Chibok girls: Nigerian Air Force picks holes in Boko Haram’s video claims
Posted by News Express | 17 August 2016 | 2,276 times
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has reacted to the latest video posted by the Boko Haram terrorist organisation and its claim that some of the schoolgirls abducted from Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, by the group have been killed by Nigerian Air Force fighter jets. The Air Force described the video as not only a ruse but “another mischievous effort by the dying sect to draw public attention to itself.”
It pointed out that whereas the video showed a cross section of the abducted girls and an airborne aircraft, it provided no evidence that the supposed casualties were as a result of any air to ground attack.
“More so, there is sufficient evidence to believe that the casualties were arranged as the positioning of the bodies clearly defies any natural setting of a location that has undergone aerial bombardment,” the Nigerian Air Force said in a statement issued by its Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa.
“Besides,” the statement further said, “the impact and accompanying degree of damage to the bodies would have been more, were they to have died from air strike. It is therefore clear that the video is a make-up story to discredit the NAF, and more importantly, a deliberate effort to weep up sentiment among the public in order to dissuade and discontinue the use of airpower which has proved very effective as the major determinant factor in the successes recorded in the ongoing counter insurgency operations in the North East.”
The NAF said it has put-in place a number of measures to avoid the incidence of collateral damage. “To this end, considerable effort is committed to undertaking Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, both day and night, to ensure that only legitimate military targets are engaged. Besides, NAF ISR platforms carry highly sophisticated equipment on-board which are able to provide pin-point accurate intelligence about target location and description as depicted in the enclosed video on our ISR operations. And where there are doubts about target status, we do not undertake strike missions. In any case, the NAF, being a professional fighting force, has not and will not engage in unprofessional practices in discharging its statutory duties.
The NAF also assured Nigerians living within the vicinity of its operations, of their safety, while urging them also to disregard the Boko Haram video as a mere propaganda. “The NAF wishes to use this opportunity to restate its commitment to restoration of peace in the North East and other troubled areas in the country.”
•Photo shows a NAF jet on a counter-insurgency operation.