Bandits Can’t Destroy Super Tucano Jets, Says Military, Give Reasons
Military says Bandits Can’t Destroy Super Tucano Jets
The military has allayed fears that the 12 Super Tucano fighter jets recently acquired by the country could be attacked by bandits where they are being kept.
A member of the House of representatives, Jafaru Muhammad, had during plenary on Tuesday raised the alarm that bandits could attack and destroy the fighter jets which the United States of America recently delivered to Nigeria.
Moving a motion titled, ‘Need to address incessant banditry attacks at Agwara/Borgu Federal Constituency of Niger State,’ the lawmaker reportedly said, “The House is further worried that Nigeria’s Super Tucano fighter jets, which are being kept at the 407 Air Weapon Training School, New Bussa, Niger State, are exposed to the risk of getting destroyed, given its proximity to the location of bandits at the Kainji National Park in the Borgu Game Reserve.”
The house consequently adopted the motion.
However, security experts who spoke in separate interviews with our correspondent urged the military to ensure the fighter jets were protected.
A security and intelligence expert, Adamu Kabiru, said with the antecedents of the bandits, the alarm raised by Muhammad should not be treated with kid gloves.
He said, “It is a genuine concern. We are not in doubt of the capacity of these bandits.
“We must ensure that these assets are well protected. There should be a combination of intelligence and synergy between the security agencies. That would help reduce the possibility of attacks on the platform. “
Another security expert, Timothy Avele, said, “The location in Niger State is not safe for such high value aircraft in view of the current insecurity in that area.
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“With the sophisticated weapons in the hands of the terrorists and the porous nature of most of our airports and military facilities, such timely advice should be taken seriously.
“The aircraft should be moved to safer locations still within the theatre of operations. I am even more worried about the Abuja and Kaduna airports. The authorities need to be more proactive. The terrorists are growing bolder.
“However, they should be prepared for anything and never say never. The terrorists could launch a surprise attack which could take down any highly fortified facility down if no good situational awareness is enforced.”
On his part, a former Deputy Director of the Department of State Services, Mike Ejiofor, said such issue should not have been discussed in the open.
According to him, the House of Representatives member should have intimated the Chief of Air Staff or the Department of State Service on the matter.
He said, “The fighter jets should be given maximum protection. But, I believe that having invested so much on these fighter jets, our Air Force knows how to protect them. My grouse is that rather than raise this on the floor of the house, the House of Representatives member should have called the Chief of Air Staff or other security agencies to intimate them on this matter.”
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