On Tuesday, President Bola Tinubu expressed his deep sorrow over the tragic ambush in Shiroro, Niger State, which claimed the lives of several troops, as well as the crash of a Nigerian Air Force helicopter.
In a heartfelt statement, President Tinubu said, “These brave men were serving their country during an evacuation mission and made the ultimate sacrifice. To their grieving families and our Armed Forces, on behalf of our nation, I extend my deepest sympathies.”
In light of these tragic events, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, asserted the military’s unwavering commitment to eliminate banditry and insurgency plaguing Niger State and other regions. He emphasized enhanced collaboration between air and land forces and reassured that the military’s combat capabilities would be fully utilized to eradicate these threats.
Abubakar, addressing the recent air crash, acknowledged the inherent risks in flying but stated that measures are in place to reduce incidents. He also highlighted the challenges posed by weather conditions, such as rains and harmattan, which affect operational capabilities.
Niger State Governor, Umar Bago, during his condolence visit, urged for more military resources in the state to safeguard its citizens. Highlighting Minna’s airport’s strategic significance, he requested the deployment of additional troops and fighter jets for quicker response times. The governor also offered accommodations near the airport for any deployed personnel, emphasizing the need for their presence.
Expressing his gratitude for the Air Force’s consistent support, Governor Bago urged the military not to lose heart despite the setbacks, reiterating Niger State’s steadfast support in these trying times.