The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has tasked Nigerian Air Force (NAF) personnel of the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji to sustain onslaught until acts of banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminality are brought to an end.
Abubakar said no forest would serve as safe havens for bandits, as the NAF would smoke them out to ensure innocent lives are protected.
He charged the personnel to maintain control of the operational space and exploit every intelligence resource, while also calling on the bandits to lay down their arms and surrender to appropriate authorities or face the consequences.
According to a statement by Ibikunle Daramola, Director of Information and Public Relations, the CAS made this on Saturday during the luncheon organized by the NAF to celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir with frontline troops in Katsina.
“We must continue to remain focused by maintaining the highest level of vigilance and combat readiness that the NAF is known for in order to rid our communities of criminal elements”, the statement quoted him saying.
Abubakar, disclosed that the planned construction of an aircraft hangar for the NAF at the Umar Musa Yar’adua Airport Katsina, through direct labour, would soon commence.
He noted that the emplacement of the hangar would add value to efforts at enhancing aircraft serviceability by providing shelter for the aircraft and maintenance personnel from the harsh weather conditions.
The CAS equally revealed that some of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) being procured for the NAF would be stationed in Katsina and Gusau, to cover the North West, and Gombe for the North East.
He stated that steps were also being taken to improve the development and employment of NAF Special Forces in order to keep them motivated to remain the excellent lethal force they had become.
The CAS commended the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command (AOC SOC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Charles Owho, the Air Component Commander Operation Hadarin Daji, Commander 213 FOB, officers and airmen/airwomen in Katsina for their exemplary conduct, professionalism and commitment.
He also expressed his satisfaction with the performance of the Air Component in the recently concluded subsidiary Operation RUWAN WUTA, which, he said, achieved success in significantly degrading the capacity of the bandits and curtailing their ability to carry out attacks on innocent citizens thereby enabling friendly forces to conduct necessary operations successfully.
The resultant effect of the over 1,300 hours of air operations conducted since January 2020, the CAS said, was the arresting of the deteriorating security situation in the North West Zone, particularly in Katsina State.
In his remarks, Governor Masari, while appreciating the contributions of the NAF in addressing the security challenges facing Katsina State and the entire North West Zone, expressed delight that construction of the aircraft hangar, along with ancillary facilities, would soon commence.
He equally lauded the steps being taken to acquire UAVs that would operate from Katsina, noting that this would undoubtedly add impetus to operations in the area.