Gov. Lalong, Tallen honour late Air Force spokesman
By Sumaila Ogbaje
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau State, and the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, on Tuesday extolled the virtues of the late former spokesperson of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Commodore Wapkerem Maigida.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the late senior officer reportedly slumped and passed on in Abuja on April 2 at the age of 49.
Maigida was the immediate past Director of Public Relations and Information of the NAF and Director of Civil Military Affair before his demise.
Gov. Lalong described late Megida as a humble, industrious and humane person who rose through the ranks to the rank if air commodore (equivalent of Brigadier General in the army) until his demise.
He said the death of Maigida was not only a loss to his family and Plateau Sate but also a loss to Nigeria and the air force.
The governor, who is also a cousin of the late officer, promised to ensure that his activities and ambition are not abandoned.
“His ambition was to reach the peak because as every officer you want to get to peak of the profession, but unfortunately God could say no, this is where you stop.
“But in respect to the church, if you go to the church in my village, he was very active in raising the church. We raised the church and almost completed it and now what I can do is to help them because in his memory a lot of things will be done in the church.
“For the children, as usual, I lost one major, one that is very close to him, my younger brother, I thought that he was going to fill in the gap and he was already filling in the gap and we lost to him again.
“We will do our best to educate them and I thank God that one is already taken by the Air Force.
“I will guide his career by God’s grace, and I will do my best to support them,” he said.
Also, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, described Maigida’s demise as a mystery and like “a bad dream”, saying that the will of God must be accepted.
Tallen said that Maiguda was a gentleman to the core, God fearing and a man of few words.
“I am calling on everybody here, particularly the chief of Air Staff and all his military friends to remember the family he has left behind.
“I pray that the air force will stand by his family to support this young children to grow, particularly his last son who is already wishing to be a pilot too.
“I wiII thank you all for the solidarity, the support, the love and all the kind words poured on him. May the good Lord console all of us,” she said.
The Director of Chaplaincy, Roman Catholic, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Philip Bako, admonished all to live their lives ready, adding that death could come at anytime chosen by God.
Bako, a Reverend Father, narrated how the late officer spent his last hours serving God, adding that he attended station of the cross twice.
“It was during Lent, he attended mass twice, and in each one he received Holy Communion and after that, he came for confession and the following day on Sunday, he celebrated his wife, and after that he died.
“This should be a lesson to us that our life is not our own. Our life belongs to who gave it to us and when he comes asking for it in submission and in obedience, we should just hand over and pray for the mercy of God,” he said.