We flew 6,773 hours in 2016 fighting Boko Haram – NAF
The Nigerian Air Force said it spent 6,773 hours in the air in 2016 alone fighting Boko Haram.
The Commanding Officer, Air Companies, Air Cmdr Charles Ohwo, stated this while briefing journalists on the activities of the Operation Lafiya Dole in Yola on Monday.
He also said that the force was involved in 2,105 missions and equally carried out 34,534 flown sorties during the same period.
Ohwo added that the planes used for the operations consumed N2,738,062.245bn fuel in the same year.
Officers, who briefed newsmen at the event, described the size of Sambisa Forest to be 18 times the size of Lagos State.
The forest is also said to have a landmark of 60,000 and that it occupies 85 per cent of Borno State surface.
They listed areas where those abducted by the members of Boko Haram were recently seen to include Njimia and Dure among many others.
They said that when their planes noticed women and children trying to escape, such message was usually relayed to the ground troops who now go after them for rescue.
They however informed that majority of those seeing wearing hijab during the operations ended up being Boko Haram fighters.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who also spoke at the event, said such gimmicks were parts of what the members of the sect used in their attempt to deceive the military.
He said, “Those you see wearing hijabs are not necessarily women. They are members of the Boko Haram. Don’t forget that they are also trained to fight. It is their own way of disguising to deceive the military.”
As of the time of filing this report, two planes had carried government officials, members of Bring Back Our Girls campaign and journalists to Sambisa Forest, Borno State, in search of the missing Chibok girls.
The operation known as Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance, was also aimed at locating the hideouts of members of the Boko Haram sect.
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