Crashed NAF Plane Was Searching For Kagara Abductees -Reps

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Tunde Bakare

The House of Representatives Committee on Air Force has expressed sadness over death of occupants of the ill-fated military aircraft that crashed in Abuja on Sunday.

All the seven persons on board the the Nigeria Air Force, NAF Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft were confirmed dead in the incident.

Chairman of the committee, Shehu Koko, said, “We highly regret the loss of our gallant officers who apparently were on a mission to rescue the kidnapped students in Kagara community in Niger State.”

Bandits had abducted staff members and students of the Science College, Kagara, in Niger State. The gunmen had in the early hours of Wednesday attacked the college, leaving a student reportedly killed while several others, as well as teachers, were abducted.

Koko, in a statement issued on Sunday and titled ‘House Committee on Air Force commiserates with Nigerian Air force, family of victims’, said he witnessed the incident along with the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Amao.

Koko, who said an investigation would “begin in earnest to determine the remote cause,” expressed his condolence message on behalf of his committee to the NAF and the families.

He said, “This is to confirm that a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft crashed while returning to the Abuja Airport after reporting engine failure enroute Minna.

First responders are at the scene. Sadly, all seven personnel on board died in the crash. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.

“While mourn with families of the deceased, we urge Nigerians to remain calm and await the outcome of the investigation.”

The lawmaker noted that the committee under the leadership of the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, is “deeply saddened by this development and will work with the Chief of Air Staff to unravel the remote cause.”

Koko said the committee also commiserates with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). He also prays to God to comfort the bereaved families and grant the departed souls eternal rest.

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