The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed jet aircraft and helicopters on special surveillance in efforts to flush out bandits in Sokoto State and environs.
An Air Vice Marshal, Isiaka Amao, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Tactical Air Command (TAC), disclosed this to journalists on Saturday at the arrival of Special Force at Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto.
Mr Amao said the deployment to Sokoto was in fulfilment of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar’s promise during his last visit to Sokoto.
He said the Chief of Air Staff made arrangement based on observations during the last visit to affected states as well as successes recorded in other areas. The officer noted that some bandits who moved from some places in neighbouring Zamfara had found Sokoto as a safe haven and that they continue extending their nefarious acts in some of the villages in Sokoto State.
He charged officers and men deployed to be serious with the mission, noting that “the business is to flush out all the bandits in Sokoto state in collaboration with other sister services and security agencies.”
“To assist you in this task, the NAF has deployed jet aircraft, helicopters and surveillance aircraft,” he added.
He explained that these platforms would operate from Katsina and Sokoto airfields and assured that adequate Jet A-1 fuel, support equipment and personnel were on ground to support the air operations.
Mr Amao assured that the Chief of Air Staff had provided enough resources for the welfare of the Special Force.
However, he said: “I want to remind you once again that your duty here is to protect and save lives and property, it is not to harass or intimidate the good people of Sokoto state.
“You are all professionals and you should operate as such, you must adhere strictly to your rule of engagement and be good ambassadors of NAF.”
He wished them safe and successful operation, adding that residents and government looked forward to having a peaceful state as soon as possible.