The Nigerian Air Force(NAF), said it has deployed five additional helicopters to the north west to boost its anti- banditry operations bringing the total numbers of fighter helicopters deployed to the region to ten.
Similarly, the NAF, said it has commenced the construction of taxiway, apron, hangar and aircraft shelters in Bakuru village, in its newly proposed Central Flying School located in Katsina State.
The Chief of the Air staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, who made this known, said the deployment of the five helicopters brings the total number of air assets currently operating in the ongoing operation, code-named Operation Wutan Daji, a subsidiary of Operation Hadarin Daji to ten.
He listed the air assets to include among Augusta 109 powered helicopter NAF, Surveillance aircraft, gunship helicopter, fighter and Alpha jets.
Abubakar, made this known when he supervised the ongoing construction in the area.
The NAF, Chief while reiterating the determination of the service to curb activities of bandits in the shorted possible time, expressed satisfaction with the successes recorded so far in its operations against banditry.
Abubakar said “With 10 surveillance and attack aircraft deployed, we have flown over 100 hours in about 60 sorties since the Operation began 3 days ago. In all, we have conducted 13 air interdiction missions that have taken out 10 armed bandits locations with scores of the bandits killed and some of their leaders neutralized. We are already getting positive feedback on the tremendous results of the air strikes. You will get more details soon”,
He further stated that the Operation HADARIN DAJI Air Component had also continued to provide close air support for the Land Component’s clearance operations adding that the overall objective was to employ all means available to deal decisively with the armed bandits so that they have no breathing space and can no longer terrorize innocent citizens.
Continuing he said “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,”.