Alpha jet had accident, wasn’t shot down by Boko Haram: NAF

Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has rejected the claim of Boko Haram that it shot down the aircraft declared missing on Wednesday.

The terrorist group had claimed it fighters gunned down the aeroplane with NAF 475 inscription seen on a debris of the aircraft which the Airforce authorities earlier claimed might have crashed.

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The Abubakar Shekau faction of the terror group in a video clip said the pilots of the aeroplane, said to be aiding ground troops during a counter attack in Borno, have also been killed.

But the Director of Public Relations and Information of the force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said in a release on Saturday that the video was doctored.

Mr Gabkwet without presenting convincing evidence reteirated that the jet which lost radar contact while in motion had an accident.

“One of such videos, in particular, began with sporadic shooting by several terrorists, including under-aged children on motorcycles and vehicles,” he said. “It later skipped abruptly to a scene depicting an aircraft exploding mid-air, supposedly as a result of enemy action.

“Another part of the video showed a terrorist who claimed that they had shot down the NAF aircraft while standing by the wreckage.

“Although the video is still being thoroughly analysed, it is evident that most parts of the video were deliberately doctored to give a false impression that the aircraft was shot down. It is obvious that the Boko Haram Sect, in its characteristic manner of employing false propaganda, is seeking to claim credit for what was an air accident that several other reasons could have caused; particularly at a time when the Armed Forces of Nigeria have significantly degraded the capability of the group to inflict mayhem.

“Consequently, Nigerians are please advised to ignore the contents of the videos making the rounds until all investigations as to how the aircraft crashed are completed. The NAF, on its part, remains resolute and will continue to work assiduously, in synergy with sister services and other security agencies, to rid the North East of all terrorist elements,” he added.

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