•Debunks alleged killing of Chibok girls in airstrikes
THE Nigerian Air Force has described the latest video released online by the Boko Haram terrorists group alleging the killing of some of the abducted Chibok school girls by Nigerian Air Force fighter jets as not only a ruse but another mischievous effort by the dying sect to draw public attention to itself.
It said 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, it explained that there were sufficient evidences to believe that the casualties were arranged as the positioning of the bodies clearly defiled any natural setting of a location that had undergone aerial bombardment.
In a late night statement on Tuesday, signed by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Capt Ayodele Famuyiwa, the Air Force said the impact and accompanying degree of damage to the bodies would have been more, if they had died from air strike.
According to the statement, it was therefore clear that the video was 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 counterinsurgency operations in the North East.
The statement reads, “The NAF 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 will like to assure Nigerians living within the vicinity of its operations of their safety. While urging them also to disregard the BHT 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.”