The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Tuesday said it was battle-ready to collaborate with other security forces to end banditry and other forms of criminality in Niger.
Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff (CAS), made this known during an inspection of the air force facilities in Minna, Niger.
The CAS also paid a courtesy visit on Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger at Government House, Minna.
“I have inspected our equipment and personnel on the ground, I must tell you that we are combat-ready to tackle the security challenges in parts of Niger state.
“The NAF will give air support to the army, police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps and others to ensure that we end the activities of suspected bandits in the state,’’ he said.
Abubakar who was satisfied with the equipment and personnel deployed for the operation “Gama-Aiki” said, “we are ready.”
He said that the air force would collaborate with other security agencies to tackle the menace.
“We will continue to do our best to make sure that these criminal elements terrorising parts of the state are flushed out from their hideouts,” he said.
The CAS assured the governor that NAF would deploy its medical personnel for free medical care to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the state, as a result of incessant bandits attacks on their communities.
Responding, the governor expressed happiness about the visit and said the State government would continue to support the security agencies to stamp out any form of criminality in the state.
“I am very excited about this visit; I want to assure you that government will do everything possible to support the security agencies to keep our state safe,’’ he said.
Bello, who observed that the NAF was doing well in tackling insecurity in the state, said “In no distant time the bandits would be defeated’’.
He lauded the combat readiness of the NAF and thanked the CAS for approving the deployment of the air force medical personnel to improve the health of the IDPs in the state.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 10 Local Government Areas of Shiroro, Rafi, Munya, Tafa, Paikoro, Gurara, Mariga, Mashegu, Lapai and Borgu in the state had been under siege by suspected bandits for some time now.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently ordered an aerial attack on hideouts harbouring the suspected bandits in the state.