NAF Directs Air Officers to Support Police for Peaceful Elections
The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to the front page story in This Day Newspaper of today, 8 March 2019, headlined, “Air Force: Fighter Jets, Attack Helicopters on Standby Against Election Violence”. The headline was not only misleading but a misrepresentation of the facts about the NAF operational deployments for the 2019 Gubernatorial Elections.
For the record, the NAF, on 6 March 2019, issued a press statement sequel to the Chief of the Air Staff’s (CAS) meeting with Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) and Principal Staff Officers (PSOs) on its plans to support the Nigeria Police in ensuring peaceful conduct of the forthcoming Gubernatorial and States’ House of Assembly Elections on 9 March 2019.
The press statement highlighted that the CAS directed AOCs and field commanders to ensure safety of lives and properties in their various locations, in addition to the deployment of NAF aircraft, including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms.
The NAF ISR platforms and light utility helicopters are deployed to provide surveillance over potential flash points across the country to ensure peaceful conduct of elections.
NAF fighter aircraft and attack helicopters are currently deployed to areas where NAF is involved in anti-banditry and counter-terrorism/counter-insurgency operations. For instance, today, 8 March 2019, the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE carried out an air interdiction mission against a terrorists’ hideout on the fringes of Lake Chad in Northern part of Borno State.
The NAF, as a professional fighting force, will continue to operate within the ambits of its constitutional role of defending the territorial integrity of the Country and protecting the rights and liberties of all Nigerians. Accordingly, all eligible voters are requested to come out en-masse to vote for the candidates of their choice, as their security is assured.
Directorate of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force