The Nigerian Air Force is set to deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to cover the North West and Northeastern parts.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who made the disclosure during the luncheon organized by the NAF to celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir with frontline troops in Katsina, said the UAVs will be stationed in Katsina and Gusau.
He, therefore, warned the bandits to lay down their arms and surrender to appropriate authorities or face the consequences.
He vowed that “no forest would serve as safe havens for them, as the NAF would smoke them out to ensure innocent lives are protected”.
The CAS also tasked NAF personnel of the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI to sustain the onslaught “until acts of banditry, kidnapping, and other forms of criminality are brought to an end”, charging them to maintain control of the operational space and exploit every intelligence resource.
According to him: “We must continue to remain focused by maintaining the highest level of vigilance and combat readiness that the NAF is known for in order to rid our communities of criminal elements”.
Abubakar assured that NAF will continue to provide the necessary tools to enhance the war against banditry and terrorism.
“For the serving gallant personnel that you are, we will continue to provide necessary tools to enhance your precise and effective prosecution of operations such as infrastructure, modern equipment, communication, vehicles, personal protective equipment, and so on,” he stated.
The CAS further disclosed that the planned construction of an aircraft hangar for the NAF at the Umar Musa Yar’adua Airport Katsina, through direct labour, would commence soon, noting that “the emplacement of the hangar would add value to efforts at enhancing aircraft serviceability by providing shelter for the aircraft and maintenance personnel from the harsh weather conditions”.
He commended the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command (AOC SOC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Charles Owho, the Air Component Commander Operation HADARIN DAJI, Commander 213 FOB, officers and airmen/airwomen in Katsina for their exemplary conduct, professionalism, and commitment.
Abubakar especially lauded the efforts of the NAF engineers and technicians in maintaining a high level of aircraft serviceability despite disruptions to the aircraft spares logistics supply chain caused by flight restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Air Component in the recently concluded subsidiary Operation RUWAN WUTA, which, he said, “achieved success in significantly degrading the capacity of the bandits and curtailing their ability to carry out attacks on innocent citizens thereby enabling friendly forces to conduct necessary operations successfully.