose all their brilliant talents.
“Each time he was flying, he would tell me and I would pray for him. But this last one, he didn’t tell me. But God knows better. It has not been my prayer holding him, but God has been holding him. God gave me Ayodeji and He had taken him; may his soul rest in peace. If it is from God, glory be to Him. If it is from man, God will judge.”