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Super Tucano jets changing tide of terror fight, says FG

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Super Tucano jets changing tide of terror fight, says FG

By Rotimi Ijikanmi The federal government has taken delivery of 10 of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets expected from the United States and their deployment has been a game-changer in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaj Lai Mohammed, made the revelation during a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria Sunday in Abuja.

“As of today we have 10 of the jets on the ground and the other two I think should be delivered in the next two weeks or so.

“The introduction of these platforms has made a big difference and changed the dynamics of the war,” Mohammed said during the flagship interview.

He noted that the deployment of the platforms has contributed immensely to the successes recorded in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists, who were flocking to the northeast.

In addition to non-kinetic action taken against bandits in the Northwest and other troubled states, the minister said the platforms have also helped neutralize criminals.

“When these people surrender, it is either because they are overpowered, because they are deprived of their operations, or because it has become impossible for them to carry out their despicable acts.

“They don’t just surrender voluntarily. It’s just that our media are not doing what they should be doing.

“What is expected of them is to investigate the fact that since the introduction of the Super Tucano, how many bandits have been killed, how many terrorists have surrendered? “

Responding to a question about when Nigeria will buy more fighter jets, Mohammed said the jets are high quality weapons that cannot be bought off the shelf.

“People have forgotten that under former President Barrack Obama the United States denied Nigeria these Super Tucanos.

“A lot of diplomacy took place before we got these. “

The minister, however, said the government expected more platforms that it was “not free to disclose”.

On July 22, the Nigerian Air Force took delivery of the first batch of six of the United States’ A-29 Super Tucano planes.

NAF Headquarters Public Relations and Information Director Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, who made the announcement, said the jets had arrived in Kano.

Officials who received the plane included the Minister of Defense, the retired Major-General. Bashir Magashi; Chief of Staff of the Army, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya and Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao.

Nigeria has grappled with terrorist groups including Boko Haram, bandits and other groups, waging bloody wars against their homeland since 2009.

Deadly conflicts have displaced thousands of people and killed hundreds.

Source: NAN

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