Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo, the Nigerian Air Force pilot, who survived and escaped capture when his Alpha Jet was shot down by bandits has narrated how he miraculously escaped from bandits who were more interested in capturing him than killing him.
The Alpha jet crashed on Sunday around 12.45pm while he was returning from an air interdiction mission between the boundary of Zamfara and Kaduna states.
According to NAF Spokesman, Edward Gabkwet, the Alpha jet “came under intense enemy fire which led to its crash in Zamfara State.”
Dairo who said he had seen what happened that day in his dreams 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.”