The federal government of Nigeria on Tuesday alleged that some people are gloating over the disappearance of a NAF fighter jet that went missing during operations against Boko Haram insurgents.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who said this at a media briefing on Tuesday in Abuja said such persons are not true and patriotic Nigerians.
He reiterated that efforts are ongoing to locate and recover the crashed jet as well as the pilots on board, and therefore called on everyone to support the military.
It will be recalled that NAF had confirmed that one of its fighter jets lost contact in Borno state last week Wednesday while on a mission against Boko Haram insurgents.
The jet which is presumed to have crashed as well as the pilots on board are yet to be located, prompting mixed reactions from Nigerians.
Mohammed however on Tuesday said the military is doing all within its powers to locate the aircraft and the pilots but warned those gloating over the situation to desist from such action but rather pray for the military and security operatives who daily put their own lives on the line to keep the country safe.
He said: “I have read, especially on social media, some dead-enders who are gloating at the disappearance of the NAF aircraft.
“This is abhorrent and condemnable, and couldn’t have come from true-born Nigerians. “No patriotic citizen will denigrate his or her country’s military for fighting to protect the nation’s territorial integrity and ensuring peace and security. None,’’ he said.
He added that “While we await word from the Air Force on the ongoing search and rescue efforts, this development has once again accentuated the huge sacrifices being made by our men and women in uniform to keep our country safe and to make sure we sleep well at night.”
“Every day, these valiant men and women put their lives on the line, in the ultimate act of sacrifice and patriotism, for the sake of our nation.
“When they leave their homes, there is no guarantee they will return. “Yet, they soldier on! This is one of the reasons why we launched a national campaign to seek support for our military and other security agencies in February 2019.’’
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has denied trending news that the wreckage of its missing fighter jet, as well as the body of one of the pilots, has been found in Bama, Borno State.
NAF spokesperson Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet in a statement on Monday, urged members of the public to disregard the news.
He added that efforts were still ongoing to locate and recover the missing jets as well as the pilots who were on board the crashed jet.
Naija News understands that some earlier reports quoting military sources had claimed that the wreckage of the Nigerian Air Force fighter jet that went missing last week may have been found in Bama, Borno State.
It claimed that the wrecked jet was found with the body of one of the pilots, Flight Lieutenant Chapele Ebiakpo, intact.
It, however, said the body of the other pilot, Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa, is still being searched for, explaining that troops on the ground have been asked to intensify their search.
But Gabkwet in a reaction, accused the originators of the report of spreading false information, noting that NAF wasn’t contacted for verification before the story was published.