The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), hailed the “gallantry” of Flt. Lt. Abayomi Dairo, the pilot of Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet who survived an air crash.
The PUNCH had reported that Dairo successfully ejected from the Nigeria military’s Alpha Jet before bandits shot it down in Zamfara.
The Alpha Jet aircraft returning from a successful air interdiction mission between the boundaries of Zamfara and Kaduna, came under intense enemy fire about 12. 45 p.m. on Sunday, leading to its crash in Zamfara.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, in a statement, stated that luckily Dairo ejected from the aircraft and found his way to the military base.
The pilot was said to have used the cover of darkness and his phone set for navigation, eluding several bandits’ strongholds as he maneuvered his way to a Nigerian Army Unit where he was finally rescued.
The President’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement on Tuesday, said Buhari, who was briefed on the successful operation by the nation’s defence forces to rescue the pilot, was pained by the news of the air crash.
“I was shocked by the devastating news of the air crash but felt much relieved, following the successful ejection by the pilot and his eventual rescue.
“May the injured pilot recover at the earliest time,” the president was quoted as saying.