The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, on Monday said the military had an idea of where the Nigerian Air Force Alpha fighter jet, which went missing after a military operation in Konduga, Borno State, last Friday, could be.
“We have an idea of where missing jet could be,” Amosu said.
He said in an interview with State House correspondents after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan and his vice, Namadi Sambo, in Abuja.
While noting that the search operation had been challenging, he was optimistic that he would provide credible information about the missing jet before the end of the week.
He said, “I am hopeful that before the end of the day or week we should be able to provide credible information as to the location of the aircraft and then the pilots.”
Amosu expressed the hope that the pilots, manning the missing jet, might still be alive.
He lamented the difficulty in determining the location of the jet, marked NAF 466, more than 72 hours after it had been missing.
“But one thing is clear; whatever problem they had an ejection was contemplated, it is therefore my hope that the pilots are still alive,” he added.
He dismissed insinuations of possible sabotage, while he maintained that the Air Force was in full control of the nation’s air space.
“Sabotage? No, because it is a distance of just from Maiduguri to Yola. We are in full control of the air space. But don’t forget that when you lose radio signal, it becomes very challenging. There are so many possibilities but we are working on it,” he said.
Amosu explained that the weather had hampered the search operation, while he also applauded the cooperation that had been offered by citizens in attempts to find the missing jets.
He said with the information gathered so far, authorities had got “an idea” of the area the aircraft could be.
Local farmers in Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa State reportedly claimed on Sunday that they saw a low-flying aircraft that might have crashed at a place near Gabun, a mountainous village in the local council.