President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the repeated attacks by bandits on communities in Niger State and its environs, directing the Nigerian Air Force to deploy its fighter aircraft in checking the menace.
Naija News learnt that the president gave the order in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Sunday.
speaking on the repeated attacks which led to the loss of several lives in the affected communities “as a disaster for the nation”. Garba Shehu revealed that the president authorized the deployment of air power to support troops and policemen deployed to the “difficult terrain,” to counter the menace of the attackers operating in the forest area bordering Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara states.
In line with this directive, according to the presidential aide, the Nigerian Air Force is setting up refuelling facilities at Minna, Niger State, to support the air operations. Shehu revealed that relevant military authorities had assured the president that given the improved weather conditions, a major exercise to “visually acquire targets” and launch attacks would soon follow.
He said President Buhari has received assurances that with the harmattan dust gradually easing its hold on the skies, fighter aircraft would this week join the efforts to provide effective air attacks against bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers that have been attacking remote communities around Dogon Gona forest in Niger State.
He added that the Police Command in Niger had equally given assurances that ”the planned dedicated air raids to complement the police helicopter gunship operations remain the best approach given the lack of motorized roads in the areas constantly under attack.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has urged federal lawmakers to upon resumption, tomorrow, use its legislative instruments to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to address it on the worsening security situation across the country.
The party, in a statement, yesterday, premised its call on what it called “the alarming Global Terrorism Index report by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), which ranked Nigeria as the third country with the highest level of terrorism in 2019, after Iran and Afghanistan.”