Thursday, July 23

We’re changing tactics on Boko Haram – Chief of Air Staff

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Sadiq Abubakar, has said that the Nigerian Air Force is developing a strategy in its fight against Boko Haram and other threats to security of lives and property in the North-East and Niger Delta regions.

Abubakar, who was on an operational visit to 97 Special Operations Group in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, as part of his tour to the units under his tactical commands, expressed the need for the Nigerian Air Force to evaluate past performances and improve on areas of necessity.

He stated that such a step would provide an effective force to tackle security challenges in both regions, adding that he was in the state capital to have a look at the officers, men and assets of the Nigerian Air Force.

“What I can assure you is that we are doing everything possible to evaluate what has been done in the past with a view to re-strategising so that we have a very effective force to deal with security challenges both in the Niger Delta and the North-East.

“We are trying to look at processes. What have we been doing in the past? What do we need to do more to be more effective? That is why this is the second unit I am visiting since I came into office.

“I am in Port Harcourt to look at our men, look at our assets, officers and men who have been contributing so much in terms of dealing with the security challenges; to also see what assets we need to bring in more to enhance our effectiveness in dealing with these challenges,” Abubakar said.

The Chief of Air Staff, who spoke on the rot in the system, explained that there was no perfect system anywhere in the world, maintaining that evaluation was necessary to identify areas of deficiencies with a view to improving on them.

Abubakar pointed out that pilots operating in the North-East were careful in order to avoid collateral damages, adding that such a measure was in line with international laws.

He disclosed that the Nigerian Air Force was still attacking Boko Haram enclaves with caution so as not to breach international laws.

He said, “There is no system that is perfect. We can look at the system we are operating and evaluate it with a view to identifying areas of deficiencies and recognising that there are deficiencies.

“The Air Force is still attacking even this morning (Wednesday). We have been avoiding collateral damages and that is very important to us. We have been stressing on this to our pilots; we are telling our pilots to respect the international laws in regard to arms conflicts.”

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