Thursday, 7 September 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Nigeria Air Force Failure Prolonges War against Boko Haram

A recent directive by Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar for Sambisa Forest, where Boko Haram terrorists are holed up, to be cleared drew ire from different quarters of the country and for good reason. Nigerians are disappointed in the Air Force and blame it for the continued existence of the Boko Haram terror group.
Investigations revealed that the anger against the third service of the Armed Forces is not unconnected with its inability to make meaningful contribution to the counter-terrorism war against Boko Haram, which citizens expected would have been the case since the Air Force first failed to locate a convoy of dozens of Hilux Pickups that ferried away school girls that were abducted in Chibok over three years ago.
The terror group continue to shuttle between Nigeria and neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon often using convoys that are visible from the sky. The practice for the Air Forces of countries with similar security challenge is to carpet bomb such convoys while troops hunt down the terrorists that are usually left in disarray after such operations.
This method worked in decimating Islamic State terrorists, who become easy targets for Syrian and Iraqi troops in the aftermath of airstrikes from Russian and American aircrafts. Airstrikes launched by the Nigerian Airforce has not yielded such benefits. Claims that it has hit terrorist targets are called into question within short time as they are able to advance until ground troops ambush them.
Revelations by locals who spoke exclusively to our correspondent is that the service may be wasting pricey ammunitions as some of the airstrikes usually target abandoned and disused structures in Sambisa Forest. One of them who volunteered only his first name, Adamu, for fear of being identified, noted that it is not unusual for aircrafts to repeatedly pound the same location even when there is no sign of life.
Adamu noted that “We see empty shacks, abandoned places, and the next thing aircrafts will come and drop bomb. We will count, one day, two days, three days and there would be not the faintest trace of the smell of death. Even small animals in the bush will stench up the place it died but this people will drop bomb and nothing will rot. You look up in the skies later and don’t even see the (carrion) birds that follow death. We then tell ourselves that these airplanes do not want the war to end.”

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