By Christel Odili
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, yesterday, 1 August 2018, conducted an operational visit to Katsina where he assessed the progress of the ongoing new air operation known as “OPERATION DIRAN MIKIYA”, designed to end the killings in Zamfara State.
The CAS was said to have directed his troops to ensure dominance of air power in theatre of operation to end the killings in Zamfara State.
According to a statement released by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya revealed that the visit was to avail the Air Chief the opportunity to obtain first hand information on the status of troops, aircraft, ground support equipment and logistics support facilities that had been deployed to ensure the effective conduct of the Operation.
AVM Adesanya stated that the CAS was at the Umar Musa Yar’adua Airport in Katsina, the location of air assets for the operation, where he was recieved by the new Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, Air Vice Marshal Samson Akpasa.
According to the statement, the Air Component Commander (ACC) OPERATION SHARAN DAJI, Air Commodore Ayoola Jolasinmi, stated that the intensive operation was aimed at locating and neutralizing armed bandits and other criminal elements with a view to restoring normalcy in Zamfara State and the Northwest as a whole. Jolasimi was said to have briefed the CAS and his entourage on the current administrative and logistics situation in the theatre of operation as well as the detailed plan to ensure the success of the Operation towards protecting lives and properties of the civil populace.
“All troops and attack aircraft would operate strictly within the ambit of the specified Rules of Engagement (ROE), in line with global best practices,” the statement read.
The CAS was quoted to have expressed satisfaction with the logistics and administrative arrangements so far made to ensure the success of the Operation. Air Marshal Abubakar assured the ACC that the NAF would continue to provide all that was needed to sustain the morale of participating personnel towards the overall success of the Operation.
He directed that air power’s inherent lethality and firepower should be employed to dominate the area and sustain the onslaught on the armed bandits to end the killings and restore peace to the affected areas.
It would be recalled that the NAF, in compliance with Mr President’s directives, recently deployed additional air assets and troops to Katsina and Gusau and thereafter immediately commenced OPERATION DIRAN MIKIYA.