The Nigerian Air Force has debunked an online publication on April 5, 2021 that claimed that its Alpha Jet earlier reported missing had been found in Bama.
The report, with the caption: “Wreckage of Missing NAF Alpha Jet 475 Found in Bama,” said the missing aircraft as well as the body of one of the pilots had been found.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said the report, which quoted “an authoritative military source”, was not only misleading but absolutely at variance with known ethos of the journalism profession as the medium never made effort to contact the NAF to verify the story before the said publication.
Gabkwet said: “From the day control lost radar contact with the aircraft on 31 March 2021, the NAF as a professional fighting force has been keeping members of the public abreast and updated on the missing aircraft and combined efforts of the NAF and Nigerian Army (NA) search and rescue team to locate the crashed aircraft.
“It is, therefore, sad and disheartening that such an unverified story could be published without any effort to confirm its veracity from the NAF. It is not in dispute that the media as the watchdog of the society have the right to continually inform the public. It should however be done within the acceptable dictates of the noble journalism profession.”
The Nigeria Air Force said while search and rescue efforts are being sustained until the wreckage of the aircraft is found, it would continue to provide the public with updates on the missing aircraft.
It urged the general public to disregard the said publication.