The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has stated that it cannot defeat terrorism just with Super Tucano fighter jets.
Admitting that the jets brought new dynamics to the war against terrorism in Nigeria, NAF said they are not sufficient to automatically win the battle.
The Chief Of Air Staff, Oladayo Amao who made the observation explained that it is wrong as being assumed in certain quarters that the deployment of the Tucano jets will bring an automatic victory for the troops.
He explained that though the jets are a real game-changer in counter-terrorism operations, there is more that needs to be done.
Represented by air vice-marshal Daniel Gwani, Amao made the submission on Wednesday during a parley with journalists.
He called for collaboration between the airforce and civil society organizations and other stakeholders as the troops battle to end insecurity in Nigeria.
He said, “Someone said when Super Tucanos come, the whole problem is going to be solved. I think that is a misunderstanding of airpower and its rules, particularly in the type of operations we are conducting.”
“The Super Tucanos have brought in a lot of might to the fight and I can tell you for a fact that as we speak now the airplanes are operating in the northeast. I can tell you for a fact that there is a very positive response as to the effectiveness of the operations of the airplanes.
“But I also want to clarify something here that airpower alone cannot win this war, it will take a collective effort of the military and civil society organizations and all other stakeholders.”
It will be recalled that Nigeria received the first batch of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft procured from the United States of America on 22nd July 2021.
A statement signed by NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said the aircraft arrived in Kano State at about 12.34 p.m on Thursday.
Gabwet noted that the Honourable Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (Rtd), Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao were on hand to receive the aircraft.
The Federal Government in February 2018 placed an order for 12 Super Tucano aircraft at a cost of $496million and apart from the six that have arrived, six others are being expected in the country soon.
The fighter jets are expected to boost the operations of the military in its anti-terrorism war against Boko Haram and splinter group, the Islamic State in West Africa Province, in Nigeria’s North-East.