Nigerians Hail Pilot Of NAF Plane That Was Shot At By Bandits, Demand His Promotion

 Nigerians on social media have commended a gallant pilot, Flt.-Lt. Abayomi Dairo, who successfully ejected from the Nigeria military’s Alpha Jet before bandits shot it down in Zamfara.

Some of them also urged the authorities of the Nigerian military to consider the pilot in their next promotion exercise.

The PUNCH had reported that 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, successfully 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.

Reacting, the Nigerians congratulated the pilot, saying that he demonstrated bravery.

One of them, Felix Enyiegor, said, “Congratulations to our gallant officer. Thank God you made it back home. I am sure your family will celebrate you more.”

On his part, Chukz Chukwudi, said, “He (the pilot) should also be careful. Those cabals hailing him wanted him dead. Thank God he survived, the news would’ve been hidden from the public.”

“The names we give our children play important roles in their lives. God saved this pilot and the names still tell a lot: Abayomi Olorun o je, Omo Dairo. Abayomi means they would have mocked me but God stopped it. His surname, Dairo, means keep off from this.

“With all these, we give thanks to God and the pilot also should be wise; because they will soon send him another suicide mission.” Babatunde Ayano added.

Felix Wegbo enquired, “What about the second pilot? Thought they use to be two pilots. If he was the only one sent to carry out the task. Then, it is suspicious.”

Kingsley Ochoma said, “I can still see the fear on his face even when he is in a safe place. He alone can tell what he saw. Thank God for sparing your life.”

“The pilot seems to be in shock up till the time of this picture. Thank God for saving his life,” Ivoke Chris added.

On their part, Bamidele Aderonmu and Obada AK urged that the sacrifice of the pilot should be rewarded.

They noted that he should not be schemed out of promotional exercises over his tribe.

“Big positions in Army are shared among top guys in Army but when it’s to go and fight the bandits, they will send small boys,” Aderonmu added.

Obada Ak said, “This kind of person deserves to be dealt with fairly. He deserves all the support he can get from the government to rise and be promoted. He will be a symbol of courage for his colleagues with encouraging career growth.”

How Dairo was rescued – Army

A statement by Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, stated that luckily, the gallant pilot of the aircraft, Flt.-Lt. Abayomi Dairo, successfully ejected from the aircraft.

Accordiņg to Gabkwet, using his survival instincts, the pilot, who came under intense ground fire from the bandits, was able to evade them and sought refuge in nearby settlements awaiting sunset.

He added that the pilot, using the cover of darkness and his phone set for navigation, was able to elude several bandits’ strongholds and maneuvered his way to a Nigerian Army Unit where he was finally rescued.

“It is instructive to note that upon receipt of the news of the crash, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, had directed that all efforts must be emplaced to rescue the pilot.

“Accordingly, NAF Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance platforms and helicopter gunships provided close air support to NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops who were able to locate the crash site and the pilot’s parachute, while also combing nearby locations for any sign of the pilot.

“It is gladdening to note that while in hiding, Dairo confirmed that the presence of NAF aircraft within the vicinity of the crash site helped in scaring the bandits who were after him, thus enabling him to find refuge and escape to a safe location.”

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