The Nigerian Air Force yesterday commenced aerial bombardments in Zamfara communities in a joint military offensive to curtail banditry in the state.
The commander of the 207 Quick Response Group of the air force, Group Captain Caleb Olayera, made the disclosure while speaking with journalists in Gusau, the state capital, after taking delivery of two airplanes deployed for the operation.
Olayera described the operation as part of a joint military operation involving the air force, army, police and civil defence with the aim of flushing out the bandits.
Zamfara has witnessed intense banditry activities in recent times that have left hundreds dead and thousands displaced in various communities.
The federal government has since been battling the jihadist Boko Haram group in Nigeria’s northeast in a low intensity war that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions since 2009.
Olayera said that two helipads had already been constructed by the air force for the Zamfara security operation.
“We told you that the helipads will be used as the base for our fighter jets to neutralise any group of criminals and their hideouts,” he said, even as he gave assurance that peace would soon return to troubled communities in Zamfara with the commencement of the military operation.
The governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, in apparent frustration over the banditry in the state, recently renounced his position as chief security officer of the state.
He cited his inability to take charge of security agencies in the state to end the banditry.