Nigeria acquires helicopter gunships to fight Boko Haram, bandits, others – Official

Nigerian Air Force Helicopter.
Nigerian Air Force Helicopter.

President Muhammadu Buhari held a crucial security meeting with his military chiefs and other heads of security agencies on Friday.

At the end of the meeting, an attendee told journalists that they “critically looked at everything ” and “are satisfied with the progress” being made to tackle the security challenges.

The Chief of Air Staff, Sadigue Abubakar, also told journalists at the State House in Abuja that the air force had acquired two helicopter gunships as part of the equipment to tackle the criminals including armed bandits in the North West.

“Some of the equipment we are acquiring have started arriving. For the Nigerian Air Force, two helicopter gunships have arrived on the 15th of January and we are now in the process of putting them together which will add to whatever we have,” he said.

Nigeria is battling with various forms of armed gangs and criminals across the country. These include the Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east, armed bandits in the North-west and armed kidnappers across the country.

At least 30 people were killed a couple of days ago and about 100 kidnapped when armed bandits attacked an emir’s convoy in Kaduna.

Friday’s security meeting is the first in 2020, the air chief said.

Read the full briefing by the air chief below.

“You recall that we had a meeting on the 30th December 2019 and today we held another one. The whole essence of the meeting is to critically evaluate what the armed forces of Nigeria, as well as other security and intelligence agencies, are doing with regard to ensuring that the territorial integrity of Nigeria is not undermined by any individual or group of individuals.

“We also looked at the emerging situations in some of our areas particularly acts of banditry in some of the North Western states and other parts of the country and we have critically looked at everything and we are satisfied with the progress we are making, we are satisfied with the support of the federal government is giving the armed forces and other security agencies in terms of procurement of platforms. Substantial number of these equipment are expected by the end of February. Some of the equipment we are acquiring have started arriving. For the Nigerian Air Force, two helicopter gunships have arrived on the 15th of January and we are now in the process of putting them together which will add to whatever we have.

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“We are equally expecting other equipment like I said that are meant for the armed forces of Nigeria which we are hoping to get by the end of February. I am sure you are also familiar with the equipment acquisition by the Nigerian Police Force. I am sure you are also aware of the policy on community policing that was approved by Mr. President and it is going to be funded. The whole idea is to ensure that Nigeria is secured and Nigerians can go about pursuing their legitimate aspirations without any hindrance.

“I think basically that is what this meeting is all about and what we want to do here is to reassure Nigerians that the armed forces of Nigeria and indeed security and intelligence agencies in Nigeria are going to continue to work round the clock to ensure that our country is secured and to ensure that nobody undermines the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Nigeria.

“We are going to keep a very close watch on what is going on and with the equipment that we are getting. Definitely, the challenges we are facing in some of the theatres of operation particularly the North-east will be addressed adequately.

“We are doing everything with the other sister countries in the Lake Chad Basin working together to ensure that the Boko Haram terrorism is brought substantially to an end as quickly as possible.

“I think our appeal is for all Nigerians and other stakeholders to join hands with the armed forces of Nigeria and other security and intelligence agencies to ensure that our country is secured rather than looking at other methods that are likely going to negate the national policy and community policing policy that the Federal Government has approved.

“What we expect is for all stakeholders, local government, state government, other stakeholders to join hands with us, let us work together to ensure that our country is secured.”


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