The Defence Headquarters has revealed why the military cannot use the Super Tucano jets to fight bandits terrorising the North West region of the country.
It was gathered that the military told the National Assembly the reason the jets cannot be deployed to the North West is due to the agreement signed with the United States Government.
According to The PUNCH, the military said the US government told the Nigerian authorities that the jets would be deployed against terrorists and not bandits.
The revelation by the military propelled the National Assembly to ask President Muhammadu Buhari to designate bandits as terrorists.
Speaking to The PUNCH on Monday, a lawmaker said the military had not been able to decimate the bandits due to the conditions attached to the deployment of the fighter jets.
He said, “Let me tell you the truth. We once asked the Armed Forces why they had not deployed the Tucano in the fight against the bandits and one of the service chiefs (name withheld) told us that their hands are tied due to the human rights regulations regarding the aircraft.
“He told us that the equipment is meant for the war against terrorists and insurgents and since these are bandits, they cannot be deployed.
“He actually told us that once the bandits have been designated as terrorists, they would be wiped out. Don’t forget that the bandits today are not different from Boko Haram, looking at their activities and the gravity of attacks by them. Now that both chambers of the National Assembly have called for the declaration, we urge the President to implement our resolutions.”
Recall that the Federal Government has received the aircraft from the United States and a total of 64 pilots and maintainers from the Nigerian Air Force were trained to the US standards with the US Air Force’s 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Base in Georgia, United States.