The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, has stated that the events of the past few days involving the unfortunate crash of an Alpha-Jet aircraft should inspire and spur Nigerian Air Force pilots, technicians and ground troops to remain resolute in the fight against insurgency in the North- East and other parts of the country.
The CAS stated that the videos being circulated on social media claiming that the aircraft was shot down by insurgents were false, noting that “from critical analysis of all available intelligence, it was obvious that the air accident was caused by other factors soon to be unravelled.”
The NAF Alpha jet went missing since Wednesday with two airmen, Flt Lts. John Abolarinwa and Ebiakpo Chapele, on board.
Amao stated that efforts were still ongoing in collaboration with the Nigerian Army and other security agencies to find the crashed aircraft as well as the two pilots so as to bring the matter to closure.
He stated this while on another visit to the Air Component of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maiduguri and after receiving a briefing from the Air Component Commander, Air Commodore Nnamdi Ananaba, on the efforts with the NA to locate the site of the Alpha jet crash.
This was contained in a statement on Sunday by the NAF spokesman, Edward Gabkwet, titled, ‘ CAS in Maiduguri, charges personnel to remain resolute. According to the air chief, “despite the sad events of the past few days, now more than ever before is the time that the NAF must show strength, determination and remain undeterred and unrelenting until the entire North-East is rid of terrorists and other criminal elements”.
Amao noted that while a lot has been achieved towards degrading the capacity and capability of the insurgents, much more needed to be done to achieve the desired level of peace and security in the region.
“We must continue to work assiduously in synergy with sister services and other security agencies to ensure that peace and security of lives and property are achieved,” the statement quoted him as telling the NAF personnel.
He assured the troops of his support as they intensified efforts towards ensuring that the fight against insurgency comes to an end in no distant time.
The air marshal celebrated the Easter and interacted with the troops while also commending them for their efforts towards projecting air power as well as providing close air support to ground troops in the fight against insurgency.