The recent procurement of J-F17 Thunder multi-role and the Super Tucano attack aircraft are evidence that the Federal Government is committed to tackling the security challenges occasioned by banditry and insurgency across the country.
This was according to the Minister of Defence, General Bashir Magashi, at the combined passing-out-parade of the 1,598 branch Commission Cadets 2022 and Basic Military Training Course 2021 Recruits of the Nigerian Air Force held in Kaduna.
The minister lauded the President, Muhammadu Buhari for the unflinching support rendered to the Nigerian Armed Forces.
According to the minister, the procurement of the two fighter aircraft was to enhance the capacity of the Nigerian Air Force to tackle current security challenges in the country.
Magashi, who was represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, also disclosed that the Air Force was expecting the delivery of the DA-42 surveillance aircraft, A109 Trekker helicopters and Beechcraft KA-360i aircraft in the next few years.
This, the minister noted, was part of the central government’s commitment towards restoring peace and order across the country.
The minister said, “The Nigerian Air Force is also expecting the delivery of the DA-42 surveillance aircraft, A109 Trekker helicopters and Beechcraft KA-360i aircraft in the next few years, among so many other requirements”.
“We, therefore, once again thank Mr President for strengthening our armed forces and pledge our unalloyed loyalty and total commitment towards restoring peace and order in all parts of the country”.
“I also want to commend the Chief of Air Staff for providing the right leadership to his officers, airmen and airwomen. I have noted with satisfaction measures that you have emplaced to engender transparency, accountability and prudent utilisation of resources for optimal results. I implore you not to relent and assure you of my continued support to sustain your capacity development efforts.’’
Meanwhile, security experts have attributed the lingering insecurity in the country to the support criminal elements enjoy in some quarters.
Three incidents during the week further laid credence to that, they said.
On Tuesday, a soldier identified as Lance Corporal Jubril committed suicide after being arrested for his alleged connivance with terrorists.
Also, troops of Operation Desert Sanity neutralised several ISWAP/Boko Haram terrorists including the Amir and spiritual head of Galta during an aggressive clearance operation around Manjo Ali Qere in Borno state on Thursday.
The Zamfara state government also deposed the Emir of Zurmi, Atiku Muhammadu, and the Emir of Dansadau, Hussaini Umar, over their alleged links with bandits.
The Government also sacked the district head of Birnin Tsaba, Sulaiman Ibrahim, for the same alleged offence.
These incidents, according to security experts, have made it difficult to tame insecurity in the country.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen, a security expert, Timothy Avele said to win the war, Nigeria must beam the searchlight on the military, intelligence agencies and communities.
He said, “Winning the war depends on the quality of intelligence and counterintelligence our security agencies and the military have. There are a lot of infiltrators both among the communities being attacked, the security agencies and the military.
Therefore, to win, we must look inward and minimize insider threats in communities, security and intelligence agencies, military and even the government too.”
Another security expert, Jackson Ojo said it would be difficult to win the war against insecurity as a result of the pecuniary relationship some citizens have with the terrorists.