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Bandits Attacks: Air Chief visits Niger State, assures Gov, Bello of NAF’s support

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By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja.

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has assured the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, of the commitment of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to ensuring the safety and security of the people of Niger State, working in concert with sister Services and other security agencies. 
The assurance is coming against the backdrop of the recent upsurge in bandits attacks and killings as well as abductions in several communities in Niger State.

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The CAS made this known on Tuesday, 25 February 2020, when he called on the Governor at Government House Minna as part of his Operational Visit to Niger State, which was aimed at assessing facilities emplaced at the Minna Airport to enable the effective conduct of the ongoing anti-banditry air operation code-named “Operation GAMA AIKI”.
While, in Minna, the CAS also inspected facilities at the 013 Quick Response Group (013 QRG) NAF Base Minna, including the Base Medical Centre as well as the disused G-222 aircraft provided as a mock-up for anti-aircraft hijacking training, amongst others, where he mentioned that 2 sets of NAF personnel, who had earlier been trained in anti-aircraft hijacking, would soon be reassembled to replicate the training locally in Minna.
Speaking during the courtesy call, Air Marshal Abubakar disclosed that the NAF would continue to work alongside other security agencies to bring succour to troubled communities in Niger State.
He stated that he had assessed facilities in the NAF Base, preparatory to the deployment of additional  Regiment and Special Forces (SF) personnel to support operations in the State, whilst assuring that the air assets already deployed, including the helicopters and Alpha Jet aircraft, would continue to provide support to the Army and Police.
The CAS equally disclosed that, as part of efforts of the Service to alleviate the plight of those affected by the activities of armed bandits, he had directed that a medical outreach be conducted to cater for the healthcare needs of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) at Kuta in Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA).
 Air Marshal Abubakar ended his remarks by thanking the Government and people of Niger State for their continued support to the NAF.
In his response, Governor Bello, while noting that the State had gone through a very challenging period, expressed his satisfaction with the arrangements emplaced by the NAF.
 He therefore thanked the CAS for the tremendous support provided by the deployment of air assets to add value to the Internal Security Operations in the State, especially the most vulnerable areas bordering Zamfara, Kebbi and Kaduna States.
 He also commended the CAS for approving the conduct of the medical outreach to Kuta, more so that the NAF had carried out a similar outreach at Chukuba and Kwaki Communities of Shiroro LGA in June 2019.
The CAS, who was accompanied on the visit by the NAF Chief of Training and Operations NAF, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) James Gwani, the Air Secretary NAF, AVM Mahmoud Ahmed, and the Director of Logistics, AVM Ademola Durotoye, amongst other senior officers, had earlier received briefings from the Commander 013 QRG and the Air Component Commander  Operation Gama Aiki, which were held behind closed door.

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