The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said it has deployed more troops and air assets as well as equipment and logistics to Katsina and Gusau in line with the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari that additional troops be sent to curtail the activities of bandits in the North West.
NAF spokeperson, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, said in a statement in Abuja that the deployment started with the NAF C-130H airlifting required logistic in preparation for the commencement of operation Diran Mikiya for the area.
He said: “In compliance with the directives of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed additional troops and air assets along with necessary ground support equipment and logistics facilities to Katsina and Gusau in support of anti-armed banditry operations in the North West.
“The deployment began on 29 July 2018 with the NAF C-130H aircraft airlifting required logistics in preparation for the commencement of OPERATION DIRAN MIKIYA, which commenced earlier today, 31 July 2018. The intensive air operation is aimed at seeking out, pursuing and destroying elements engaged in banditry in Zamfara State and environs.
“Speaking today after launching the Operation, the new Air Officer Commanding, Special Operations Command, Air Vice Marshal Samson Akpasa, stated that fighter aircraft, helicopter gunships as well as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms alongside necessary equipment and personnel had been deployed for the conduct of OPERATION DIRAN MIKIYA.
“He noted that the operation, which was being conducted in close coordination with other security agencies, would be executed with precision and high intensity to quickly degrade the armed bandits and pave way for the return of normalcy in the affected areas.
“He emphasized that there would be no hiding place for the armed bandits as the NAF would be employing all the means at its disposal to detect the movement and locations of the armed bandits.
“The AOC SOC, who has just been appointed as part of steps taken by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to give additional impetus to NAF operations in the North West, later conducted an aerial reconnaissance mission over Gusau and environs.
“The newly appointed Air Component Commander OPERATION SHARAN DAJI, Air Commodore Ayoola Jolasinmi, accompanied him on the mission, during which they visited some critical areas of interest.”