The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) has buried five of its personnel who died in the MI-35 Helicopter which crashed in Damasak, Borno State on January 2.
They were Ft. Lt Perowei Jacob – Pilot in Command, Ft. Lt Kaltho Paul Kilyofas – Co-Pilot, Sgt Auwal Ibrahim – Flight Technician, Lance Corporal Adamu Nura – Gunner and Aircraftman Meshack Ishmael – Gunner.
The remains of the victims were interred yesterday at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja after Christian church service and Moslem funeral prayers.
Speaking at the funeral, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said the “gallant heroes lost their lives in the pursuit of the peace which we all enjoy and often take for granted.”
He said NAF officers lost their lives when they pursued the vehicles of terrorists to save the lives of soldiers of 145 Battalion in Damasak, Borno State.
“We salute the courage of these young men, whose lot it became to give their lives for this purpose.
“The loss of these courageous and professional gentlemen must spur the rest of us not only to rededicate ourselves in the service of our nation, but also to expose and fight all agents of destabilization and extremism in our society.
“We must throw in everything we have to this fight to ensure that our departed colleagues did not die in vain.
“We must do everything possible to bring the ongoing insurgency in the North East to a speedy end that is favourable to our nation.
“I am indeed deeply touched and saddened by the price which our patriots had to pay in this needless fight against insurgency.
“Our departed heroes fought that we live in a safe and secure Nigeria where the freedom of worship and association of one and all are guaranteed under one indivisible nation,” he said.
He consoled members of the bereaved families saying Nigeria mourns with them for the “loss of these amiable and patriotic Nigerians, who paid the supreme price in the course of their duty to the fatherland.”