‘Nigerian Armed Forces Will Never Allow Boko Haram Regroup’ – Airforce Chief

‘Nigerian Armed Forces Will Never Allow Boko Haram Regroup’ – Airforce Chief

By Signal on January 7, 2017
NCDC, Borno ISWAP Ibikunle Daramola, Borno, Boko Haram
FILE: Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, the chief of air staff in Nigeria

The Nigerian Air Force has vowed to ensure that remnants of Boko Haram terrorists are not allowed to regroup again in any part of the country to pose a threat to lives and properties.

 Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, the chief of air staff, stated this on Friday, January 6, 2017 while giving account on the activities of the Air Force in 2016.

He said the Nigerian Air Force was expanding its operations to checkmate security threats in the North-east, South-south, South-west and other parts of the country.

He explained that the incessant cases of insecurity in the country where armed groups in the North-east and some part of the South have continued to hold the nation hostage will be checkmated with the expansion.

Abubakar said: “We are now expanding the structure because we see the need for it. After analysing the threats emerging, we realised that the four commands we have are no longer adequate, and we have established the fifth command with the support of the federal government.

“Apart from the field command, we also have the medical branch now. It used to be a directorate, now it’s a branch because we are expanding. We are recruiting more people, by the end of this year, at least, we should have additional 5000 recruits.

“With the expansion, you must reactivate. That is why we are reactivating airplanes; that’s why we are bringing in more airplanes and helicopters.

“We have also acquired one of the most sophisticated helicopter gunship in the world today; that is the MI35-M which was brought into Nigeria last week. We are also enhancing coordination with other services, particularly, the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Navy.

“Where we feel there are threats, we will call in our fighter airplanes to clear those threats so that we can have effective operation. We have also enhanced our bases. It is not likely that anybody can threaten our bases now unlike in 2013 when we didn’t have the right structure. In terms of what we have done in training and IT, it will be suicidal for anyone to attempt any of our bases.

“In 2017, we are going to do more. We are going to ensure that we add value to what is on ground. For the North-east, our focus now generally is to ensure that Boko Haram does not regroup anywhere.

“Our men are flying to ensure that these guys do not regroup to constitute any threat to our troops or any community in the North-east.”

He also spoke in respect for human rights: “we have changed the curriculum for training; we have included the aspect of respect for human rights and we have given them the basic understanding of humanitarian law that was not there before.

This story originally appeared on Signal.


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