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.
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.
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.