The Nigerian Air Force has adopted a fresh strategy to end the spate of banditry in the country including deployment of five additional helicopters to Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kaduna States.
To boost the ongoing fight against banditry in the 19 northern states, the jets were deployed from the Umaru Musa ‘Yar’adua Airport Katsina State to ensure peace returns to the region.
The air assets included, among other things, Augusta 109 powered helicopter NAF, Surveillance aircraft, gunship helicopter, fighter and Alpha jets.
With this deployment, the total number of the air assets to 10, currently operating in the ongoing operation, code-named Operation Wutan Daji, a subsidiary of Operation Hadarin Daji.
Announcing the deployment, Chief of the Air staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this on Tuesday after supervised an area demarcated for the construction of taxiway, apron, hangar and aircraft shelters in Bakuru village, in the newly proposed NAF Central Flying School, Katsina.
While assuring Nigerians that the military was determined to make it extremely difficult for the bandits to operate in the Northern states, Abubakar expressed satisfaction with the successes recorded so far in the fight against banditry.
According to him, in the last three days, close to 100 hours, so many locations of the Bandits have been identified, with 10 of their camps cleared.
“We have 10 aircraft that are operating so far, we have bought a substantial quantity of aviation fuel amounting to over 200,000 litres along with quite a number of personnel to ensure that communities are secured.
“We are working very closely with the Nigerian army, we are also conducting air interdiction operation codenamed operation Wutan Daji which is an air interdiction operation that takes the fight into the forest where most of the Bandits are.
“I want to appreciate the Katsina state Governor, Aminu Masari for giving us the land to construct taxiway, apron, hangar and aircraft shelters in the newly proposed NAF Central Flying School, Katsina.
“We also appreciate their Royal highnesses, the emirs of Katsina and Daura and citizens for giving us the intelligence without which we cannot fight the Bandits. We are very happy with the level of support and cooperation we get from the citizens of the Northwest,” Abubakar said.