The Chief of Army Staff , Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has said that the use of armed drone in the ongoing counter-terrorism operation in the Northeast is a force multiplier, which provides the military with intelligence. The army chief said this during a telephonic press conference after the 6th African Land Forces Summit at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. He said the use of new technologies in asymmetric warfare is “very, very” crucial, and which the Nigerian military has ensured is handle professionally.
The army chief said: “The use of the armed drone is not new in our operations in the northeast; and we take all precautions to ensure that the technical systems, both the land and air components are done professionally. “We have employed these armed drones, especially within the Sambisa Forest, where it used to be one of the strongholds of the Boko Haram terrorist group, the Shekau faction especially.
“Therefore, it is a force multiplier, the use of such drones, but most importantly also it provides us with intelligence. We’re able to detect movement of arms. We use them to detect movement of large bodies of troops and of these criminals, insurgents, terrorists within those areas, and it helps us to support our efforts to ensure that communities are not easily attacked, and improve the response time of our troops in case there is any threat to any community or any area, or even from facility installations.”
He said the use of drone also come with its challenges, “especially how timely this information is going to be part of the process. “And the processing of such intelligence also takes time, as well as certain factors of weather, especially in periods of bad visibility or during bad weather,” he said. “But by and large these very useful tools… some of our neighboring countries are also using these facilities to help us to facilitate quick reactions, as well as to deal with very dangerous situations where the lives of innocent civilians are being threatened… so that we will be able to counter it before the terrorists reach their target.”