By Chiemelie Ezeobi
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, has said the Nigerian Air Force would continue its air reconnaissance missions and aerial bombardments in troubled areas like the North-east and the Niger Delta.
He said the renewed activities of some criminals in the Niger Delta region on gas pipelines and skeletal activities of suicide bombing of soft bombings influenced the need for air reconnaissance.
Abubakar who was represented by the Air Officer Commanding, Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal Muhammadu Muhammed, made this disclosure yesterday at the inauguration of the block of six three-bedroom flats officers’ residential accommodation at 105 Communications Depot, Shasha, Lagos.
“The combat operations against insurgents and terrorists in the North-eastern part of the country are still in progress.
“Expectedly, the NAF has remained a major player in carrying out aerial bombardment leading to the destruction of Boko Haram fighters’ camps and dislodging them from their strongholds within the Sambisa forest and adjoining enclaves.
“The sustained air operations provided greater latitude to the ground troops to rescue more people, mostly women and children erstwhile abducted by the insurgents.
“It is therefore gratifying to note that Boko Haram’s will to fight has been seriously degraded thus limiting their skeletal activities to merely suicide bombings of soft target.
“While remarkable success was recorded in Operation Lafiya Dole, the renewed activities of some criminals in the Niger Delta, which include attacks on gas pipelines has increased the security challenges in region.
“Nevertheless, the NAF is continually carrying out air reconnaissance missions of the troubled areas and also actively participating in joint operations with the sister services in order to put the situation under control.
“Another disturbing security challenge is the recurring clash between farmers and herdsmen in some parts of the country which often leads to wanton destruction of lives and properties”, he said.
On the accommodation he said, “Provision of decent accommodation for officers, airmen and airwomen is a top priority of our policy thrust towards ensuring that the NAF personnel and their families live in a befitting environment.
“Since assumption of office, we have embarked on a number of new constructions to address the inadequacy of houses in various units across the country as well as massive renovation and upgrading of the existing quarters that were in dilapidated condition to bring them to standard.”