By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Nigerian Army on Thursday abruptly ended the ongoing Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2020 in Abuja as it was confirmed a senior military officer had fallen victim to COVID 19.
The officer, Maj-Gen. Johnson Olu Irefin was until his death the General Officer Commanding 6th Division, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The late GOC was among senior officers attending the conference which kicked off on Monday. The closing ceremony was billed for Thursday.
He reportedly died of complications associated with the Coronavirus pandemic.
Before his posting to 6 Div in July 2020, he was GOC 81 Division Nigerian Army Lagos.
The army through spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Sagir Musa disclosed in a press release Thursday morning that the remaining activities of the conference was being cancelled due to “resurgence of COVID 19 Pandemic in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja in what appears to be a second wave of infection cycle and the unfortunate incident on Tuesday 8 December 2020, where an officer participating in the ongoing Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2020 here in Abuja tested positive to COVID 19”
He said that “All the participants have been mandated to immediately proceed on self isolation in line with the Federal Government’s protocol for COVID 19 and to prevent any further spread of the disease.
And in another press release, the army spokesperson said that the earlier scheduled Wedding Fatiha of the son of the COAS, Mr Hamisu Tukur Buratai, slated for Friday 11 December 2020 will proceed as arranged, albeit pruned down without the participation of all those who were at the conference.
He informed all those earlier invited that due to the resurgence of the Pandemic in the FCT, General Buratai will be unable to personally attend to, receive or meet them at the event.