The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Sunday deployed a team of Special Forces troops to the southern part of Kaduna state as part of the government’s efforts to bolster security in northwest Nigeria.
The NAF forces, which traveled to Kafanchan, joined up with another Special Forces personnel team deployed by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ).
The Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar reminded the troops to maintain their high level of discipline and respect human rights and personal freedoms of all law-abiding citizens while on duty.
“The deployment would last as long as possible until lasting peace is restored. We also have Operation Thunder Strike, which is domiciled in Kaduna to take care of the North West axis, with the Air Component Commander coordinating the air power aspect from Kaduna in support of ground operations in Southern Kaduna,” Air Vice Marshall Musa Mukhtar, who represented Abubakar, said.
Citizens were also encouraged to come forward to the authorities with credible information that will facilitate the security operations.
The southern region of Kaduna has recently been plagued by insecurity resulting in the killings and kidnappings of civilians and displacement of thousands of people. Some of the reasons behind the violence are suspected to be politically motivated banditry, revenge killings, and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds.
One local media outlet, Sahara Reporters, reported last month that at least 178 people had been killed in various areas in southern Kaduna between January and July.
Earlier this year, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union threatened to mobilise people to form a security unit to protect civilians from attackers citing failure by the authorities to do so.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is also currently battling the Boko Haram insurgency and other criminal activities such as banditry and kidnappings, particularly in the north, northwestern, northeastern and central regions.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently reassured the country that his government was committed to ensuring that the security situation improved in light of a number of deadly attacks.