The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has revealed that Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo was heading back to base from successful onslaught against bandits when they shot his jet down.
According to NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet while speaking about the incident, said, “On 18 July 2021, at about 12.45 pm, a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet aircraft, returning from a successful air interdiction mission between the boundaries of Zamfara and Kaduna states came under intense enemy fire which led to its crash in Zamfara State.
“Luckily, the gallant pilot of the aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo, successfully ejected from the aircraft.
“Using his survival instincts, the pilot, who came under intense ground fire from the bandits was able to evade them and sought refuge in nearby settlements awaiting sunset. Using the cover of darkness and his phone set for navigation, Flight Lieutenant Dairo was able to elude several bandits’ strongholds and maneuvered his way to a Nigerian Army Unit, where he was finally rescued.”
The NAF spokesman elucidated that on hearing the news, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Alao, “directed that all efforts must be emplaced to rescue the pilot.”
“It is gladdening to note that while in hiding, Flight Lieutenant Dairo confirmed that the presence of NAF aircraft within the vicinity of the crash site helped in scaring the bandits who were after him, thus enabling him to find refuge and escape to a safe location”, he added.
The Air Force said that air crash will not deter them from fighting insecurity in the country, noting that they are committed President Buhari’s order and other constitutional duties.
This is the fourth time this year Nigerian Air Craft has involved in such incidents.