Uncertainty persists over missing NAF jet, crew
By Tasie Theodore
Uncertainty is persisting over the missing Nigeria Air Force fighter jet that went missing days ago as well as the fate of its crew.
At the moment, intelligence reports indicate that the whereabouts of the plane and flight crew is yet to be ascertained but it is not impossible that they my have been involved in a crash.
Director of NAF Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet confirmed the intelligence report in an update on the missing Alpha Jet aircraft on Friday.
“Intelligence report gathered by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) indicates that the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar with 2 crew members on board on 31 March 2021 might have crashed.
“The cause of the crash as well as the whereabouts of the 2 pilots remain unknown.
“The pilots are Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele.
He however noted that “extensive search and rescue efforts are still ongoing by NAF surveillance aircraft as well as NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops on ground.
“At this point, the NAF is not ruling out anything regarding the incident.
“It however remains hopeful that the crew would soon be found and rescued.”
The jet had reportedly been dispatched as part of combat operations in the tumultous Borno corridor of the North East that has been the hotbed of the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency that has been ravaging the area and beyond for over a decade now.
Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor