The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, says the increasing rate of bombings in parts of Nigeria is a part and parcel of insurgency especially with the dislodgment of the Boko Haram insurgents.
He, however, adds that it is not peculiar and that the military alone cannot deal with the menace.
According to him civilian intelligence and vigilance will play a big role to stop the incidences.
The Air Force boss added that a liaison between the citizen and the armed forces is critical to reducing the incidences, but in the meantime to engage with civilians through humanitarian affords and psychological warfare.
Fighter jets and helicopter gunship of the Air Force assaulted the location in a coordinated day and night operation following Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) report that Boko Haram insurgents who attacked own Surface Forces at Kangarwa the night of January 12, 2017 had withdrawn to the said location.
The footage of the Battle Damage Assessment released by the NAF indicated that the operation was successful as the insurgent’s hideout was successfully destroyed.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, says the Nigerian Air Force has acquired two more Mi-35M combat helicopters from Russia Federation to enhance its capability in ongoing internal security efforts.
He has also given the assurance that the Nigerian Air Force remains committed to ensuring that the current gains in the war against Boko Haram terrorists in North East Nigeria is sustained.
Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, who was speaking at a media briefing in Maiduguri to acquaint the press with the activities of the Air Force in 2016, said air patrol and intelligence gathering was still in progress.
“The aircrafts have been delivered awaiting official induction after which they will be launched for operations.
“We have also installed camera on two of our Beechcrafts NAF 202 and NAF 204 and upgraded the camera on another Beechcraft NAF 201 all in 2016,” the Air Chief stated.
The air bombardment of the camp zero and general area of the Sambisa forest by the air component of the Operation Lafia Dole paved way for the ground forces to advance and succeed in the operation.
The Air Chief said that the Air Force would not relent in its air campaign efforts to ensure that dislodged terrorists do not regroup or attack communities or the ground forces carrying out mop up operations.
According the Air Marshall, three EC-135 helicopters ceded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to the NAF in March 2016 are undergoing reactivation processes to boost the number of serviceable platforms.
The Nigerian Air Force is seeking for more support and partnership from the United States of America.
At a meeting with the new American Ambassador to Nigeria, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar said that the Air Force has over the years enjoyed the support of the United States in its various operations.
But he asked for more support and collaboration especially because the United States, according to him, is at the fore front of military exploits in the world.
On his part the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr William Stuart Symington said that Nigeria as a country is not only important to the African sub-region but the world at large.
He expressed readiness to ensure that the already existing relationship between the two countries continue to thrive.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has established a hospital in Bama, a town in Borno State, formerly occupied by Boko Haram insurgents, as part of its medical outreach.
Bama is home to 25, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), consisting mostly women and kids.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, gave the state governor, Mr Kashim Shettima, a tour of the hospital, equipped to meet the health needs of the residents.
The Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the coordinating agency for humanitarian services in the state, believe that collaboration between sister agencies and support from the Nigerian Air Force medical team is responsible for the seamless defeat of malnutrition in the camp.
“The government of Borno State in conjunction with NEMA and the 31 NGOS working together were able to work together. So many tents have been built, water supply has improved and we now have two health facilities and food system has improved to meet the needs of this IDP camp.”
The health facility, initiated by the Nigerian Air Force in Bama, is an extension of the Dalori IDP camp in Maiduguri, which has been conducting surgeries for sick IDPS, at no cost, where necessary.
Explaining the vision behind the Air Force Medical Outreach, Air Chief Abubakar, said he believes that gaining the confidence of locals in the area of operations is key to winning the counter insurgency war.
Bama and Gwoza local councils of Borno State have the highest number of IDPS living in camps and the host communities.
Governor Kashim Shettima has assured that the state government is engaging in fruitful partnerships with the Presidential Initiative for rebuilding North East (PINE) and others, to facilitate the quick return of IDPS and closure of camps.
The Nigerian Air Force is a beneficiary of a N20 million grant from PINE, in support of its medical outreach.
Malnutrition among IDPs in Borno State was first reported in the unofficial camp in Bama Local Council Area.
A large part of the population of the IDPs in the Bama camp are former captives of the insurgents, who regained their freedom following intensive military operations.
At least 3, 000 malnourished persons, mostly kids, had to be evacuated to Maiduguri, the capital city for treatment and proper nutrition.
Nine weeks on, the narrative of the IDPS has changed, as they speak of changes in their diets and improved medicare.
Gohna Alkali, an IDP in the Bama camp said “we are no longer hungry, we now have food. We have doctors here taking care of us, and food and clothes we do not have any problems. They give us spaghetti for breakfast, rice and beans for lunch and semovita for dinner we are grateful to God”, he said.
The Nigerian Air Force will increase its recruitment from 1,000 personnel annually to 2,500, to increase its support to the nation’s security.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, announced the planned increase on Friday during a visit by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Nasir El-Rufai.
Air Marshal Abubakar said the Air Force had acquired 10 helicopters and was awaiting 10 other training aircraft in a bid to enhance its operations to adequately support both the internal and external security challenges confronting the nation, in line with globally accepted standards.
Beyond the partnership, the Chief of Air Staff announced ongoing reforms in the Air Force aimed at further contributing to fighting Nigeria’s internal and external security challenges.
At the meeting, Governor El-Rufai expressed his gratitude to the Air Force for its contribution to tackling security challenges in the North-West especially in Kaduna State.
The agreement at the meeting was that Nigeria was better off when the civilian authority and the military worked together for the common good.
The Nigerian Air Force has reaffirmed its commitment to stopping all forms of criminal activities in the country including economic saboteurs from the Niger Delta region.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, made the pledge in Yola the Adamawa state capital on Saturday.
He said the Air Force was already deploying troops and additional platforms to the Niger Delta area to contain the recent uprising from the area.
Air Marshal Abubakar assured Nigerians that the Air Force, in collaboration with other security agencies, would continue to sustain the tempo of its operations in the war against insurgency.
The fight against insurgency is yet to be over and it is for this reason that the Chief of the Air Staff commissioned some projects in Yola and Maiduguri aimed at ameliorating the hardships encountered by personnel and their families.
The Air Force boss called on Nigerians to provide useful information to security agencies at all times.
Meanwhile, the Adamawa State Governor commended the appointment of the current Service Chiefs by President Buhari while the Senate Majority leader pledged support of the National Assembly to the Nigerian Armed Forces.
The projects commissioned in Yola and Maiduguri include 205 wing building/pilots crew room, one bedroom accommodation for corporals and below and a new apron that will aid the activities of pilots.
Nigeria’s Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, is calling on people living in Northeast Nigeria to contribute to intelligence gathering.
The Air Chief who is on a routine visit to the 69 Composite Group in Maiduguri told journalists in an interview that intelligence gathering is key to winning the war against insurgency.
“We should all be very observant of what is happening and report to security agencies any suspicious movement. Intelligence is very important and everyone has a role to play.” Abubakar said.
On the state of equipment in the air wing of the Theatre of Operations, the Air Chief said “There is no system that is perfect, we are always looking at areas of improvement and that is why from time to time these visits are very important to us.
“We discuss with our pilots and technicians and see the condition under which they’re operating and make sure that everything is fine.” Abubakar stated.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, says the Nigerian military is in the last phase of ending the war against Boko Haram in the country.
Air Marshal Abubakar made this comment during a visit to commission some projects at the Air Force medical centre of the 81 Maritime Group of the Nigerian Air Force in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
He said that apart from equipping the military with the necessary logistics, the government is also taking the welfare of its soldiers and their dependants as a top priority in its bid to end terrorism and properly secure the country.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, says the Nigerian military is in the last phase of ending the issue of Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Air Marshal Abubakar gave the assurance while addressing reporters in Benin on Wednesday.
It was the commissioning of some projects at the Air Force Medical Centre of the 81 Maritime Group of the Nigerian Air Force in Benin City the capital of Edo State.
He said that apart from equipping the military with the necessary logistics, the government was also taking the welfare of its soldier and their dependents as a top priority in its bid to end terrorism and properly secure the country and this citizens.
The Chief of Air Staff in Nigeria, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, says the Federal Government is committed to providing quality training for pilots, officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force involved in the fight against insurgency in the north east.
He said that the government is making the commitment as part of efforts to end insurgency in the northeast.
Addressing members of the Air Component of the Joint Task Force in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State, Air Marshal Abubakar said the war on terror would be won soon.
He assured Nigerians and all residents of the northeast that the fight against Boko Haram insurgents was at its tail end, as the military had substantially degraded them.
The Chief of Air Staff also reiterated the government’s commitment to enhancing the training of officers and men of the Air Force.
He admitted that the history of the counter insurgency would be incomplete without acknowledging the sacrifices of officers and men of the force.
Air Marshal Abubakar further commissioned an official quarters of single officers, named after flight Lieutenant Ebitimi Owei who lost his life in a crash after an operation.
It was another message of peace, as the Air Chief stopped over in Yola to assess the situation on ground and visited the Emir’s palace with the message of hope.
The Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Bin Aliyu, expresses optimism that the insurgents would be completely wiped out in the northeast.
From the Emir’s palace, the Chief of Air Staff visited the Government House where he listed the successes of the military against the insurgents.
Governor Muhammad Jibrilla also confirmed the successes of the military, saying the state was now calm.
He further told reporters that the state government was expecting the arrival of 56,000 Internally Displaced Persons from Cameroon.
A civil society organisation has appealed to the Federal Government to grant amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect who were forcefully recruited into the group.
The Coalition of Women Advancement in Africa (COWAA) said that the reprieve would enable government to further decimate the population of the dreaded group.
The Executive Vice President of COWAA, Mrs Jummai Pukat, made the call while addressing a news conference in Abuja on Monday.
According to Mrs Pukat, granting amnesty to such members of the group would assist the military in sustaining the onslaught against the leadership of the sect.
Commending the efforts of the military in the fight against terror, COWAA called on the Nigerian Armed Forces to intensify efforts aimed at ensuring that innocent lives are not wasted by the insurgents.
Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar made the statement on Monday during his Easter visit to the troops in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
While describing as unfortunate the insurgents’ insistence on destroying the peace of Borno State and the entire Nigeria’s northeast, he applauded the commitment of officers and men of the Armed Forces.