Metro Remembrance Day: NAF Releases Identities of 12 Officers Killed In Boko Haram Fight [See Names]



Each year, the Armed Forces Remembrance Day (AFRD) provides an opportunity to remember the gallant men and women who, as members of Nigeria's Armed Forces, died serving their fatherland.

In the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), today’s remembrance celebration reechoes the sweet memories of the fallen heroes in blue uniforms who, at the expense of their lives, have paid the huge cost of preserving our sovereignty as a nation as well as the freedom and security of the rest of us.

The NAF, in recent past, has lost a number of gallant officers and men to the counter insurgency and counter terrorist operation in the North East, as well as to other internal security operations across the country. They include:

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1. Umar Abubakar:
The very first NAF casualty of the Boko Haram insurgency was Sergeant Umar Abubakar slaughtered by the insurgents on 25 July 2013 in Maiduguri.

2. Flight Lieutenant Akweke Junior Nwakile:The heart wrecking death of Umar abubabkar was followed by the death of Flight Lieutenant Akweke Junior Nwakile who died in a helicopter crash on 21 July 2014 while on a training mission south of Bama, Borno State.

3&4. Captain Abdulrasheed Bamidele Braimoh & Wing Commander Chinda Hedima: The missing Alpha Jet (NAF/466), involving Group Captain Abdulrasheed Bamidele Braimoh and Wing Commander Chinda Hedima, is also a case to remember on this special occasion. The aircraft went down on 12 September 2014 at Kauri while undertaking an air interdiction mission against the Boko Haram Terrorists. Whereas the death of Wing Commander Hedima has been confirmed by own soldier who witnessed his killing by the terrorists, the fate of his co-pilot, Group Captain Braimoh, is yet uncertain for now as nothing definite points to his demise. While earnestly pray and hope for his return, the air of uncertainty about his whereabouts necessitated the current stance by the NAF that he is still missing in action.

5&6. Captain Ubong Akpan and Hosea Zabesan: The NAF again recorded the unfortunate loss of Group Captain Ubong Akpan and Master Warrant Officer Hosea Zabesan in another helicopter crash on 13 November 2014. The duo had embarked on an operational flight against the insurgents but went down near Yola, Adamawa State.

7. Flying Officer Duke Toryem: The painful death of Flying Officer Duke Toryem on 21 May 2015 is another case to remember. The young officer was on patrol when his vehicle stepped on landmine planted by the Boko Haram Terrorists.

8. Flight Lieutenant Ebitimi Owei: Furthermore, one cannot but appreciate the role of Flight Lieutenant Ebitimi Owei in the collective effort torestore peace to the North East. Late Owei, an F-7Ni pilot, crashed due to bad weather in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State while returning to base after successfully undertaking an interdiction mission against the insurgents on 28 August 2015.The victims of the ill-fated Dornier 228 aircraft that crashed in Kaduna is another death too many to remember at a time like this. The crew, along with passengers onboard, had gone down in the line of duty on 28 August 2015 while on flight from Kadunato Abuja. These heroes include:

9.Squadron Leader Adekunle Suara

10. Flying Officer Kehinde Olaniran

11. Warrant Officer Akpan Etim

12. ACW Naomi Abegunde.

Release from: Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, the Director of Public Relations & Information for the Nigerian Air Force