The defence minister, who represented President Buhari, also stated that he expressed his “heartless felt condolences” in another goof.
The Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Magashi (retd.), at the burial of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru last Saturday, fumbled for words and grammatical tenses.
Magashi addressed the closest military officer to him – the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Leo Irabor – as the Chief of Staff, displaying a lack of coordination and incompetence characteristic of President Muhamamdu Buhari and many of his appointees.
The defence minister, who represented President Buhari, also stated that he expressed his “heartless felt condolences” in another goof, to the irritation of the mourners and participants at the funeral.
The minister said, “The Chief of Staff to President, ambassador Gambari…the Chief of Staff, General Irabor, our Police Officers' Wives Association, Mrs Victoria Irabor, the National President, Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association, Mrs Fati Attahiru.
“The late Lieutenant General Attahiru was an icon of professionalism. On behalf of the Commander-in-Chief, I wish to extend his great displeasure or the sadness of today’s solemn event. I wish to express my heartless felt condolences.”
Similarly, Buhari has goofed many times in public, even internationally.
Shortly after his election on 2015, President Buhari while at the G-7 event in Germany referred to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel as Michelle and President of West Germany in a video posted on YouTube by reportaafrique.tv.
During the campaign that preceeded his election in 2015, he referred to his party, All Progressives Congress (APC) as All Progressive Confidence while granting an interview to an international media organisation.
He once called his then running mate (now Vice-President) Prof Yemi Osibande instead of Yemi Osinbajo. Buhari also referred the Independent National Electoral Commission as the Independent Nigeria Electoral Commission.
While wooing voters during a campaign rally in Delta State, Buhari referred to the APC governorship candidate in the state as the 'presidential' candidate and then tried to correct himself by saying 'senatorial' before using 'governatorial' (sic).
The 21st Chief of Army Staff, Attahiru, died alongside 10 other army officers, and were buried last Saturday at the National Military Cemetery in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Attahiru died in a Nigerian Air Force Beechcraft 350 aircraft crash at the Kaduna State International Airport while attending an official assignment on Friday.
There were no survivors on the plane.
The Nigerian Air Force said it had commenced investigation into the cause of the crash of its NAF aircraft in which Attahiru and others were killed last Friday.