The Buhari Media Organization (BMO) has applauded the arrival of the turboprop A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets which it described as “a light attack aircraft, a versatile tool, rugged, well-armoured and available with the state-of-the-art avionics.
The group says the new acquisition will further enable surgical strikes at the heart of various counterinsurgency operations by the troops of the gallant Armed Forces of Nigerian (AFN).
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO posited that these air assets would add impetus and renewed vigor to the fierce counterinsurgency operations in the North-East and the fringes of Lake Chad region, including the battle to eliminate bandits in the North-West.
“The propeller driven warplanes, which include munitions, spare parts and a maintenance package is tailored for counterinsurgency operations and will greatly bolster the nation’s efforts to combat and efficiently degrade the terrorists and other sundry elements.
“BMO makes bold to note that, no African country has the Super Tucano in its inventory and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari would not relent in its effort to degrade all the agents of destruction in the country while retooling the Nigerian security services”.
Highlighting how the Buhari administration has been upgrading the airpower of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the past six years, BMO emphasised that “this is a major milestone, a huge stride in the fight against terrorism. It is historical that since the civil war, Nigeria has not experienced a concise planning and acquisition of this amount of air assets which shall enable a swift termination of this prolonged asymmetric warfare.
“It should be highlighted that before the coming of the current administration, no new air assets had been added to the NAF fleet since 1998. The Buhari administration has added precision-guided missiles, reconnaissance satellites, Global Positioning System and radar-beating stealth aircraft, to mention a few platforms.
“We are optimistic that these new birds would complement the strategic onslaught against the terrorist elements by members of the AFN and orchestrate a narrative of success in their favour. The AFN is being repositioned as a formidable force of stability, not just in the Lake Chad region, but the greater Sahel.
“The Super Tucano’s value for improved targeting capabilities and lessened risk of collateral damage makes it a game-changer in the decade long warfare. It would ensure Nigeria continues with her willingness to lead in combating regional threats to peace and security in the sub region and the continent at large.
“No doubt, the procurement of these strategic platforms would lend a lot of effective air assets in the operational context of the knockdown of the terrorists’ logistics hideouts. We believe the NAF would be providing close air support to the ground troops as they embark on a merciless counteroffensive strike on the Boko Haram/ ISWAP elements in the restive North East.
“It is instructive to note that in May 2014, the United State Government, citing the Leahy Amendment, denied the Nigerian government the opportunity to purchase these air assets, but with the advent of this administration, we are experiencing a more deliberate cooperation with our partners.
“BMO enjoins Nigerians to redouble their patriotism to the AFN and support troops with actionable intelligence as everyone is a stakeholder in this onerous battle”.
BMO expressed optimism that these air assets would strengthen Nigeria’s resolve to a timely end of the insurgency.