An online report had alleged that the Nigerian Air Force, NAF paid N20 million to bandits operating in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State, North-West Nigeria in exchange for an anti-aircraft gun.
The report added that the reason behind the payment was to retrieve the anti-aircraft gun which, it alleged, the NAF feared could be used against aircraft operating within Katsina State.
However, a statement by the Airforce spokesperson, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet says there is absolutely no iota of truth in the spurious allegation that was undoubtedly designed to cast aspersions on the good image of the Service.
The statement adds that the said report is totally false and should be taken as fake news and disregarded. The NAF reaffirmed its unflinching commitment to decisively deal with bandits and all other criminal elements in the country in partnership with other services of the Armed Forces and other security Agencies.
Gabkwet noted that there is no basis for the NAF to pay bandits or any criminal elements that it has continued to attack and decimate in Katsina State or other parts of the North-West as well as other Theatres of Operation as seen in recent 5 aircraft missions conducted in the Jibia general area that engaged targets with rockets and cannons at Bala Wuta bandits’ locations in Kadaoji.
It says similar successes were recorded at Fakai Dutsin Anfare, an area in Jibia LGA known for its high incidences of bandits’ activities.
The Nigerian Air Force appeals to members of the media, both local and international, as well as social media, to be circumspect in their reportage and endeavour to always verify their facts before going public.
(Editor: Terverr Tyav)