April 5, 2021
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By Tarkaa David, Abuja

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has dismissed a media report purporting that the wreckage of missing NAF Alpha Jet has been found in Bama.

The NAF director of public relations and information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said the report was not only misleading but also at variance with the ethos of journalism profession as the medium (not LEADERSHIP) did not contact NAF to verify the veracity of the information.

“The report, with the caption, ‘Wreckage of Missing NAF Alpha Jet 475 Found in Bama’, claimed that the missing aircraft as well as the body of one of the missing pilots have been found. The report, which quoted ‘an authoritative military source’ was not only misleading but absolutely at variance with known ethos of the journalism profession as the medium never made effort to contact the NAF to verify the story before the said publication.

“From the day control lost radar contact with the aircraft on 31 March 2021, the NAF as a professional fighting force has been keeping members of the public abreast and updated on the missing aircraft and combined efforts of the NAF and Nigerian Army (NA) search and rescue team to locate the crashed aircraft. It is therefore sad and disheartening that such an unverified story could be published without any effort to confirm its veracity from the NAF. It is not in dispute that the media as the watchdog of the society have the right to continually inform the public. It should however be done within the acceptable dictates of the noble journalism profession,” he said.

He added that the search and rescue efforts are being sustained until the wreckage of the aircraft is found.

The NAF spokesman reassured that the Force would continue to make public update as regards the missing aircraft.

“Members of the press are thus requested to always be circumspect and exercise restraint in their reportage and endeavour to always clarify issues before going to press.

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“The general public should therefore disregard the unverified publication on the missing Alpha jet aircraft by the aforementioned newspaper,” he added.

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