An Alpha Jet fighter (NAF475), belonging to the Nigeria Air Force was feared to have crashed while fighting Boko Haram in the northeast, Nigeria. The Nigerian Air Force had on Thursday declared the Alpha Jet fighter (NAF475) missing, noting that it went off the radar on 31 March 2021 with two crew members on board.
The Nigerian Air Force Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, in a statement identified those on board the ill-fated aircraft to include the pilots, Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele. The Director in the statement declared the cause of the crash as well as the whereabouts of the two pilots remain unknown.
He declared: “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.”
Commodore Gabkwet was, however, silent on the technical condition of the fighter jet before takeoff.
Perturbing to many Nigerians is the recurring crashing of security aircraft deployed to fight either the bandits in the northwest or Boko Haram in the northeast in the recent time. A police fighter aircraft deployed to fight bandits in Niger State crashed in Abuja immediately after takeoff penultimate week. The police authorities had said that investigations were being conducted.
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