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NAF Fighter Jet Missing In Adamawa

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A Nigerian Air Force fighter jet (NAF 466) on an operation against the Islamic sect, Boko Haram has been declared missing.  Director of Defence Information, General Chris Olukolade, who stated this in an e-mail said the aircraft had been missing since Friday.

According to the defence spokesman, the aircraft with two pilots on board left Yola at 10:45 a.m on Friday on a routine operational mission and was expected to return to base by 12 noon same day but disappeared from the radar and has not been found since then.

He however stated that search and rescue efforts were ongoing to establish contact with the crew. It was also gathered that the defence authorities had reached out to neighboring countries like Cameroon, Niger, and Chad for any information that could lead to the whereabouts of the jet.

Shortly after General Olukolade broke the news, speculations rose that the jet might have eithEr been hijacked or shot down by the insurgents. Some were also quick to point to the collapse of a building belonging to the Synagogue Church Of All Nations. 

The founder and general overseer of SCOAN had on Sunday during service claimed that Boko Haram had attacked the six-storey building with a mysterious jet. He backed up his claim by showing the congregation a CCTV footage on the chronology of events shortly before and after the collapse.

The PUNCH newspaper gathered from a top military source that the military had also contacted hunters in Adamawa and Borno states, which were the two areas of operations to be covered by the fighter jet.

According to him, "On the issue of the pilots, what I can say is that these are very experienced personnel of the Air Force. They are very good hands; in fact, they are authorities in the handling of this machine.... So nobody is even considering the possibility that the aircraft could have been flown away, that is no option".

A top official of the Nigerian Airspace Management said that the air-force jet which was seen hovering around the SCOAN building was undergoing a special training on a new equipment, ILS, which lasted till noon. He also explained that the Air Force helicopter did not only hover around the SCOAN building but also around that whole area.

Adamawa state acting governor, Ahmadu Fintiri sympathized with NAF over the  missing jet. In a statement by his chief press secretary, Solomon Kumangar, he said the prayer of Adamawa people was for the safe return of the crew to their families.

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