The federal government says it has taken delivery of the final batch of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets expected from the United States.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Monday when he featured on a phone-in programme of TV Continental, “This Morning,’’ monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“All the 12 Super Tucano fighter jets have been received. As at this morning, all the 12 were here and they have been deployed to the North-east.
“We can see that the Tucano jets are actually game changers.
“Most of the successes we have recorded in recent times is because of the acquisition of new platforms, not limited to the super Tucano,’’ he said.
The minister said with the recent notable successes recorded by the military on insecurity, he was amused by a story on Monday that the Nigerian Air Force paid N20 million to bribe bandits so that they would not bring down the president’s aircraft.
“Fortunately, the Air Force immediately debunked this because this exposes their ignorance.
“Between Zamfara, Katsina, parts of Kaduna and Niger states, there are about 150 bandit camps. Who then was the money given to?
“It does not make any sense and it is because they do not understand how bandits operate that is why they can peddle that kind of fake news,’’ he said.
Mr Mohammed said with the ‘improved’ security situation in the North-east and North-central zones the nation would experience improved food security.
“If you observe what is happening recently, you can see heightened activities in the agricultural area.
“This is because of the superior fire power of the military which is now making it possible for people to go to their farms, especially in the North east.
“They have been able to put the criminals at bay,’’ he said.
The minister gave an assurance that the success of the military against terrorists and bandits would be sustained.
He therefore solicited the cooperation and support of Nigerians for the sustenance of the military action.
The Nigerian Air Force on July 22 took delivery of the first batch of six of the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Edward Gabkwet, who made the announcement, said the aircraft arrived in Kano.
The officials that received the aircraft included the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, Chief of Army Staff, Faruk Yahaya and Chief of Air Staff, Oladayo Amao.