Insecurity: Nigeria To Receive Six Super Tucanos In July

 

The Presidency says six of the 12 super Tucano fighter aircraft earlier ordered by the Federal Government will arrive in the country by July 2021.

Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu announced on his Twitter handle today says six of the twelve super Tucanos are on track to arrive in mid-July 2021 while the remaining six will arrive shortly after that.

According to him, “the super Tucano came off the production line in Jacksonville Florida, and are now being equipped and flight tested.

“Nigerian pilots and maintenance personnel are training on these planes. Currently, the construction is ongoing, which will house the aircraft.

“The air-ground-integration school is the training hub on targeting and minimization of civilian casualties.”

The Federal government had in February 2018 placed an order for 12 super Tucano aircraft at a cost of $496million.

READ ALSO: $890m Health Grant To Nigeria: Buhari Demands Periodic Performance Reports From Ministries

 

PHOTOS: Tears, Tributes As Crew Members Of Ill-Fated NAF Plane Are Buried

The late officers were lowered into the graves amidst tears and wailing. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun

 

Family and friends of the seven officers who died in the Nigeria Air Force Plane (NAF) plane crash could not hold back their tears at the burial ceremony.

The event which was held on Thursday at the national military cemetery in Abuja saw an outpour of emotion from both the young and old as the bodies of the late officers were lowered into the graves amidst tears and wailing.

In an emotion-laden voice, the Chief of the Air Staff Oladayo Amao saluted the supreme sacrifice of the young officers.

READ ALSO: I’m Deeply Pained, Magashi Mourns Victims Of Military Plane Crash

He said the loss of the officers must spur all Nigerians to unite in the fight against terrorism, kidnapping, banditry, and all forms of crimes in the country.

Nigeria Airforce posted on Twitter @NigAirForce the obituary of the officers

 

The Chaplain of the Nigerian Airforce, Group Captain Dogo Gani took his message from the book of lamentations.

He encouraged family members of the departed officers to look up to God.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) spokesman, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, had on Sunday,  February 21 confirmed the death of all the seven persons on-board the NAF Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft

He noted that the aircraft crashed while returning to Abuja Airport after reporting an engine failure en-route to Minna.

The officers are:

Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain)


Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-pilot)


Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System specialist).


Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS specialist)


Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS specialist)


Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS specialist)


Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).


 

Below are the photos from the burial ceremony as captured by Channels Television’s photographer, Sodiq Adelakun.

Arotile’s Death: NAF Hands Suspects Over To Police (Photos)

The three former schoolmates of the late Flying Officer, Arotile being handed over to the police.

 

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has officially handed over to the Nigeria Police the three suspects involved in the incident that led to the death of late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile.

According to a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore, Ibikunle Daramola, the suspects namely Nehemiah Adejoh, Igbekele Folorunsho and Festus Gbayegun, were handed to the police on Friday at the NAF Base Kaduna.

Giving a brief highlight of the events that led up to the death, the Commander 453 Base Services Group (453 BSG), Group Captain Hadi Ahmed, recalled how, on 14 July 2020, at about 4:30 pm, a KIA Serento SUV, driven by Mr Adejoh, with the two others as passengers, knocked down the Flying Officer while she was walking along the Air Marshal Ibrahim Alfa Road in the NAF Base Kaduna.

Read Also: Arotile, Nigeria’s First Female Helicopter Combat Pilot, Laid To Rest In Abuja

 

The three former classmates of Arotile who were involved in her death o n July 14, being handed over to the police.

 

Group Captain Ahmed highlighted that the three persons involved in the accident, who were former schoolmates of the late Flying Officer at the Air Force Secondary School Kaduna, were on their way to visit the wife of a serving senior officer residing in the Base before the accident occurred.

He stated that the NAF would continue to cooperate with the Nigeria Police and provide all necessary support to enable it carry forward the case to its logical conclusion.

This comes a day after the young officer was laid to rest at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja.

 

Arotile being laid to rest at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja.

She was buried in strict compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, Daramola, said.

NAF Deploys Additional Special Forces To Sweep Out Bandits, Kidnappers In Katsina

12 Bandits, Killed 15 Victims Rescued In North-West – NAF
A file photo of a military helicopter.

 

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed additional sixty (60) special forces to complement the effort of the ongoing Hadarin Daji operation out to sweep out bandits and kidnappers terrorising innocent citizens of Katsina state.

Comprising three well trained officers and 57 men, the special forces have been deployed along with additional platforms to be injected into the fight.

READ ALSO: Strike Notice: Kaduna Govt Warns Health Workers, Says It Will Not Bend To Blackmail

Speaking to reporters shortly after addressing the newly deployed troops at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Airport Katsina, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, AVM Charles Ohwo said the deployment was necessary following the recent attacks and killings in Batsari and Jibia LGAs of the state where innocent lives were killed.

He says air assets have been deployed in the state some days ago by the Chief of Air staff whom have operated for the past 24 hours with successful outcomes with many of the bandits taken out

NAF Launches New Operation Against Bandits In Kaduna

File Photo

 

The Nigerian Air Force has launched an exercise named Operation Na Zo to help curb the activities of terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and other criminal elements in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State and some parts of neighbouring Zamfara and Niger States.

The operation was accompanied with a simulation exercise which involved the troops to launching both air and ground attacks against the bandits inside the Kamuku forest who were said to have been terrorising residents of the three states.

Speaking during the launching of the operation on Monday, the Chief of Defense Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, said the essence of the training and exercise, is to achieve greater success in combat operations especially at a time when Nigeria is grappling with a lot of security challenges.

NAF Destroys Boko Haram Base In Sambisa Forest

 

The Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has destroyed a Boko Haram Terrorists’ logistics base in Sambisa Forest, Borno State.

The director of public relations and information for the Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola said The operation was executed on the 28th of January 2019, after series of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions revealed a resurgence of human and vehicular activities at the logistics base, which had hitherto been abandoned.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram Kill Four In Niger Republic

He adds that Overhead the target area, several structures and vehicles were seen camouflaged under the thick vegetation of the Forest, with significant human activity observed within the area. The attack aircraft recorded direct hits on the target area resulting in the destruction of several structures and neutralisation of some of the terrorists .

He also noted that some of the terrorists who survived the bomb strikes were seen fleeing the area but were mopped-up in follow-on attacks.

NAF Aircraft Destroys Terrorists Gun Trucks In Auno, Borno State

 

The Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has destroyed some terrorists’ gun trucks in air strikes conducted at Auno in Borno State.

The attacks were executed yesterday, 7 January 2019, whilst providing close air support for ground troops who were responding to an attack on their location.

According to NAF  spokesperson, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the ATF scrambled a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet and an Mi-35M Helicopter Gunship, supported by an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, to locate and engage the group of terrorists’ gun trucks.

READ ALSO: NAF Helicopter Gunship Destroys Terrorist Gun Trucks In Damasak, Borno State

Overhead the target area, the ground troops were seen engaging the terrorists, who were in a convoy of gun trucks, in a fierce gun battle.

After deconfliction, the Alpha Jet and Mi-35M took turns in engaging the terrorists causing them to beat an immediate retreat. In the process, 3 gun trucks were hit and destroyed while several of their fighters were neutralized.

The hall of fire from exploding munitions in one of gun trucks was visibly seen. Some of the survivors, who were seen attempting to flee the location, were taken out in follow-on attacks.

 

President Buhari Visits Injured Nigerian Air Force Pilots In Hospital

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has paid a visit to two of the three Nigerian Air Force officers who were involved in a crash last week.

The president visited the officers on Sunday at the Defence Intelligence Agency hospital in Abuja, hours after he returned from New York for the United Nations General Assembly, a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said.

While one of the officers, Squadron Leader M.B Babari, did not survive the incident, President Buhari thanked God for sparing the lives of the two others.

Read Also: Air Force Launches Probe Into Fatal F-7Ni Aircraft Crash In Abuja

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was also on hand to receive the President, explained that the three pilots had ejected successfully from their jets after the collision, while training for air parade on Friday, to mark the country’s 58th Independence Anniversary.

He noted, however, that Babari’s helmet flew open and he suffered head injuries that turned fatal.

President Buhari prayed that God would give the family of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Medical Services at the hospital, Air Vice Marshal Saleh Shinkafi, assured the president that the condition of the officers was improving steadily, and that they were being kept for further rest and counselling, as part of the rehabilitation process.

Others who received the President at the hospital were his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari, and Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman.

National Security: Air Force Graduates 1,498 Recruits In Kaduna

National Insecurity: Air Force Graduates 1,498 Recruits In KadunaThe Nigeria Air Force (NAF), on Friday, graduated a total of 1,498 recruits of its Basic Military Training Course, with a warning to them to be vigilant and committed to their constitutional responsibilities of safe-guarding the nation.

During their passing out parade held at the Ground Training Centre, NAF base Kaduna, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, told the new recruits to be prepared to pay the supreme price in defending their fatherland, especially at a time when the country is facing several security challenges.

Their journey began in July 2016, with 1,563 candidates, while 49 were withdrawn and four absconded.

Also among the graduates were 331 operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

As part of the effort to prepare the young airmen and airwomen for the task ahead, and in pursuance of the service’s mission-oriented force development, the curriculum for their course was reviewed with the introduction of internal security module.

Awards were given to recruits who distinguished themselves in the cause of the training

Addressing them, Air Marshal Abubakar, warned that the Nigerian Armed Forces, have zero tolerance for weakness and any conduct that is inconsistent with service discipline.

He reminded them to imbibe the culture of discipline, absolute loyalty to both civil and military authorities, and to avoid being used by any disgruntled elements in the society.

The Air Force boss, also announced that his administration places a high priority on welfare and capacity building of officers and men of the service.

The induction of the young men and women into the military, is not doubt coming at a time the nation is in dire need of additional manpower for her military needs.

Therefore, as they join their colleagues in the field, it is expected that they sticjk by the oath they took to protect all law abiding citizens and visitors from both internal and external aggression.

Air Force Destroys Illegal Oil Refineries In Rivers State

Nigerian Air Force, Niger Delta, oil bunkering, oil theft, aerial bombardment, Rivers State, illegal refineries
Scene of the aerial attacks on illegal refineries in Bille, Rivers State

The Nigerian Air Force says it has destroyed some illegal oil refineries and barges filled with petroleum products in the Niger Delta.

The Air Force in a statement released on October 3, signed by its Director of Public Relations Information, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, said the military action is part of its efforts to stop illegal bunkering and criminal activities in the oil rich Niger Delta region.

According to the statement, the illegal refineries and barges were sighted by NAF Diamond 42 aircraft which was on an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission in Bille Community of Rivers State.

A Mi-24V helicopter gunship was subsequently called-in for aerial attacks.

It added that a similar operation was carried out on October 1 in the same area.

Army Arrest Alleged Economic Saboteur, NDA Kingpin

Boko Haram, Nigerian Army, Coup PlanTroops of 4 Brigade Nigerian Army have arrested a suspected national economy saboteur, one Mr. Gabriel Ogbudje (an Ex-militant leader).

Mr Ogbudje is also alleged to be the leader of the “Otugas Fire Force”, a militant group threatening to attack Utorogu Gas Plant.

He was alleged to be responsible for the recent act of economic sabotage perpetrated on NPDC/Shoreline major delivery trunk line within Ogo-Oteri general area on the August 26.

He has been on the run since he was declared wanted because of his public declaration as the leader of the militant group “Otugas Fire Force” and his subsequent declaration of the threat code named “Crocodile Tears”, which was published by the Vanguard and Thisday newspapers on 31st August 2016, while the Brigade was engaged on the military field training exercise nicknamed “Operation Crocodile Smile”.

Gabriel was arrested along with his accomplice, Mr. Elvis Dweller Ejus.

Both suspects were handed to Operation DELTA SAFE for further interrogation and subsequent handing over to the relevant security agency for prosecutions.

In the same vein, troops of 13 Brigade Nigerian Army in conjunction with Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Air Force and covert operatives of the Defence Intelligence Agency, arrested a suspected kingpin of the Niger Delta Avengers, Isaac Romeo, that goes by the appellation of “G2” in their terrorist camp.

He was arrested along with two other persons; Mr. Lawson Samson and an elderly man, Mr. Iyang Ekpo in Calabar, Cross State while driving in a vehicle with registration number, CRS 86 AO1 on Saturday, September 3, 2016.

The arrest followed painstaking efforts and tracking of the militant who was in the state to perpetrate further criminal activities of sabotaging critical infrastructures.

Gun Runners, Armed Bandits Kill 11 Military Officials In Niger State

Illegal ArmsAt least 11 military officials have been killed in a gun battle with gun runners and armed bandits at different locations in Niger State, north-western Nigeria, a military official said on Sunday.

Eight of the armed bandits were also killed in the shootout while 57 others were arrested.

Spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Colonel Sani Usman, said that the attack occurred during cordon and search in different locations following covert surveillance and intelligence reports on the activities of some gun runners and armed bandits in Kopa, Dagma and Gagaw villages of Bosso Local Government Area, Niger State.

Still Missing

Troops of 31 Artillery Brigade, 1 Division Nigerian Army, in conjunction with Nigeria Air Force detachment on Internal Security Operation MESA were in the operation to recover suspected weapon cache and arrest the suspected persons and the armed bandits.

“The troops were on legitimate official duty aimed at safeguarding lives and property of citizen in the area.

“While approaching and deploying to carry out their lawful duty, the troops came under simultaneous and sporadic shootings in all the three locations.

They, however, responded as necessary in line with the rules of engagement.

“Sadly, an officer and eight soldiers of the Nigerian Army and two Airmen of the Nigeria Air Force lost their lives in the line of national duty,” a statement by Colonel Usman said.

He stated that “one soldier is still missing” while two of their colleagues were seriously wounded.

The suspected gun runners and armed bandits also burnt down four operational vehicles and vandalised two others.

The bandits also carted away four AK-47 rifles and one Fabrique Nationale (FN) rifle belonging to the deceased soldiers.

Colonel Usman said that the troops killed eight of the armed bandits and arrested 57 others while large quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered.

‘Suppliers Of Arms’

The recovered items include; three AK-47 rifles, 10 Local AK-47 Rifles, nine Locally made Pistols, six Revolver guns, which fires 7.62mm (Special ammunition), 45 Loaded Dane guns, 10 Clubs and Cudgels, 41 Arrows, 18 Bow cases, 122 Cutlasses and Machetes as well as 20 Daggers.

Other items are 31 Axes, 63 rounds of 7.62 (Special) Ammunition, 10 Bajaj Motorcycles, Assorted Charms and Amulets, two Vehicles, 38 mobile telephone handsets, a wristwatch, five Identity Cards, Passport Photographs, Cash sum of 23,870 Naira, five Japanese Yen and 35 different denominations of old Nigerian currency, 15 Catapults, eight Torchlights, two Gun Powder bottles, four empty cases of Ammunition and 41 Cartridges.

The troops also seized a military Waist Belt and a pair of military Combat Boots.

The army spokesman emphasised that the nefarious activities of the gun runners and the armed bandits had direct bearing with the influx of weapons and general insecurity in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory and the North West geo-political zone.

He said: “The same gun runners have been confirmed to be the suppliers of arms to armed robbery gangs that were involved in series of armed robbery attacks along Minna-Bida road and the general environment.

“Although the situation is under control, the military will not rest on its oars until all those involved are arrested and brought to justice”.

Colonel Usman further assured Nigerians that the military would continue to deal with any violent threat to national security and urged all law abiding citizens to go about their lawful duties, as the cordon and search operation continues in the general area.

He said the operation could, if necessary, be expand to other identified areas to keep Nigerians safe.