•Destroys new insurgents’ camp in Borno
•BBOG group tasks Buhari on Chibok girl’s rescue
From Philip Nwosu and Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) spends N475 million monthly to fuel its fighter jets and transport planes to fight Boko Haram.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said in Lagos yesterday that the force uses 1.9 million litres of aviation fuel monthly to fly missions in the North-East, the hotbed of Boko Haram insurgency. Aviation fuel sells for N250 per litres, meaning that at least, N475 million is spent on a monthly basis.
He spoke during the opening of the 2016 Logistics seminar organsed by the NAF’s Logistics Command.
Giving other breakdown, he said: “So we are talking of about 10, 000 litres just for one aircraft time. We have so many other airplanes like the Alpha jets which consume 2, 400 litres per hour. They also fly in formation and that means about 4, 800 litres a day. There are other planes that fly on a daily basis.”
Air Marshal Abubakar said to ensure the force build capacity in logistics planning, the hierarchy of the NAF has embarked on training and retraining of its personnel within and outside Nigeria, especially as logistics play a very vital role in the success or failure of military operations.
He said the NAF has consistently sought ways of standardising her logistics procedures and operations in line with current global best practices.
While explaining that the Air Force must put together a carefully planned strategy not only for the movement of equipment and personnel to the theatre of war, the NAF chief said this was important if the current security challenges must be properly addressed.
He said: “It is only when we get the strategy right that we can hope to effectively and efficiently deploy air power necessary for addressing the challenges facing Nigeria. To support air operations in the North-East, the NAF must put an excellent plan that will ensure availability of aviation fuel in the operational area.
Earlier, the Federal Government said yesterday it will continue to support the military to end insurgency and militancy. Minister of Defence, Brig. Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (retd) said President Muhammadu Buhari is eager to end violent crimes.
He was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Defence Minstery, Amb. Danguma Sheni.
Meanwhile, the NAF said yesterday its fighter jets have destroyed a new Boko Haram camp in Borno State. The camp, located between Malam Fatori and Kangarwa in northern part of the state, is about six kilometres from the location of another facility attacked on August 20 by fighter jets, killing over 300 insurgents.
A statement by the Director Public Relations and Information, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, said the post-strike Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) mission conducted by the Air Force had revealed that some surviving Boko Haram members had converged at the new location, prompting the latest strike.
Famuyiwa said the air assault will further “degrade the capability of the insurgents while fostering the creation of the necessary enablement for ground troops to operate”.
Meanwhile, the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) campaign group has accused President Buhari of allowing members of the Boko Haram terrorists to determine the release of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.
This is even as police again yesterday barred the BBOG from gaining access into the Presidential Villa, Abuja to seek audience with Buhari.
The group, which is continuing with its 14 days strategic engagement, criticised the President for his statement at the just-concluded sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), in Kenya, where he suggested his willingness to swap the girls for Boko Haram detainees.
The group also condemned the President’s call on the terrorists to engage an international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) if they so wish.
Coordinator of the BBOG, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, who made this known during a peaceful march by the group to the Villa in Abuja yesterday, wondered why the President was giving so much powers to the terrorists who have continued to wreak havoc in some parts of the country to determine the fate of the girls.
She said: “We fail to understand why our Federal Government is giving so much powers to determine the process and first mover actions to the terrorists.
According to her, “Mr. President suggested a willingness to swap our girls for Boko Haram fighters preferring that the terrorists engage an international Non-Governmental Organization in the intermediation process if they so wish.
His words as reported were, “If they [the terrorists] do not want to talk to us directly, let them pick an internationally recognized Non-Governmental Organisation, convince them that they are holding the girls and that they want Nigeria to release a number of Boko Haram leaders in detention, which they are supposed to know.”.
She commended the courage and gallantry of the military in the frontline, the Multinational Joint Task Force, and the Civilian JTF, for their bravery, urging them to remain resilient.