As part of the measures to curb the menace of insurgency especially in the North-east geo-political zone, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) yesterday said it had deployed additional troops to support those already on ground.
This was as it said they had increased border patrol to trace the supply of fuel to the insurgents and severe it in order to incapacitate them and prevent them from carrying out their nefarious activities.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, discloses this in an interview with THISDAY in Lagos at the opening ceremony of the logistics seminar organised by the Air Officer Commanding, Logistics Command, Air Vice Marshal Michael Iloenyosi.
Some of the guests at the event were the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin; the Commandant, Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Air Vice Marshal Monday Morgan; the Permanent Secretary, Aliu Ismaila, who represented the CDS, Air Chief Marshal, Alex Badeh; NAF Director of Public Relations, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas, among several others.
While reacting to recent claims that the Boko Haram sect now ferry in their explosives by air, Amosu said such claims were unfounded until proven otherwise.
He said: â€œThe information has not been confirmed. Imagine someone who is not well informed, when they see NAF aircraft, they can equally tell you that it belongs to the Boko Haram terrorist group.
“We are in full control of the airspace of Nigeria and we have deployed additional troops to the North-east area to boost our capability. We also have technological capability to know when a strange aircraft is flying.
“If we observe such aircraft, we will intercept them and definitely bring them down. We are worried about the information equally, even though has not been confirmed, we are monitoring.
“One thing is sure, they are getting resupply but is it by the air or by surface means? So its not exactly right to say that it is only by air that they get their supply and mainly the concern is how they get their supply.
‘Don’t forget that they built up in Sangisa Forest for a long time and are we sure they didn’t have enough supply stored before the hostility began?”
While stressing that the military will conquer the insurgency, he said, “When you commit your resources for operation, one of the things we do as leaders is to constantly visit to boost their morale and we have to check whether the tactics being employed is still relevant and effective.
“One of the measures to do this is, this seminar, which will let us examine what we are doing because when the logistics is not enough, its a big problem. If you notice, we brought in Aero Air to know what they are doing that we are not doing.”
“It is an occasion to tell ourselves the truth as NAF and if we can cut the fuel supply to the terrorists, we will incapacitate them. Generally, we set up operation independent to tackle the insurgency and that operation is to patrol the borders.
“One of the intelligence report we are trying to unravel is how they get their supply. That is one of the reasons why we embarked on that operation. Notwithstanding, there are situations that we have witnessed but they are confidential and if we give you the data, you will understand why the border patrol is essential.”
Amosu said one of the measures to cut off such supply is to “monitor how they move because if they have to travel hours to carry out a raid, then its obvious they are getting the supply from somewhere.
“So the question that should arise is; should we still leave the borders open because if you still export, you don’t know how they will camouflage the fuel and it will pass through the border posts and it gave us serious concern.
“Don’t forget that its not only the road network that we have, we also have the canals and where people can pretend that they are moving agricultural products and they could have fuel in and this is what we are talking about, gathering intelligence through surveillance operation.”