The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has declared its readiness to provide air support as part of its inter-agency cooperation to curb kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes on the Abuja-Kaduna highway.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar, made this known when he received the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, in his office.
The NAF Chief also called for more synergy from the security chiefs to wipe out kidnapping and armed banditry, especially along the Kaduna-Abuja highway and other parts of the country including Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Niger and Kogi states.
NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who made this known in a statement, said: “As part of inter-agency cooperation to address security challenges in the country, especially the issue of kidnapping and armed banditry along the Abuja-Kaduna highway and Kaduna-Birnin Gwari axis, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has reiterated its commitment to support the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies with real-time geospatial and imagery intelligence whilst making available its air assets for the conduct of tactical air support missions and increasing the frequency of air reconnaissance in the affected areas.
“The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, disclosed this on April 3, 2019, while playing host to the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed, Abubakar Adamu, and the Director-General DSS, Yusuf Bichi, at headquarters NAF, Abuja.
“The IGP and DG DSS on arrival at HQ NAF immediately went into a closed-door meeting with the CAS before undertaking a guided tour of facilities at the newly-established, state-of- the-art Geospatial Intelligence Data Centre (GIDC) and Strategic Air Operations Centre (SAOC).
“The GIDC, which is equipped with high-tech computer hardware and software, was established to enhance the acquisition, analysis, interpretation and exploitation of imagery and geospatial information to provide actionable intelligence for the armed forces and other security agencies, while the equally well-equipped SAOC is expected to greatly enhance the coordination of air operations in support of internal security operations across the country.
“While inspecting the facilities, the acting IGP expressed delight and satisfaction with the cutting-edge technologies and sophisticated computer software at the centre. He said the essence of the visit to the CAS was to explore possibilities of using NAF air assets and the products of the GIDC to improve the effectiveness of operations to deal with issue of kidnapping and armed banditry, especially along the Kaduna-Abuja highway and other parts of the country including Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Niger and Kogi states. According to him, as a result of the onslaught of security agencies against armed bandits in Zamfara State, the criminals had moved towards the Abuja axis to carry out their nefarious activities.
“I felt that as a security agency, we need to synergise with other security outfits. We don’t have the air capability but the NAF has them. With this, we can have a joint operation to deal with this security issue,” he said.
“The IGP appreciated the CAS for making NAF air assets available for the operation and also availing the NPF and DSS of the capabilities of the GIDC and SAOC. He also congratulated him for the facilities and making them available to other security agencies to enhance internal-security operations for the benefit of the Nigerian people.”