President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday condemned the repeated attacks by bandits on communities in Niger State and directed the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to deploy its fighter aircraft to check the menace.
The President gave the directive in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja.
He described the repeated attacks which led to loss of lives in the affected communities “as a disaster for the nation.”
He, therefore, authorized the deployment of air power to support troops and policemen deployed to the “difficult terrain,” to counter the menace of the attackers operating in the forest area bordering Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara States.
“In line with this directive, the Nigerian Air Force is setting up refueling facilities at Minna, Niger state, to support the air operations,” Garba said.
The presidential aide said relevant military authorities had assured the President that given the improved weather conditions, a major exercise to “visually acquire targets” and launch attacks would soon follow.
He added: “President Buhari has received assurances that with the harmattan dust gradually easing its hold on the skies, fighter aircraft would this week join the efforts to provide effective air attacks against bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers attacking remote communities around Dogon Gona forest in Niger State.”