By: Okosun Dennis
As Nigerians mourn the death of seven gallant Nigerian Airforce officers that died in Sunday plane crash, names of the victims have been released by the Airforce authorities.
The officers include: Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain); Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot); Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) Specialist); Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist); Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist) Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist) and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician). Air Vice Marshal
The Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI) Air Vice Marshall Ibikunle Daramola who confirmed the names in a Statement reiterated that Nigerian Air Force (NAF), earlier today, 21 February 2021, confirmed that one of its aircraft, a Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201), crashed while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja after reporting engine failure enroute Minna.
The aircraft was scheduled to conduct surveillance missions over Niger State and its environs in connection with the concerted efforts to secure the release of the students/staff abducted from the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State.
AVM Daramola reiterated that the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has instituted an investigative panel to determine the remote and immediate causes of the accident.
Adding that the panel has commenced its work, the NAF, has also notified the Next of Kins/family members of the deceased.
It was further disclosed that CAS has visited the scene of the accident, in company of the Honourable Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retired); Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, and other Service Chiefs.
“The CAS, on behalf of officers, airmen and airwomen of the NAF, once more commiserates with the families of the deceased personnel and prays that the Almighty God grants their souls eternal repose.”