The Nigerian Air Force says it has deployed additional combat aircraft to the war-ravaged North-East part of the country in support of the current counter-terrorism operation aimed at ending the Boko Haram insurgency in the region.
NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, said that the new deployment was sequel to the recent visit of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, to the operational areas.
Alonge also explained that the fresh deployment was aimed at bolstering the military’s renewed drive to crush the fighting will of the Boko Haram terrorist group under the codename: ‘Operation Lafiya Dole.’
It said the new fighter platforms include the F-7Ni Fighter Aircraft; Mi-24/35 Attack Helicopters; Agusta 109 LUH; Supa Puma Combat Support Helicopter; and ATR-42 Surveillance Aircraft.
The statement reads in part: “The provision of additional platforms in the North-East is in line with President Mohammadu Buhari’s mandate to bring an end to insurgency in the North-East.
“The new deployment is aimed at boosting existing military efforts to defeat the Boko Haram Terrorists. It is also expected to enhance the capability of the Nigerian Armed Forces to fight in a more proactive and efficient manner.”
The Street Journal recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday, while decorating newly appointed and promoted service chiefs in the Presidential Villa, given them a three-month ultimatum to defeat the Boko Haram terrorists.
The President had said: “While commending the efforts of the Armed Forces so far, you need to brace up and continue to team up with other stakeholders to come up with a well-coordinated joint effort which will bring a desired end to this insurgency within three months.’’