Boko Haram terrorists tired of military bashing, surrendering in droves -Air Chief.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said Friday, that th war to rid the North East of insurgency has entered its final stages even as he disclosed that scores of the terrorists’ were tired of the war and are surrendering in droves.
“So many of these terrorists want to stop fightingbut they aree not too sure. Some are trapped. There is division among others that are fighting. However, what we want is to stop the group killing Nigerians and destroying villages” he said.
The Air Chief who was speaking at a news conference to unveil activities for the 52nd anniversary of the NAF, vowed that the NAF and other security agencies would not rest until the remnants of Boko Haram insurgents are swiftly eliminated from the North East.
Answering a question on the need for a camp to house repentant terrorists when the group is still purportedly releasing video saying no retreat, no surrender, Air Marshal Abubakar said “The authenticity of the video is being assessed by the Intelligence agencies. But there are so many of them that are surrendering in large numbers”.
“Due to our unleashing several air and land attacks on the remaining hideouts, they want to surrender. They are doing so because they have seen there is no escape. I don’t know about amnesty because that is a political decision but if you surrender, we will profile you, get all the information and keep you safe” he said.
Emphasizing that the “safe corridor” for repentant Boko Haram fighters is for those willing to surrender their arms and be reintegrated into the society, he said
On the performance NAF, Abubakar said, “Looking at where we are coming from, I think we have done substantially well. In those days in 2014, you had convoy of Hilux vehicles moving round villages and killing Nigerians but it is no longer so. I believe that very soon, God’s willing, we shall come to the end of this problem”.
He said that despite the enormous challenges caused by the situation in the Northeast, the airforce is not overwhelmed pointing out that in the last nine months, NAF fighter jets in the area have flown for over 3, 000 hours which translates to a consumption of 3.7m litres of Jet A1 fuel.
Also, he said over a thousand personnel were trained within the last nine months both locally and internationally in order to meet up with current demands of the job.
Abubakar also hinted of the resolve of the airforce to embark on certain local maintenance of its equipment as some of her young officers now have PhD’s in aeronautical and space engineering while more are undergoing further studies.
According to him, the NAF has invested heavily in the area of Research and Development while also collaborating with about 15 Nigerian universities.
With such collaboration, the NAF now produces its own electrolytes and hydraulic diaphragms, rather than having to wait for six months to procure same from abroad.
Highlights of the 52nd celebration which holds from April 12-15 in Bauchi state would be lectures, novelty match, flypast, CAS open forum, reunion variety night, CAS awards, jumat prayers, church service and humanitarian outreach.
There will also be a reunion of serving and retired officers in order to brainstorm on key challenges, hence the team of the anniversary, “Reuniting for Enhanced Service Delivery and Operational Effectiveness”.
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