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Insecurity: Crashed Alpha Fighter Jet Was An Air Accident But Not Shot Down By The Jihadists – NAF

By Stephen Ubanna

For much of Friday, Apri 2, 2021, and the early part of Saturday, April 3, 2021, the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram , unverified video  on the crashed Nigerian AirForce , NAF, Alpha fighter Jet, released by  SITE Intelligence Group, that had  been monitoring the Jihadist activities in Nigeria had dominated the air waves in the West African country.

The Jihadists had made Nigerians and the international Community to believe that it had shot down the NAF, Alpha fighter Jet , 475, on an interdiction mission in support of the ground troops in Borno state, north east Nigeria, on Wednesday, March 30, but the news filtered out Thursday, March 31, 2021, forcing the Jihadists to release a video on it on Friday, April1, 221.

The BokoHaram video on the crashed NAF, Alpha fighter Jet, was said to have dominated the talks of Nigerians from  all walks   of life .  The situation wasworrisome that some as some concerned Nigerians who could not  come to terms that the Jihadists had the capacity to shoot  down a NAF, Alpha fighter plane,  were said to have bombarded the Mobile Lines of Isiaka OLadayo Amao, an Air Marshall and the Chief of Air Staff, CAS, to get the true position before forming their opinion on the issue. The Controversial video may have come out at a time President Muhammadu  Buhari, a  retired  army General, was in the  United Kingdom on a two weeks Medical vacation.

Air Marshall Amao: CAS

The Air Force Authorities may not have jumped into conclusion to condemn the Boko Haram   video, giving the impression that the Sect was instrumental to the crashed aircraft to avoid joining issues with the Group. It was said to have subjected the video Clips  to various analytical tests. Perhaps , based on its findings, the AirForce Authorities have no option but to open up, stressing that the terrorist  group had no hand on the crashed  NAF 475 ,  in Borno state , describing it as an ‘’air accident’’.

The Jihadists may have been looking for such an Opportunity to create disaffection in Nigerian military c and the Opportunity came on Wednesday March 31, 2021.  A NAF Alpha Jet 475,  which  was said to be on an interdiction mission in Borno state in support of  the ground troops was said to have  disappeared from the radar, giving the Authorities the impression that it may have crashed.

NAF Alpha Jet 475, On Interdiction Mission In Borno State which Went Off The Radar

  The Alpha Je, was said to have disappeared from the radar   with two Crew members on board, FLt. Lieutenants John Abolarinwa and Ebiakpo Chapele.  The NAF,  fighter aircraft may have crashed in a BokoHaram stronghold in the north east state that gave them the advantage to claim responsibility for it   and quickly release a video on the crashed NAF plane on Friday, April 2, 2021, as a way  to win public support.

The NAF Authorities may have been forced to counter the BoHaram claim because of the direction the   crashed Alpha plane was going, which appeared to have taken the Nigeria military  to people’s Court to show that the Jihadists now have the equipment to shoot down their fighter planes, which may pose a big problem to the counter insurgency war in the north east states.

Edward  Gabkwet, an Air Commodore, and Director, NAF, Public Relations and Information, may have disabused the people’s mind  on the BokoHaram video on the crashed  fighter plane, describing it as ‘’mere Propaganda’’, insisting that it was doctored. Gabkwet had said that  ‘’most parts of  the Video, released by SITE Intelligence group, at the instance of the Leadership of BokoHaram  were deliberately doctored to give  a false impression that the aircraft was shot down.

He noted that the  had failed  to show’’ the relation  between sporadic shooting, which  even from casual Observation was obviously aimed  at ground targets and the sudden mid-air  aircraft explosion’’ which makes a mockery of it.

The NAF spokesperson, who could not hide his feelings had said that  ‘’the Sect  in its usual Characteristics manner  of employing  false propaganda to drum public support is seeking  to claim credit  for what  was obviously  an air accident that could have been caused by several other reasons’’. He was said to have made it clear to those that cares to listen that’’ the capability of the Group to inflict any mayhem  on the Nigerian military   has been significantly  degraded by the troops, an indication that it is no there at all.

The AirForce Authorities may have come to the conclusion that the Alpha Jet on the interdiction in the north east of Boorno may have crashed but could not ascertain what may have caused it. This may have informed why Gabkwet, the NAF spokesperson has  advised  Nigerians’’ to ignore  the contents of the video Clip making the rounds until all investigations  as to how  the aircraft  crashed  are Completed’’.

An informed source confirmed that  the NAF  Alpha aircraft was last seen flying  around  Goni Kurmi and Njimia villages after attacking  the Jihadists  Locations  at the sambisa forest but suddenly disappeared into thin air.  The source  disclosed  that news  had filtered out around the Communities  within the sambisa forest that the NAF Alpha fighter Jet 475 which had bombarded the Jihadists Location  had crashed somewhere around the Konduga Local government of the state because of the celebrations in the BokoHaram Camp.  The Jihadists may have got the information about the crashed aircraft first which erupted into a wild jubilation in their Camp in the forest which gave them the opportunity to produce the doctored video on the incident.       

Stephen Ubanna

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July 2021

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