Tayo AFOLABI

The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to ground all military planes pending the outcome of the investigation which will ascertain the airworthiness of the military air fleet. 

In a statement on Tuesday, NYCN president, Solomon Adodo, said it is unacceptable for the nation to lose over 20 military personnel in air crashes within three months.

“No military anywhere in the world can pretend that it is okay to record plane crashes on bi-monthly bases. And no country or a people can accept that. 

“We, therefore, demand grounding of all military planes pending the outcome of the investigation which will ascertain the airworthiness of the military air fleet. 

“Also, we demand that the result of earlier military plane crashes investigations to be published and a military Committee of Enquiry empaneled to investigate the incessant crashes.

“We are worried that in the spate of three months, we have had three different military planes crashing. Over 20 military officers have lost their lives in 3 crashes across the country. This is unacceptable to the youth,” Adodo said.

The group in the statement, went the memory lane, “Recall that on February 21, 2021, a Minna-bound military jet crashed, killing all 7 onboard. In less than 6 weeks, particularly on April 2, 2021, another Alpha Light Attack Jet went missing in the air and later reported crashed.

“And in another 7 weeks, May 21, 2021, yet another crash of a military aircraft, this time killing the Chief of Army Staff and other senior officers.

“As it stands, no one can vouch for the integrity of all planes managed by the Nigeria Air Force including Air Force 1 which transports President Muhammadu Buhari. 

“It is high time we began to hold people in authority accountable for their stewardship. This is why the NYCN believes the current Chief of Air Staff should be relieved and a more competent person who can guarantee the integrity of our Air Force assets be appointed.

“The frequency of the crashes and the damage it has done within the spate of three months leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. The Chief of Air Staff is obviously failing to deliver on the job. Thus, we call for his immediate sack.”

The president only in January, appointed Amao alongside other service chiefs, including Ibrahim Attahiru, chief of army staff, who died last Friday in a Beechcraft 350 aircraft that crashed near Kaduna International Airport.

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