President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a message to mourn personnel of the Air Task Force Operation Lafiya Dole who died in the helicopter crash in Borno on Tuesday.
The helicopter was deployed to provide close air support to troops of 145 Battalion at Damasak in Northern Borno in the war against the terrorist group, Boko Haram, when the crash occurred.
The deceased are Flight Lieutenant Perowei Jacob, pilot in command; Flight Lieutenant Kaltho Kilyofas, co-pilot; Sergeant Auwal Ibrahim, flight technician; Lance Corporal Adamu Nura, gunner, and Aircraftman Meshack Ishmael, gunner.
In a statement issued by Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigeria Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, was in Borno on Thursday to express the condolence of the president and mourn with them.
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Abubakar was said to have also, on behalf all officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the NAF, commiserated with the families of the personnel.
He described them as heroes and prayed for the repose of their souls.
Said Daramala: “The CAS was in Maiduguri today, 3 January 2019, to convey the condolences of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammed Buhari, to personnel of the Air Task Force Operation Lafiya Dole over the unfortunate loss.
“While in Maiduguri, the CAS also received a condolence visit from the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.
“The NAF appreciates the overwhelming support shown by the general public to the Service over the sad incident. We continue to solicit your understanding and support as we daily strive to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.”
The remains of the deceased have been deposited in the mortuary in Maiduguri, Borno State.