Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Adesola Amosu, has assured that the missing Air Force Alpha Jet (NAF 466) which disappeared from radar on Friday will soon be found, even as he ruled out sabotage.
Amosu, who spoke with State House correspondents after a meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo on Monday, expressed hope that the two pilots on board the jet could still be alive.
He contended that the short distance between Maiduguri and Yola, would make the sabotage theory impossible, adding that Nigerian Air Force was in charge of the airspace.
The Defence Headquarters had on Sunday morning declared the Alpha Jet missing, saying it was on a routine operation in Adamawa when they lost contact with the pilot.
While admitting lot of possibilities, the Chief of Air Staff, said local farmers have joined the search and rescue team.
Air Chief Marshal Amosu spoke further, “Sabotage no, because it is a distant of just from Maiduguri to Yola. We are in full control of the air space.
“But don’t forget that when you lose radio signal, it becomes very challenging. There are so many possibilities but we are working on it.
“The weather has not been helpful as we have deployed all our surveillance capability, the citizens have been very, very helpful and we have gotten good information from them.
“But you know, in the aviation sector, we have some specific information that we ought to have to make the search easy.
“But the information we are getting from the citizens are good but not sufficient enough for us to define the area of search. But we have an idea of where the aircraft could be.
“Do not forget that it is the open Sahel. Some people may think it is easy but in the open Sahel sometimes it is even very challenging.
“Human beings standing may look like trees and again the area we are talking about we have operations going on there and we have limitations as to how low we come to conduct the search.
“I am hopeful that before the end of the day or week we should be able to provide credible information as to the location of the aircraft and then the pilots.
“But one thing is clear, whatever problem they had, an ejection was contemplated. It is therefore my hope that the pilots are still alive.”