By Ayorinde Oluokun
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has revealed that Flight Lieutenants John Abolarinwa and Ebiakpo Chapele were the two pilots on its Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went missing during operation against Boko Haram in Borno State last Wednesday.
Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, Director of Public Relations and Information of Air Force who revealed the names of the pilot in a statement in Abuja on Friday morning however said contrary to earlier report, the missing jet has not been found.
Earlier report had indicated that the missing Alpha jet was found to have crashed at Abba-Jille in Konduga, approx 30Kms outskirt of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
But the Air Force in the statement released on Friday morning said extensive search for the jet believed to have crashed is still going on.
He added that NAF is not ruling out anything regarding the incident while it is also hopeful that the crew would soon be found and rescued.
“The cause of the crash as well as the whereabouts of the 2 pilots remains unknown. The pilots are Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele.
“Extensive search and rescue efforts are still ongoing by NAF surveillance aircraft as well as NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops on ground.
“At this point, the NAF is not ruling out anything regarding the incident. It however remains hopeful that the crew would soon be found and rescued.