One of the chapters of the holy scriptures — the Qur’an, chapter 105; one of the interrogation forms of the qur’anic chapters, speaks about the army of the elephant and the birds that the Lord Almighty Allah, sent to pelt this army, with stones of barked clay. This army was the abyssinnian army of 570 AD, that set out to destroy mecca, after an attempt to build another attraction to shrink mecca of its crowd and attraction failed. The Lord himself sent a flock of birds that held barked clay in their beaks which they used in pelting this army, completely annihilating it. Suratul fil speaks about this event explicitly.
Remarkably over 1400 years ago, aerial warfare was not only existent, but was also very lethal and was used fantabulously in decimating an army that was capable of reducing mecca to rubble, flat on the ground. In recent warfare history of the early 19th century, aerial balloons were also used successfully to fight wars and to obliterate enemy armies.
Lt. Gen. Olufemi Adegbulegbu on wednesday tweeted, “CAS_AMSadique (Chief of Air Staff Al-Sadique) has procured and inducted 22 brand new aircraft (fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships); and 17 additional ones are expected, including 12 super tucano jets. CAS also informed the president that 17 Nigerian pilots were on their way abroad to be trained in the use of J-17 Thunder Jets”.
These are just a few, among other fighter jets that have been procured and received, or whose deliveries are being awaited. This was during the induction of another series of combat helicopters which include 3 brand new birds NAF 581, 579 and 578 and also 2 nos. Agusta 109E power helicopters and Mi-171e combat helicopter. There is also the Mi-35 attack helicopter, and convincingly, these will definitely now take the Boko Haram war to the Next Level, Olufemi impressed again on his twitter handle. This induction took place at the Eagke square grounds, in the heart of the Central Business District of Abuja, by the Federal Secratariat Square, last week.
Another investigative journalist, Abdulrahman Sade, while shedding light on the constitutionality or not, of the protracted stay of the service chiefs, in the face of the ‘heat’ from the national assembly, in calls for the resignation of PMB, over the impasse of the insurgency war; underlined how the stay of the chiefs and their replacement, is legally at the discretion of Mr. President. If it were not so, then by gauging the ‘centigrade’ of the heat from the assembly, the senators would have taken a more terse action, led by Senator Abaribe and other PMB resignation callers — most likely in the way of a summon of all the service chiefs, and an open confrontation with them in one of the committee rooms, as is usual with the grillings, that government appointees and other functionaries go through, whenever they err, and face the quizzes from the hallowed chambers. Abaribe was of course reminded too that he himself needed to resign after Kanu jumped bail, with Abaribe as his surety.
Asymmetrical warfare which is the Boko Haram type, is the most difficult to manage or execute– and an end to it is duly very taxing. Nonetheless, the departure from the ubiquitous worship place bombings all over the country, to the current day banditry and splintered terrorist attacks, takes note of changes and improvements in the security challenge matter. The last 4 to 5 months have seen a surreptitious hike in the prevalence of not only kidnappings and bandit activities, but as well, in the number of terrorist attacks, as they reinforce in a rejuvenation drive, to take over army bases or camps especially in the north east. The Maiduguri-damaturu road has become as deadly as it used to be during the pre-2015 times and the citizenry are beginning to lose patience, over this new resurgence.
On Oct. 22, Xinhua.com Africa, reported that the Nigerian Airforce had killed several Boko Haram militants regrouping at Bukar Meram, a town in the north eastern state of Borno, bordering Lake Chad. Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, made this known to press men. In another attack by the Nigerian Airforce on the 19th of September 2019, Boko Haram training facilities were also bombed at the Malam Fatori, along the fringes of the Lake Chad. These attacks have been made possible by the deployment and use of the NAF (ISR), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. The Mi-35 fighter helicopter was used to take strikes on the machine gun mounted trucks after the ISR had detected the movements of the trucks.
AVM Olatokunbo Adesanya, NAF’s Director of Public Relations said that several gun trucks including their inhabitants were destroyed with rockets and cannons. “Overhead the location, the attack platform acquired, interdicted and destroyed the targets”, he said. This was on the 10th of April, 2019. These aerial powers, have made it possible for the Operation Lafiya Dole, mounted by the combatant military, to continue with their ground offensive apace, Adesanya explained.
The most lethal arm of the military offensive against terrorism and banditry has been the NAF, no doubt. The CAS (Al-Sadique Abubakar), has more than impressed, in the management and execution of the aerial power, now turning superpower. The recent attack in the north western forests, destroying the ansaru base, with the help of the Nigeria Police Bell helicopter is another testimony of the superiority of the aerial challenge. The police public relations officer, Frank Mba, disclosed that the helicopter was shot by the insurgents, using GPMGs (general purpose machine guns), and other anti-aircraft rifles. The helicopter was masterfully steered to safety by the specialised pilots of the police Air wing, involved in the Puff Arder offensive.
CAS will deliver God willing, and I pray that another Bauchaian excels in the Next Level drive, expeditiously enough; so that ‘change’ as it is, will become change as it were. Zamfara’s charge against banditry was also effective, due to the deployment of aerial power. My prayer is the prayer; that CAS defeats the terrorists, just the way the abyssinnians of ‘fil’ were defeated over 1400 years ago, by superior and divine air power.
Tahir is Talban Bauchi