The Nigeria Air Force says it did not deploy 100 aircraft to search for the missing Dapchi schoolgirls, as is being reported by the media.
The clarification is contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by Olatokunbo Adesanya, NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information.
Adesanya said that the number of air searches so far conducted by NAF as part of the search for the abducted Dapchi girls should not be mistaken for the number of aircraft deployed for the operations.
The statement read in part: “The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to a statement being circulated to the effect that 100 NAF aircraft had been deployed in search of the missing Dapchi girls.
“While paying a courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Yobe State, in company of the Chief of the Air Staff, on 27 February 2018, the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Monguno, indeed spoke about the number of sorties so far conducted by NAF aircraft in the course of searching for the missing girls within a stated period.
“Obviously, the number of sorties does not equate the number of aircraft deployed.”
Sortie is a term referring to the deployment of troops, ship or aircraft for a mission.
Adesanya also confirmed that Sadique Abubakar, the Chief of the Air Staff, has temporarily relocated to the NAF base at Maiduguri, from where the air search operations for the missing Dapchi girls are being coordinated.
“This is in order to have first-hand information on the progress of the air search efforts and also give additional directives as might be necessary,” he stated.
One hundred and ten schoolgirls were declared missing after their school was attacked by Boko Haram fighters last Monday.
According to the Nigeria Air Force, additional air assets, including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, had been deployed in an effort to locate the missing girls.