The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has denied the rumour making the rounds that the crashed helicopter at Kabba, Kogi State, belongs to the service.
The Augusta AW139 helicopter crashed on Saturday while conveying the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who was on a campaign tour of the state.
NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who made this known, however expressed gratitude to God for sparing the life of the vice president and other passengers and crew members involved in the crash.
Daramola in a statement issued in Abuja, said the clarification had become necessary as some “unscrupulous” persons had circulated a video showing the crash landing of a military helicopter, from an unrelated incident.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to various reports in the media purporting that the Augusta AW139 helicopter, which was involved in a mishap in Kabba, Kogi State yesterday, February 2, 2019, while conveying the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, belonged to the NAF or was from the 011 Presidential Air Fleet (011 PAF).
“Some unscrupulous/undiscerning individuals have even gone so far as to circulate a video showing the crash-landing of a military helicopter, from an unrelated incident, which neither occurred in Nigeria nor involved NAF or 011 PAF aircraft, portraying it as the one that crashed at Kabba.
“The NAF wishes to state categorically that the helicopter that crashed at Kabba does not belong to the NAF or 011 PAF. The owners/operators of the civilian helicopter, Messrs Caverton Helicopters, have already issued a statement on the matter.
“In addition, the military Dauphin helicopter, painted in desert camouflage colour, seen in the video circulating on social media does not belong to the NAF and should not be misrepresented as belonging to the NAF. Accordingly, the general public is advised to disregard such erroneous information and the misleading video.
“The NAF joins the nation in thanking God for sparing the life of our vice president as well as other passengers and crew involved in the mishap. We pray for the safety of the vice president and that all his take-offs will culminate in an equal number of safe landings.”