The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has disputed claim by Boko Haram that it shot down its Alpha Jet aircraft, which was declared missing in Borno last Wednesday evening after losing radar contact as was purportedly shown in some videos trending online by the terrorist group.
Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information said from the ‘preliminary analysis of the video so far, it is obvious that the Boko Haram Sect, is seeking to claim credit for what was obviously an air accident that could have been caused by several other reasons.
The Air Force spokesperson accused Boko Haram of deliberately doctoring the videos to show that the air craft was shot down.
He also picked holes in the video to prove his claims that the terrorists have deliberately manipulated them to give a false impression that they shot down the aircraft.
READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW
CRASHED NAF ALPHA JET AIRCRAFT WAS NOT SHOT DOWN BY BOKO HARAM
The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to some videos being circulated on Social Media, as well as media reports drawn therefrom, alleging that the NAF Alpha Jet aircraft, which was reported missing in Borno State on 31 March 2021 after losing radar contact, was shot down by terrorists. One of such videos, in particular, began with sporadic shooting by several terrorists, including underaged children on motorcycles and vehicles. 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, while standing by the wreckage, claimed that they had shot down the NAF aircraft.
Although the video is still being thoroughly analysed, it is evident that most parts of the video were deliberately doctored to give the false impression that the aircraft was shot down. For instance, the video clip failed to show the correlation between the sporadic shooting, which even from casual observation was obviously aimed at ground targets, and the sudden mid-air aircraft explosion. In addition, it is almost impossible for an aircraft to have exploded mid-air, in the manner depicted in the video, and still have a good part of its fuselage, including its tail, intact. Indeed, an explosive impact of that nature would have scattered the debris of the aircraft across several miles.
It is obvious that the Boko Haram Sect, in its characteristic manner of employing false propaganda, is seeking to claim credit for what was obviously an air accident that could have been caused by several other reasons; particularly at a time when the capability of the group to inflict mayhem has been significantly degraded by the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
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.
Director of Public Relations and Information
2 April 2021