Monday, 15 September 2014

Missing Jet: Military Alerts Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Others

The military has alerted the neighbouring countries to the missing NAF aircraft, even as there is anxiety over what could have been responsible for the planes disappearance.
According to military sources, the search-and-rescue team is not ruling out extending their search beyond our border, but that would be after combing every nook and cranny of the north-east.

It may have to do with mechanical fault but what was responsible would be known when the investigation is complete, the source said.
We wont let terrorists take any town or village again
The euphoria that greeted the massive victory recorded by Nigerian troops over Boko Haram was cut short by the news that one of the aircraft used to complement the troops on ground has been missing since Friday.
The troops, according to reports, succesfully flushed out the terrorists from their hideouts and liberated some towns that had been declared part of caliphate by the terrorists in an operation that lasted several hours.
On Saturday, information came in that an Air Force Alfa jet on a regular mission in the campaign to eliminate the insurgents on Friday went missing with two crew members on board.
A statement issued by Defence Headquarters yesterday on Sunday morning and signed by the director, defence information, Major General Chris Olukolade, disclosed that search-and-rescue efforts were currently on to locate the whereabouts of the aircraft and crew.
An Alpha jet (NAF 466) belonging to the Nigerian Air Force is missing around Adamawa State. The aircraft, with two pilots onboard, left Yola at about 10:45am on 12 September 2014 on a routine operational mission and was expected back by 12:00 noon. Since then all efforts to establish contact with the aircraft have not yielded any positive result. Meanwhile, search and rescue effort is ongoing to establish contact with the crew, the military stated.
Meanwhile, the chief of defence staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh, has directed the troops to never allow the terrorists to occupy any town or village again.
The directive was given, according to a top military officer who did not want his name in print, after the resounding victory over the outlawed group.
What we witnessed of recent, where the Boko Haram terrorists were taking over some towns and villages, declaring them caliphates, will never occur again because of our plan to ensure there is no hiding place for those criminals. The CDS has given an order to that effect and that must be enforced to ensure security of the innocent people in the affected states, the source said.
He regretted a situation where the Boko Haram fighters took over some towns and villages, hoisted their illegal flags and declared them parts of the illegal caliphates under them. Let me tell you: never again would those criminals be allowed to take over any town or village and declare them caliphates under them. We are ready for them; we have vowed to ensure the life and property of every law-abiding person in those states are safe and secured.
Speaking further, the serving general urged the media in the country to stop sourcing news from the foreign press who did not wish Nigeria well: We are doing our best, we urge the media to be wary of where they get their stories. It is regrettable that most of them are banking on the foreign media which do not wish Nigeria well, for whatever reasons, to be telling them what is happening in the war against the terror group; and often they do not care to cross-check from us before they publish their stories. This country belongs to both the military and the civilians. Your stories could either discourage or encourage the troops fighting for the safety of our country and they too are human beings.
The general also have words for the political class which he asked to stop politicisation of the security challenges.
It is when Nigeria is safe and secured they can actualise their ambition. They cannot become president, governors, senators and members of the House if the country is at war. They should watch their utterances. Most of their utterances are discouraging our troops and this is dangerous to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
Air Force denies sighting of aircraft in Gombi
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force has dismissed the report doing the rounds that the missing Alpha Jet (NAF 466) has been sighted in Gombi Local Government of Adamawa State.
Local farmers in the area had claimed to have seen the rubbles of a crashed air plane near Gabun Primary school yesterday.
Residents of Gabun, a village in Gombi local government area, about 120km away from the state capital, claimed that they saw the rubbles of an aircraft which they suspected to be the missing fighter jet.
Similarly several residents of Hawul, a border town in Borno, said they saw an aircraft flying at a frighteningly low altitude, with the green and red stripes of the aircraft so visible, adding that the door of the aircraft seemed to have been wide open.
The residents said some minutes after the aircraft passed, they heard a loud bang.
A resident of the area, Mallam Bello, said he had never seen an aircraft flying at such an incredibly low altitude in his life which, in the first instance, created panic in him as he suspected that the airplane was in trouble and would crash into one of the mountains, but that it somehow managed to pass by.
I am not the only person who sighted the airplane; several other residents noticed it due to the low altitude it was flying, which provoked anxiety as people trooped out of their houses to see what was happening, he said.
But when LEADERSHIP spoke with the spokesman of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, he described the report as rumour and the search for the missing plane would continue.
We have heard of the rumour; some media have already been using it without crosschecking their facts. There is no truth in the rumour.
When the information reached us, we despatched the search and rescue team to the same local government and nothing was found there, so the search continues and once it is located, we would keep the public posted through the appropriate channel, Alonge told our correspondent.
When asked to confirm if the neighbouring countries had been informed, he answered in the affirmative.
We are doing everything humanly possible to ensure we locate the missing aircraft. I urge the media to be cautious in publishing rumour instead of facts, he stated.
Hoodlums in looting spree in Mubi
Fleeing residents of Mubi were caught up in a double tragedy at the weekend as hoodlums capitalized on the mass exodus of people from the area to other parts of the state to loot their property items.
The invasion of neighboring Michika and Madagali towns by Boko Haram insurgents had upped tension in the commercial border town of Mubi, forcing thousands of residents to flee the area.
Hoodlums in the area were said to have capitalised on the situation to burgle many shops and homes of the fleeing residents. The town became a ghost of its former self.
Many people, on returning to their homes after the anxiety had calmed down, were surprised to find that their property had been stolen.
Reports indicated that Shagari Low-cost and its environs were the most affected as the neighborhood was completely deserted.
A resident of the area, Mr Aliyu Madaki, said his belongings were stolen as he fled to Yola to escape the insurgents.
Another resident, Jibrilla, noted that criminals took advantage of the mass exodus of people to loot deserted homes and urged security operatives to intensify patrols in the deserted areas of the town to check the menace.
Reports also indicated that burglars capitalised on the situation to loot the items of fleeing residents of Uba town, about 30km from Mubi.
No clue yet on missing Alpha jet
Three days after a Nigerian Air Force Alpha jet on a mission to rout Boko Haram insurgents in Adamawa border towns got missing, reports indicated that the missing jet was yet to be found.
The Alpha Jet (NAF 466) was reported by Nigerias Defence Headquarters to have got missing on Friday.
The aerial bombardments, insiders say, have left the Boko Haram insurgents suffering extensive losses in men and equipment, though reports say that as the military bombed their locations from above, the terrorists also began to plot against the aircraft carrying out the operation.
Meanwhile, soldiers fighting the Boko Haram insurgents in the northern parts of Adamawa have alleged that they are not well fed and have been operating on empty stomachs for days.
Some of the soldiers expressed fear of more dissertations should the authorities continue to show poor attitude towards their welfare. They urged the authorities to provide them with modern equipment so they could face the insurgents squarely.
There are increasing cases of saboteurs in our operations. We are poorly equipped; sometimes, bullets are rationed, yet we are to go and confront well equipped militants.
Many of us have overstayed here no transfer, as if we are the only soldiers in this country. Our allowances are not paid as at when due, one of the soldiers in Michika stated.
Adamawa acting governor sympathises with NAF
The acting governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, has sympathised with the Nigeria Air Force over the loss of one its fighter jets.
Fintiri said the prayers of the people were with the aircraft pilots for their safe return to their families.
In a press release signed by his chief press secretary, Mr Solomon Kumangar, the acting governor applauded the efforts being made by the military towards curbing the activities of the insurgents, saying that the state government was ready to assist them at all times.
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