– The Nigerian Air Force has reacted to the recent social media report alleging that its training helicopters were dropping weapons in Akwuke forest in Enugu state
– The force spokesman, Faith Aigbeoghain, said NAF has two helicopter training institutions under its purview operating in the state for several years
– Aigbeoghain said the force remained resolute in performing its constitutional role of defending the territorial integrity of a united Nigeria
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said the recent social media report alleging that its training helicopters were “dropping weapons” in Akwuke forest in Enugu state was totally fabricated by mischief-makers to cause disaffection among Nigerians.
Flight-Lt. Faith Aigbeoghain, acting command, public relations and Information Officer of Headquarters NAF Ground Training Command (GTC), Enugu, made the denial in a statement on Sunday, June 23, in Enugu.
Aigbeoghain said: “The attention of Headquarters GTC of Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Enugu has been drawn to a social media and online story being circulated by some mischievous and misguided elements.
“The mischievous elements purported that NAF helicopters were being used to `drop weapons’ for Fulani herdsmen in the forest area of Akwuke community in Enugu south local government Area (LGA) in Enugu state.
“The report alleged that helicopters had been seen on several occasions flying at low level and landing in the forest area to discharge their packages.
“The headquarters of GTC wishes to state that the report is deliberately misleading and obviously concocted by the writer to cause disaffection and incite negative divisive emotions among Nigerians.”
She further explained that NAF has two helicopter training institutions under its purview operating in Enugu for several years.
Aigbeoghain said these are International Helicopter Flying School (IHFS) and 405 Helicopter Combat Training Group (405 HCTG), whose training curricula include low level flying around the forest areas near Akukwe, which is one of their designated training areas.
She said: “In particular, the 405 HCTG commenced tactical training on the newly acquired 109 Power Helicopters on May 24, 2019, which includes low level flying as well as other maneuvres requiring them to land and take off within the training area.
“However, at no time was any NAF helicopter used to ‘drop’ any materials, let alone deliver weapons to any individual or group.
“Members of the public, especially residents of Enugu state, are therefore advised to discountenance the fake report and go about their normal activities without fear.’’
The command spokesperson said NAF, as a professional fighting force, remained resolute in performing its constitutional role of defending the territorial integrity of a united Nigeria.
He said: “Accordingly, we shall continue to work assiduously, in synergy with sister services and other security agencies, to rid the country of all criminal elements in order to enable all Nigerians pursue their legitimate aspirations.’’
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the air component of Operation Hadarin Daji degraded a camp and neutralized scores of armed bandits in air strikes conducted at a location near Dangote village in Zamfara state.
This is in continuation of NAF operations aimed at rooting out armed bandits from their safe havens within the various forests in the north-west region.
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