Updated: February 24, 2021
The Nigerian Air Force helicopter which was bombed by Boko Haram on Wednesday in Borno state during combats left five officers dead, the Air Force said in a statement on Thursday.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the death of the 5 crew members who were on board the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Mi-35M Helicopter which crashed in combat yesterday, 2 January 2019, while providing close air support to troops of 145 Battalion, Damasak in Borno State,” Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, spokesman of the Air Force said.
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The deceased personnel, whose remains have been recovered to Maiduguri, are Flight Lieutenant Perowei Jacob who was the pilot in Command, Flight Lieutenant Kaltho Paul Kilyofas who was the co-pilot, Sergeant Auwal Ibrahim, who was Flight Technician, Lance Corporal Adamu Nura, who was the Gunner, Aircraftman Meshack Ishmael, another Gunner.
“These gallant fallen heroes made the supreme sacrifice in the service of our Fatherland, for which the NAF, and indeed the entire Nation, owes them an unending debt of gratitude,” Daramola said.
“The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on behalf all officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the NAF, commiserates with the families of the 5 fallen heroes and prays that the Almighty grants their souls peaceful repose.
“The CAS was in Maiduguri today, 3 January 2019, to convey the condolences of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammed Buhari, to personnel of the Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE over the unfortunate loss. While in Maiduguri, the CAS also received a condolence visit from the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.
“The NAF appreciates the overwhelming support shown by the general public to the Service over the sad incident. We continue to solicit your understanding and support as we daily strive to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians”.