Ekiti State-born Air Force pilot, Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo, who ejected from an Alpha Jet who was shot down by bandits in Zamfara State, has given graphic details of the incident.
Dairo stated that his escape was orchestrated through the help of Almighty God.
Fl.-Lt. Dairo luckily escaped the Alpha Jet belonging to the Nigerian Air Force which crashed during an anti-banditry operation in Zamfara State.
The jet crashed on Sunday around 12.45 pm while returning from an air interdiction mission between the boundary of Zamfara and Kaduna states.
The NAF Spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet had said on Monday that the jet “came under intense enemy fire which led to its crash in Zamfara State.”
However, Dairo escaped and had been celebrated since then.
In his submission, the combat pilot indicated that he had a premonition of the encounter, days before the Nigerian military assigned him on the mission.
He said, “Before Sunday I had been having dreams where I saw myself fighting and evading enemies like real-time war, day in day out, like nightmares.
“So when my jet got shot with the explosives and my flight controls were destroyed and I had no choice but to eject, I just said ‘God, finally, here we go.’
“As I was flanked by the bandits, I kept praying and I kept telling God to answer your prayers because I knew you were all praying for me. I love you all. And I thank God for bestowing his love on me and saving me from death several times within that period.
“I will still share my testimonies but truly, God ordered my steps, the bandits (meanwhile they are ruthless like Boko Haram, I don’t know why we still call them bandits) were more interested in capturing me than shooting me at (even at point-blank range). Eventually, they got neither.
“It’s now I’m feeling all the pains I suffered from the ejection (including a fracture in my neck and painful back and chest), but God didn’t allow those pains to slow me down for the bandits to capture me.
“NAF platforms overhead also helped to deter them a lot by making some of them to pin down while I kept running, and when they got close to me, I was still able to evade them by camouflaging (I was wearing green Federal Government suits – in the green forest) and concealing myself.
“I ran into plenty spiders and I laid down several times out of weakness not knowing if anything poisonous would sting or bite me. All glory is to God, all glory. I have not been your most righteous brother, but I felt God’s hands in everything. Even in every decision I took immediately I was shot, all the decisions worked together to save my life.
“In the village, I eventually entered at night, I told God that the first person I see and call should favour me and that happened. They dropped me with their Emir who with pride and joy called the Nigerian Army men to come and meet me (they all had sleepless nights).
“NAF helicopters also came to pick me up from there. There is so much to say. All thanks to God, thank you so much, love.”