The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, Saturday said it was yet to locate the missing girls taken away by Boko Haram insurgents on April 14, 2014 from a school in Chibok, Borno State.
The clarification came on the heels of media reports suggesting that the NAF had found the location where the kidnapped girls were being held in Sambisa forest.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Ayodele Famuyiwa, the Nigerian Air Force categorically denied the claim that it spotted the girls.
“The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to a statement to the effect that the NAF has located the position of the Chibok girls,’ Mr. Famuyiwa said.
“Please let it be known that this statement is a misrepresentation of the interview that the NAF Director of Public Relations gave the Channels Television that was aired on Friday 12 February 2016.
“The NAF is hereby making it categorically clear that in the said interview the Director made mention of the NAF’s ability to identify POSSIBLE LOCATION that the girls might be in.
“Hence, the NAF wishes to categorically state that it has at no time identified the specific location of the Chibok girls. However, it is working round the clock with surveillance aircraft covering the over 157,000 km2 area of the North East in order to identify the position of not only the Chibok girls but other Nigerians that might have been held captives.
“Towards the realization of this goal, the NAF has from January 2016 till date using aircraft, ISR platforms such as ATR-42, B-350 and CH-3 UAV flown surveillance missions totaling over 346 hours consuming about 85,887 litres of Jet A-1 and 3,830 litres of Mogas costing N15,337,862:50 and $19,150:00 respectively.”
While the specific position of the missing girls is yet to be ascertained, the NAF spokesperson said the force would continue with surveillance flights around the area.
The aim of such flight, according to him, is to degrade the capacity of the terrorists and to locate the position of the missing girls and other Nigerians under any form of captivity.