It turns out that the Mi-35 helicopter owned by the Nigerian airforce which the Nigerian Defence authorities claimed was on a training mission that crashed last week was actually brought down by the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
Sources in Bama, Borno State say the helicopter was shot down and the crash was not “due to technical fault” as claimed by the director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade.
A villager who spoke to NewswireNgr on condition of anonymity said ” Everyone in our village knew the plane was shot down by Boko Haram, when we heard in the news that the jet was faulty, we knew the Military officials lied to Nigerians again”
Another farmer said sporadic gunshots followed before the eventual crash of the helicopter owned by the Nigerian Airforce. The jet crashed around the area where the extremist Boko Haram sect has intensified its terrorist activities…
Though the group Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awati Wal Jihad known as Boko Haram is yet to claim responsibilities for the attack as it did when the Nigerian Government denied the Apapa bomb explosion. Fears grow as the sustained attacks continue against the Nigerian state.
The Nigerian army has been unable to guard its ammunition, and Boko Haram regularly attacks military camps, including a main air force base in the east and the Maiduguri International Airport in December.
A statement by the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, said the Mi-35 helicopter was on a training mission, and crashed South of Bama, in Borno State, “due to technical fault.” One person died and two crew members survived with injuries.
The military has kept quiet about the possibility of an attack by the terrorists, there are concerns that Boko Haram militants may have acquired earlier versions of the Russian SA-7 shoulder-fired missiles that can hit low-flying aircraft within about three miles, as gathered by the Associated Press (AP).
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Adesola Amosu has commended the gallantry of the officers who survived the Helicopter crash in Borno State. The Air Chief who gave the commendation while receiving the officers who survived air crash in Maiduguri thanked God for sparing their lives and commiserated with them on the loss of their colleague in the flight.
Air Marshal Amosu emphasized the need for all service personnel to continue to give selfless sacrifice for the defence of the sovereignty of the nation despite the enormity of current security challenges. He ordered the immediate replacement of the lost helicopter and more platforms for the Nigerian Air Force and kept mute about investigating the crash.
The Nigerian Military authorities are known for reducing the number of casualties after an attack where soldiers are being killed in hundreds for fear of not being seen as weak or perceived by the people and government for not doing much to stop the insurgents according to a Security analysts who spoke to NewswireNgr on condition of anonymity.
Boko Haram militants are said to have taken over Bama Local government where the helicopter crashed on July 21, 204 and the area is located “about 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.
If an Islamic militants group who have overran some local government’s in the North-East and military bases do have access to sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons, then there is a cause for concern.
The Military Officials instead of dismissing the crashed helicopter as faulty should investigate the cause of the crash and not endanger the lives of Nigerians as seen with the Malaysian Airlines jet .
The jet destroyed by a sophisticated surface-to-air missile at an altitude of 33,000 feet (10,000 meters) in eastern Ukraine. All 298 people aboard were killed.
While members of the public wait for an actual account of the cause of the Mi-35 helicopter that crashed in Bama from Abubakar Shekau’s video, same way it took him to tell Nigerians he bombed Lagos, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authorities will have to prohibit airlines from flying along rebel-held battlefields in Nigeria.