The death of Flight Lieutenant Pereowei Jacob, one of the Nigerian Airforce pilots who died while providing cover in a fighter jet for troops battling the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, has brought tears to many Nigerians who have been lamenting the fact that he died a few weeks after his wedding.
The much-loved officer reportedly got married to his heartthrob on December 8, 2018, but lost his life in the tragic crash January 2, 2019, leaving his young wife after just three weeks and two days.
The Opokuma, Bayelsa State-born Jacob was the Pilot-in-Command of the ill-fated flight that was allegedly shot down by the insurgents in Borno State while providing cover for troops of 145 Battalion, Damasak in Borno State, alongside four others.
In a press release by the Nigerian Airforce, Jacob and his crew died in a helicopter combat crash in the fight against Boko Haram.
The press statement signed by the Director of Public Relations and Information of the Nigerian Airforce, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola reads:
‘It is with a heavy heart that I announce the death of the 5 crew members who were on board the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Mi-35M Helicopter which crashed in combat on 2 January 2019, while providing close air support to troops of 145 Battalion, Damasak, in Borno State.
The deceased personnel, whose remains have been recovered to Maiduguri, are:
1. Flight Lieutenant Perowei Jacob – Pilot in Command
2. Flight Lieutenant Kaltho Paul Kilyofas – Co-Pilot
3. Sergeant Auwal Ibrahim – Flight Technician
4. Lance Corporal Adamu Nura – Gunner
5. Aircraftman Meshack Ishmael – Gunner
These gallant fallen heroes made the supreme sacrifice in the service of our fatherland, for which the NAF, and indeed the entire nation, owe them an unending debt of gratitude.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on behalf all officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the NAF, commiserates with the families of the 5 fallen heroes and prays that the Almighty grants their souls peaceful repose.
The CAS was in Maiduguri today, 3 January 2019, to convey the condolences of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammed Buhari, to personnel of the Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE over the unfortunate loss. While in Maiduguri, the CAS also received a condolence visit from the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.
The NAF appreciates the overwhelming support shown by the general public to the Service over the sad incident. We continue to solicit your understanding and support as we daily strive to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.’
However, many Nigerians have been mourning the passing of the gallant officers with many taking to social media to pour out their sympathies, especially for the young widow who did not enjoy her marital home for more than three weeks.
Read what some Nigerians posted on Facebook:
Arowolo Jubril Bimbola: “You died while serving your country… May the Lord console your wife.”
DrOlubunmi Adejayan: “Too Sad. Every appointment with untimely death is declared canceled in Jesus mighty name.”
Tonyeseigha Jacob: “Gallant for your undeserving nation. Rest on Flight Lieutenant Pereowei Jacob.
We were celebrating your glorious marriage about three weeks ago not knowing death will take you away from your wife and family so soon.
Am still in shock on your sad demise. Well God knows best. RIP is hard to say, but you died gallantly for your undeserving nation. Rest on Flight Lieutenant Pereowei Jacob.”
Lilian Ogbu: “My heart bleeds; Flight Lieutenant Pereowei Jacob, you left us just like that. You know you always make me laugh even when am sad; You are like a brother, a hero.
I was so happy about your marriage last December but you died while serving your country. May God give your wife, mom and siblings the fortitude to bear this loss.”
Olaoluwa Babatunde: “Let those who are sponsors of terror either for political gains or other motives for destabilization, see this and have a rethink! HE DIED A PATRIOT!”
Bassey Asuquo Okokon: “What a life! His wife became a widow after 24 Days of the most wonderful day in her life..just 3 weeks and 2 days..”
Pressey Ebede: “TEARS IN OPOKUMA Flight Lieutenant Pereowei Jacob. Got married 8th of December, 2018. Chief pilot of the war helicopter that crashed at the battlefront. He died while fighting for the survival of Nigeria. When will this Boko Haram scourge come to a halt?”
Ahmed Babatunde: “Hmmmm this life is vanity shah, may their gentle souls rest in perfect peace and give their family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Amin.”
Oluwashola Tokimi: “So sad! Making his young beautiful wife a widow after three weeks and two days of marital bliss. These young soldiers lives are being wasted. May his soul find rest.”
Williams-Johnson Motunrayo Mariam: “Rest in peace! WHAT A LIFE… His wife became a widow after 24 DAYS of the most wonderful day in her life…JUST 3WEEKS and 2 DAYS…Waoh!!!”
Lateef Ola Adegunwa: “Got married just last month! ‘Flight Lieutenant Pereowei Jacob was among those who died at the Air Helicopter crash on the 2nd of January. The young Lieutenant just got married on the 8th of December, 2018. My heartfelt condolences go to the wife, May the good Lord console your heart.
Eternal rest to all who lost their lives fighting for Nigeria.”
Sunny Etuk: “OMG! What a painful loss! Flight Lieutenant Pereowei Jacob got married on the 8th of last month (December, 2018) and he died on the 2nd of January 2019…WHAT A LIFE…..
His wife became a widow after 24 DAYS of the most wonderful day in her life…JUST 3 WEEKS and 2 DAYS… Cruel world! Comfort your people, O Lord!”
David Olusegun Ajayi: “Flight Lieutenant Pereowei Jacob got married on the 8th of December, 2018, he died on the 2nd of January 2019, while providing cover in fighter Jet for troops battling Boko Haram/ISIS terrorists.
His young, beautiful wife became a widow after three weeks and two days of marital bliss.”
Stephen Ebinyo Edwards: “HE DIED A PATRIOT. He died, with four other patriots, so you and I would stay alive and safe.”
John Bashiru: “God bless their souls. You died while serving your country… May the Lord console your wife”
Watch when the late officer was presented with the traditional military sword at his wedding: