Banditry: Air chief assures Niger residents of safety

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has assured people of Niger state of the commitment of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) towards ensuring their safety and security.

The air chief gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy visit to the state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello at Government House, Minna, as part of his operational visit to the state.

The CAS was in the state to assess facilities emplaced at the Minna

Airport to enable the effective conduct of the ongoing anti-banditry air operation code-named “Operation GAMA AIKI”.

The CAS inspected facilities at the 013 Quick Response Group (013 QRG) NAF Base Minna, including the Base Medical Centre as well as the disused G-222 aircraft provided as a mock-up for anti-aircraft hijacking training.

The air chief said two sets of NAF personnel, who had earlier been trained in anti-aircraft hijacking, would soon be reassembled to replicate the training locally in Minna.

During his courtesy call at the Government House, the CAS said the NAF would continue to work alongside other security agencies to bring succour to troubled communities in Niger State, adding he had assessed facilities in the NAF Base, preparatory to the deployment of additional Regiment and Special Forces (SF) personnel to support operations in the State.

He said air assets have already been deployed, including the helicopters and Alpha Jet aircraft that would provide support to the Army and Police. He said he had directed that a medical outreach be conducted to cater for the healthcare needs of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) at Kuta in Shiroro Local Government Area as part of efforts of the Service to alleviate the plight of those affected by the activities of armed bandits in the state.

In his response, the governor said the state had gone through a challenging period, but expressed satisfaction with the arrangements emplaced by the NAF. He praised the CAS for the tremendous support provided by the deployment of air assets to add value to the Internal Security Operations in the State.

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