Military aircraft secured Borno, Yobe during elections – Air force
NEWS DIGEST–The Nigerian Air Force has said that its aircraft provided surveillance and assisted the army to quell the insecurity in Borno and Yobe states during last Saturday’s general elections.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, stated this in an interview on Wednesday, noting that the military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft provided support for the army in combating the security crisis in Geidam and Maiduguri areas of Yobe and Borno respectively during the elections.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, had last week Thursday said there would be deployments of surveillance aircraft to potential flashpoints nationwide, ahead of last Saturday’s rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The air chief in a strategic meeting with Principal Staff Officers and Air Officers Commanding on the security arrangements had noted that the surveillance aircraft would be deployed to “provide real-time imagery intelligence that will be streamed live to the Headquarters NAF Situation Room.”
The air force spokesperson told our correspondent on Wednesday in an interview that its deployments to Yobe and Borno states during the elections helped to contain the violence in Geidam and Maiduguri areas during the elections.
Daramola said, “The surveillance aircraft were air borne, but of course as you know, it was not a nationwide coverage all the time. The aircraft had to land. It was some areas that were covered – the North-East, flashpoints, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and others. It had to hover over the people and observe untoward activities in significant numbers.
“And of course, the incidents that occurred in Maiduguri and Geidam; our NAF aircraft were there providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and supporting the army. The surveillance has nothing to do with politics but with the overall security environment that we provide nationally and with the lead agency – the police.
“It was to ensure that people were able to come out, except for a few places where skirmishes occurred. We were looking out to prevent anything negative. But on a general note, people were able to come out and vote. It was a contributory effort to everything that was done.”