Nigeria will for the first time be able deploy and operate fighter jets from Diva, Republished de Niger, to strike Boko Haram targets. Nigeria’s Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar announced this deal with Niger at the closing of NAF International Air Power Seminar at its International Conference Centre, on Wednesday in Abuja. This collaborative development venture, with the Jordanian Air Force will without doubt change the dynamics in Nigeria’s air campaign against the insurgents in West Africa. The COAS in a statement said :
We can now deploy our fighter jets to their airfields, operate from there rather than coming back to Maiduguri, operate from Difa which is in Niger Republic,” Mr Abubakar said.
The strategic significance of this cannot be overemphasized. It will be the first time Nigeria will be carried out military operations in a francophone country. The growing relations between the Nigerian and Jordanian airforce also bears strategic significance.
Jordan is the first and only Middle Eastern country making foray into West Africa. The Commander of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, Major General Yousef Al-Hnaity, on Sunday arrived in Nigeria on a week-long working visit to Nigerian Air Force.
On his part, Boulama Zana, Chief of Staff of the Niger Air Force, lauded Mr Abubakar for organising the seminar, saying it was a good initiative. He said that the seminar was not a solution in itself in fighting insurgency, adding that it was the concentration of ideas on ways to work together and address the situation.
Mr Zana said there was need to develop frontiers on how “we are going to work together to solve this common problem of terrorism and counter-insurgency which we are facing in our country and the problem facing our population.