• Air Force chief visits Kaduna air crash victims, raises probe panel
Describing Tuesday’s Nigerian Air Force (NAF) plane crash that claimed two officers as one mishap too many, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, stated following the inconclusiveness of previous investigations, it is suspecting sabotage of national security by members and sympathisers of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Claiming that there exists growing public apprehension of possible complicity leading to numerous unexplained military aircraft crashes in the country in the last seven years, the main opposition party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, submitted: “The disturbing trend is the fact that after each crash, the APC government comes up with a public announcement to investigate the circumstances surrounding the mishap, but typical of the administration, such investigation went cold.”
It added: “This pattern gives credence to the strong suspicion among Nigerians that there is complicity or sabotage of our national security architecture, including the Air Force, which is very critical to any meaningful fight against terrorism.”
PDP lamented that in May last year, just 11 months ago, a NAF aircraft crashed around Kaduna International Airport, killing the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other officers.
“Our nation has experienced no fewer than 11 unexplained military air crashes since the Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government took over power in 2015.
The PDP demanded a system-wide independent judicial inquiry to conduct an investigation into the remote and immediate causes of these incessant crashes of our military aircraft, especially in the face of worsening terrorism attacks in our country.
“This demand is imperative and consistent with the demands by Nigerians, who have lost faith in the ability of the APC government to conduct a transparent and credible investigation into any matter, particularly those relating to our national security,” the party stated.
THIS is even as the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, promised thorough investigation of the Super Mushshak trainer plane accident that killed two pilots.
The Air Force chief gave the assurance when he paid a condolence visit to families, friends and colleagues of the deceased, Flight Lieutenant Abubakar Muhammed Alkali and Flight Lieutenant Elijah Haruna Karatu.
In a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, Amao had constituted an Accident Investigation Board upon receiving the sad news to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the accident.
He assured officers, airmen and airwomen of 401 Flying Training School, Kaduna, that measures would be put in place to avert reoccurrence.
Amao also reminded them on the need to remain steadfast and focused on their assigned roles and responsibilities in view of the onerous task before the NAF and other security agencies to rid the North West and indeed the entire nation of all criminal elements.