The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has refuted a publication in an online platform, which alleged that it did not respond to calls for support when suspected insurgents attacked Takulashi Village, Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State.
Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF headquarters, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
He said, “NAF wishes to state that there is absolutely no iota of truth in the spurious allegations that it failed to respond to calls for support following information allegedly obtained by the online platform, which said it received the report on Sunday, Nov. 1,” he said.
“Indeed, we ordinarily would not have responded to such baseless, unfounded allegations, but for the need to set the record straight and reaffirm NAF’s commitment to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians, wherever they may reside.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it must be stated that NAF did not receive any call for support regarding an attack on the Village.
“Had any such report been received, NAF, in its characteristic responsiveness, would have certainly taken appropriate action,” he said.
Daramola said that the report rightly remarked that if air support came on time, one or two air strikes would have decimated them.
He, however, said that no request regarding that was made to the Air Task Force of operation ‘LAFIYA DOLE’ on the said date. Accordingly, he said, it was wrong of the report to state, without any basis, that NAF ignored rescue calls.
“It is pertinent to highlight that NAF, through the ‘LAFIYA DOLE’ has flown over 26,000 hours of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and air interdiction missions, as well as close air support missions in the last five years.
“NAF has been working ‘hand-in-glove’ with other security agencies and has a crop of well-trained, highly-motivated young pilots who are ever ready and willing to respond to emergencies, whenever called upon.
“It is utterly ludicrous to insinuate that NAF would fail to respond to any such situation, if called upon. The general public is therefore enjoined to discountenance the evidently false report.”
According to him, “It is equally disingenuous of the online medium to refer to an isolated incident that had its peculiar nuances of pre-disposition to collateral damage as a basis for justifying their blatantly false claims.”
Daramola described the development as smacks of gross unprofessionalism and obvious deliberate intent at mischief.
He said, as a professional and disciplined force, NAF has and will continue to do its utmost best to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians across the country.
“We remain resolute in performing our function and will continue to work in synergy with other security agencies to rid the country of insurgents. We will not be distracted by such evidently orchestrated attempts to tarnish the hard-earned and good image of the Service.”
On November 1, insurgents launched an attack on Takulashi village, located in the Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State, killing at least nine people, abducted seven others, looted scores of houses for food supplies and other items and subsequently burnt them.