President Muhammadu Buhari has appauled the “gallantry” of a pilot of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Flt. Lt. Abayomi Dairo, who survived an air crash on Sunday.
The New Diplomat had reported that the NAF confirmed its fighter jet crashed after it came under terrorists’ attack.
The Alpha Jet aircraft which was returning from a successful air interdiction mission between the boundaries of Zamfara and Kaduna, came under intense enemy fire about 12. 45 p.m on Sunday, and eventually crash landed in Zamfara State.
However, Dairo, the pilot of the aircraft successfully ejected from Nigerian military’s Alpha Jet before it was shot down by the terrorists.
According to the Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, Dairo ejected from the aircraft and was able to find his way to the military base.
The pilot was said to have used the cover of darkness and his phone set for navigation, eluding several bandits’ strongholds as he maneuvered his way to a Nigerian Army Unit where he was finally rescued.
Reacting, President Buhari in a statement issued by his spokesperson Malam Garba Shehu, described the incident as devastating and painful.
However, the President said he felt relieved the moment he learnt of the gallantry of Dairo who successfullly escaped from the hands of the terrorists.
The statement partly reads, “I was shocked by the devastating news of the air crash but felt much relieved, following the successful ejection by the pilot and his eventual rescue.
“May the injured pilot recover at the earliest time,” the president was quoted as saying.