The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says it is deploying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), otherwise known as a drone, aircraft to Zamfara to enhance its air operations in the state. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar, disclosed this when he visited Zamfara on Thursday. Abubakar said he was in the state to further assess the infrastructure gap in view of the decision of the Federal Government to deploy additional Air Platforms to support the ongoing operation in the state.
He said that the measure was to enhance air operations not only in Zamfara but in the whole of the northwestern parts of the country.
“We are expecting four UAVs that will operate from Gusau here to cover Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi and Kaduna states.
“Apart from Zamfara other UAVs would be operating in Gombe and Borno States.
We are also here to solicit the support of the state government to ensure effective air operations,”
Abubakar said. “Very soon, we are going to commence construction of runway for the aircraft to operate here in Zamfara.
“We are requesting land from the state government for the additional facilities and for the accommodation for the additional personnel to be deployed.
“We are now expecting 17 new Combat Aircrafts out of which 12 are coming from the United States.
“You know, our officers and men have already been to the U.S. for training. So far, we have 195 personnel in nine countries across the world for various training to manage our aircraft,” he added.
He commended the support and cooperation from traditional and religious leaders especially in the areas of intelligence gathering and other community support. In his remark, Gov. Bello Matawalle commended President Muhammad Buhari for the support given to the state in combating security challenges.
Matawalle said that “as we all know that last week, I was in Abuja, where I solicited urgent support from Mr President to current security challenges”.
“We thank the FG for giving quick response to security challenges facing the state. This visit by Chief of Air Staff is one of the take-homes from my visit to Abuja.
“The issue of security is not dependent on security personnel alone, I am therefore calling on our people to continue to give necessary support to the Nigerian Air Force and other security agencies to succeed in their operations.
“We are using the kinetic and non-kinetic approach to deal with any insecurity that has been bedeviling the state,” the governor said. Matawalle appreciated the security agencies for doing their best and assured them of all necessary support to succeed while carrying out their operations. Journalists report that the Air Chief during the visit met with security stakeholders including religious and traditional leaders. He also inspected the newly constructed Mosque and Churches in the NAF 207 Quick Response Group Headquarters Gusau.