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Defeat of Boko Haram: How NAF humanitarian support endeared communities to air operations – CAS

BY: Kingsley Omonobi
Abuja – The Nigerian Air force on Monday disclosed that its resolve to sustain its humanitarian efforts for Internally Displaced Persons and other support in the Boko Haram ravaged North Eastern part of the country has paid tremendous dividends as most of the affected communities and IDPs now cooperate and provide useful information in the fight against terrorists.

Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar who made the disclosure in Abuja, said “Without the soft approach, something that is known in the military as winning the hearts and minds of the people in the communities and the IDPs, you cannot win the counter-terrorism war”.

The CAS, represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, NAF HQ, Air Vice Marshal James Gbum during the presentation of 4, 000 Cartons of Indomie for IDPs by Tolaram Africa, noted that because of the fear, intimidation, and dehumanizing treatment in the hands of terrorists, if the people are not happy, synergize and give useful information, which we call intelligence, it would be difficult to operate in the terrain.

“That is why we embarked on numerous support services like building of a level 2 hospital in Bama where all the IDPs are given free medicare. We are also providing water, free medical checks and treatment of ailments like breast Cancer, etc.

Commending Tolaram Africa for providing the support, AVM Gbum noted that a key element in winning the hearts of the IDPs is by ameliorating their suffering through provision of such items like foodstuff, clothing’s saying, “Without food, clothing, water, medicare, many IDPs would die”.

Earlier, Managing Director of Tolaram Africa, Mr. Deepak Singhal noted with great interest, the Nigerian Airforce humanitarian concern over the plight of the IDPs in the North East especially Dalori and Bama.

“We have also seen the NAF’s intervention effort to the nutritional needs of the IDPs. This is why we are here to support NAF in its humanitarian intervention to the nutritional needs of the IDPs at Dalori and Bama in the North East of Nigeria” he said.

Singhal added that, “Since business can only thrive in peaceful environment, we are happy for the effort the Nigerian Airforce in conjunction with other security agencies in the country are making to ensure a safe environment for Nigerians and foreigners alike”.

While commending the leadership of the NAF under Air Marshal Abubakar, Singhal said, “It is therefore important for us as a company and beneficiary of the dividends of the security and safety it is guaranteeing the country, to proudly identify with the NAF.”


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