By Doris Esa
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it has destroyed some bandits’ camps and neutralised several bandits in a fresh air interdiction operation in Sokoto State.
Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Daramola quoted the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, as saying the operation was launched on Monday through the Air Component of Operation: HADARIN DAJI.
Abubakar said the operation was part of efforts to rid the North West of bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers and other criminal elements under the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) led Operation ACCORD.
Abubakar, who expressed satisfaction with the mission, said the operation was to smoke out the bandits from their camps within the Kagara Forest area of Sokoto.
He noted that, while sustaining the air offensive, the Air Component worked closely with ground troops to ensure that the armed bandits that escaped the aerial bombardments were mopped up on the ground.
Abubakar said that because the Kagara Forest extended into Niger Republic, there was also a synergy with the Nigerien Authorities to ensure that the bandits do not escape through the international borders.
Abubakar noted that the massive deployment of air assets to Sokoto was to add impetus to operations in the state and its environs with a view to bring the spate of criminal activities to a decisive end.
“With the number of platforms deployed for operations in Sokoto as well as the ones operating in Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger states, you can be assured that our society is secured and our people can go about their businesses without fear,” he said.
He assured the people of Sokoto and indeed all Nigerians of the NAF’s unalloyed commitment towards ensuring a secured and stable environment.
The CAS reiterated that every Nigerian had a role to play to ensure peace and prosperity of the nation and expressed gratitude to the state government for the development of communities for quick resettlement of the people.
The air chief urged the Air Component to sustain the momentum of its operations in synergy with sister organisations to bring about the total defeat of the criminal elements.
Abubakar also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, National Assembly, especially the Senate and House Committees on Defence and Air Force, for their support and understanding towards the needs of the Service.