According to Sun News, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has described claims by the Boko Haram group that it shot down its missing fighter jet, which disappeared from radar on Wednesday, March 31, as fake.
The NAF, also said it has seen the said videos which went virile on the internet but that there was not enough evidence to prove that the aircraft in the video clips belongs to the NAF.
It wondered why the terrorists did not display the Nigerian Air Force aircraft number or the body of Air Force pilot in uniform. It said until all these are proven, the video remains fake as it cannot rely on such falsehood to relate the passing of its pilots to their loved ones.
The terrorists group had claimed responsibility for gunning down the aircraft in a viral video released Friday.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, maintained that the video was fake as it is fraught with inconsistencies, saying the lush vegetation in one of the videos suggest it was not shot in the Northeast after all. He said the video could have been clips doctored from previous incidents.
According to him, “We have seen some videos but there is nothing that has proven that the aircraft in those clips belongs to us, or have you seen a Nigerian Air Force aircraft number or the body of Air Force pilot or have you seen any Air Force uniform until we get all these details strengthen out, we are not going to go into speculation.
“That video could have been shot somewhere. I have seen four videos so far, one of them has lush vegetation in the background, and I wonder where they have such vegetation in the Northeast. Unless they did something and they are releasing the clips bit by bit, we are waiting.
“Except we have evidence, because like I said, these persons have families and you cannot go their wives, parents or wards, you must bring concrete evidence. There must be something to show”.
In a statement released late Friday night by the NAF spokesperson reads; “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”.