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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), in response to emerging security threats around the country, especially within the North Central and North West Zones, has launched a patrol and surveillance aircraft to monitor security situation in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and neighbouring states.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this on Saturday during a chat with journalists at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after flagging off NAF aerial patrol around FCT.
Abubakar, who was represented by the Air Officer Commanding, Training Command, Kaduna, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Nuruddeen Balogun, said: “With all the security issues that are \bedeviling the north east, north west and also the federal capital”, he “has directed that we should combine the operations ongoing in those area and ensure that the FCT is covered”.
“As you can see, there are three light utility helicopters that are capable of kinetic action, what we are supposed to do is coordinate the activities of the ground force with what we see air borne and make sure bring effective fire and action to bear on who so ever it is that has intention of breaching the security,” he added.
The CAS listed the areas of operation to include FCT, the Abuja-Kaduna highway, Birnin Gwari-Kaduna highway, the Falgore forest area, Minna general area, the Kano-Kaduna high way.
He said: “We are looking at kidnappers, we are looking at armed robbers, we are looking at cattle rustlers mainly.
“It’s been on for as long as the directive has been given. There is no timeframe, we would continue to do it until it subsides completely. I am sure Nigerian understand the situation we find out selves now, anybody who is innocent has nothing to fear, only people with criminal intent should be worried, there is no problem, it’s a normal routine activity, we will make sure we identify and confirm before any action is taken.”