4 October 2014

Nigeria: Boko Haram Releases Video Showing Beheading of Missing Air Force Pilot


He's not our man, says Air Force     
DHQ: Video, a fraud, face-saving propaganda
Yemi Adebowale in Lagos; Senator Iroegbu in Abuja; Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri and Daji Sani in Yola

The terrorist Boko Haram sect in a new video released friday claimed responsibility for the downing of the Nigerian Air Force jet which was declared missing on September 11 by the military authorities while on official duties in Adamawa State.


The video made available to the Associated Press by Boko Haram also showed the beheading of a man who identified himself as the pilot of the missing jet.

But in a swift reaction, the military authorities declared the video a fraud.
Two pilots and an Alpha jet have been missing since September 11.

The release of the video is coming on the heels of the attack on two villages in Michika, Adamawa State by the sect yesterday, during which scores of people were killed.

Also, the Director of Public Relations and Information (DoPRI) NAF, Air Commodore Dele Alonge disowned the purported pilot stating categorically when asked by THISDAY if he was a member of the Air Force, "No, he's not".

The controversial video shows a man kneeling in a camouflage vest with his right hand in a sling, with a fighter hovering over him with an ax, which is later used in the beheading.

Speaking in English, the victim identified himself as a Wing Commander in the Nigerian Air Force and said he was on a mission in Kauri area of Borno State when his jet was brought down.

He said: "We were shot down and our aircraft crashed. To this day, I don't know the whereabouts of my second pilot."

The video also showed burnt out plane parts with Nigerian military markings, insinuating that apart from being heavily equipped with a large stock of arms and armoury, Boko Haram has the capacity to gun down planes.

The sect is believed to have stolen military hardware from Nigerian military, probably including anti-aircraft weapons.

But the Defence Headquarters, through its Facebook page, faulted the new video saying, “as far as we are concerned, the individual who was appearing in video and claiming to be the leader of the terrorist group was killed in the Konduga battle in September.”

On the burnt-out military plane parts and beheading of the pilot, the DHQ posited: “It is also noteworthy that the air plane said to be mentioned in the video had been missing before he was killed. It should not surprise anybody if the terrorists decide to manipulate pictures, clone another Shekau or upload a pre-recorded video all in a bid to prove that he is invincible.”

Military authorities while speaking to THISDAY yesterday said that the terrorists who are already in disarray are trying desperately to distract the ongoing offensive to clear the North East of insurgency.

According to the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, the military will sustain the tempo of the onslaught to rid the country of the terrorists.

"I can still assure you that no level or amount of barbaric display of bestial atrocities will distract the Nigerian military from sustaining the tempo of ongoing operations to decimate, degrade and bring the remnants of the terrorists  already in disarray to due justice.

"The campaign against terror is still recording the expected result in the front.  Nigerians should not despair", Olukolade assured.

Concerning the alleged capturing of the NAF Pilot and shooting down of the missing military Jet, a senior military officer who pleaded for anonymity said the video was false and a mere propaganda tool.

The officer said: “The report or video they displayed did not display or announce the name of the alleged NAF officer or did you see the name anywhere in the write ups.

"Now let us look at what they showcased in the video; did the officer have any injury in the head? Did he break his arms? In fact, looking closely at the picture, there is nothing like injury on him.

“The bottom line is that all those things (the video) are photo-shops in a bid to deceive people and Nigerians. Can Boko Haram succeed in doing that kind of thing and kept quiet for three weeks and not celebrate it?

"Will it not be on the air before even the military declare the air craft missing? Just take time and watch the video with the photographs. When the Nigerian military claimed to have killed that impostor or 'Shekau' did they not display his pictures of before and after? Those are the facts that people tend to gloss over. There are facts that makes up for this to be authentic but all these foreign media chose to ignore it.”

The Intelligence Officer recalled that when Boko Haram captured an air force corporal three months ago, they immediately released the video of his beheading with his identity card and information.

"When the so called Air Force personnel claimed (in the Video) he could not see his co-pilot, why did they (the terrorists) not ask him the name of the second officer. They could not even mention the alleged victim's name. They only said he is a Wing Commander.

“In fact we saw the whole charade and just ignored it because we know that it’s just an antics to follow up on the cooked story of the reincarnated Shekau.”

The AP claimed the video was made available to it “through the usual channels used previously.”

Two villages attacked in Michika…

While the current Boko Haram video is still generating controversy, the terrorists again raided Garta and Kuburshosho (the home village of the Minister of Youths Development, Boni Haruna) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

Locals in the affected areas the raid resulted in the killing of undisclosed number of people in the villages.
While narrating the incident, a resident of Garta, who identified himself as Mallam Saidu said the insurgents stormed his village around 4am on Friday while some villagers were still sleeping and burnt their homes and shops.

"They burnt most of the shops and houses after looting them. Most people have to scamper to the nearby mountains for refuge.

"For now I can't say the number of casualty as we are still in the bush and we learnt that the attackers had just left the village this morning. They looted mostly food items and went back to their hideout," Saidu said.

Another source at Kuburshosho reported that the insurgents while in the village raided the compound of Mr. Haruna, who was the former governor of Adamawa State.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Higgi People's Initiatives (HPI), Dr Musa Kadzai has disclosed that over ten-thousands Higgi persons have been displaced by the insurgents in Michika.

The chairman cried out to the government to come to their aide.
Kadzai explained that after the destruction of their local government by the insurgents on 7th September 2014, the terrorists have continued to unleash terror on them because of the absence of soldiers in the area.

Kadzai called on the federal government to hasten the process of liberating their land so that they can go back to their homes. “We want to go back home but we cannot because nobody can enter Michika and come out without being attacked by the insurgents.”

Also yesterday, the Lamido of Adamawa Dr. Barkindo Musdafa announced that sequel to the insecurity bedeviling the state, which has resulted in the killing of thousands of people in Michika, Madagali, Gulak and environs, the Sallah celebration should be done in a low key.

The Lamido said Muslims would not be celebrating while their brothers and sisters are mourning.

Borno, Yobe restrict movement of vehicles…
Just as it did during the last Eid-el-Fitri celebration, the military authorities in Borno State friday placed a restriction on vehicular movement in the state throughout the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir.

It stated in a press statement: “The report at the disposal of the security agencies reveals that Boko Haram terrorists have perfected plans to launch multiple bomb explosions in Maiduguri metropolis and other major towns across Borno state during the Eid-El-Kabir celebrations 2014 using motorcycles, tri-cycles etc.

“The insurgents’ main targets include Sallah praying grounds, markets and other public places. In view of this, all manner of vehicular movement are banned in the entire state from 5:00 pm on Friday, 3 October, 2014 to 7.00am on Monday, 6 October 2014
.
"Members of the general public are advised to perform their Eid El Kabir prayers at praying grounds nearest to their respective residences.

"While necessary security measures are being implemented, members of the public are hereby requested to comply fully with this embargo as defaulters will be severally sanctioned. However, workers on essential services such as hospitals and fire services with clear identification are exempted.

"Members of the public are also requested to please report any suspicious movement of persons or vehicles around their environment to the nearest security agencies."

Also vehicles were friday banned from Yobe roads during Sallah to forestall any insurgency attack on the state which is under emergency rule.

Motorists were turned back from traveling into and outside the state on yesterday morning. The motorists were shocked as there was no prior announcement to this effect.

A military source who does not want his name in print said the command was from the military top hierarchy and not unilaterally done by those on ground in Yobe.

The source said that the ban would be on until Monday




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