Nigeria’s bid to win the war against Boko Haram and other insurgents in the North- East was boosted yesterday with the arrival in the country of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States, preparatory to their induction into the inventory of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF). The attack platforms represent the first set of aircraft being expected to reinvigorate the ongoing counterinsurgency operation. They were “leapfrogged” through five countries, including Canada and Algeria, before their arrival on Thursday at the Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano.
The NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, who made the disclosure in a terse statement, said: “The first batch of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft arrived in Kano today, July 22, 2021 at about 12.34pm.” According to him, the fighter aircraft were received by the Minister of Defence, Major Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd); Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Faruk Yahaya; and Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao. Gabkwet had announced that “the six aircraft will be leapfrogged through five countries, including Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Spain and Algeria, before arriving their final destination in Nigeria towards the end of July 2021. “An official induction ceremony of the aircraft into the inventory of the Nigerian Air Force is already being planned at a later date in August 2021 to be announced in due course”.
The country has been waging a counter- insurgency war against terrorist elements in the North- East since 2009, The blood-letting campaign by the insurgents has led to the killing of thousands of people, with consequential displacement over a million others.