The Nigerian Air Force has deployed 2 fighter jets to Adamawa State to bomb what it has described as “hideouts of miscreants,” Punch reports.
Dozens of lives had been lost in 2 communities – Dong and Lawura villages in the Demsa Local Government Area – in the state after an attack by Fulani herdsmen.
No less than 5 villages had been razed, according to Punch, with people shot and hacked to death.
The air force had intervened on Monday, the fifth day of the attack, dropping bombs to stop the herdsmen from entering Numan village.
Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, director of the Nigerian Air Force’s Public Relations and Information, confirmed the bombardment to Punch, saying an Alpha jet and an EC 135 helicopter were deployed. He said:
We launched an attack both with our Alpha jet and the EC 135 helicopter. We were able to keep touch with the activities in the area. The deployment is a continuous exercise.
We have an oversight function over the whole area to provide security. Before now, we had actually been doing constant air surveillance.
Our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms reported the bombing of villages and the rest. The two helicopters are both involved.
Former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani Kayode has however accused the Federal Government of sending the air force to bomb the innocent villagers to protect the Fulani herdsmen. He wrote:
Hundreds of indigenous Numan Christians in Adamawa state were attacked and killed by jihadist Fulani herdsmen. When they tried to defend themselves the Buhari govt. sent in the Airforce to bomb hundreds of them and protect the Fulani aggressors. Is this fair? WORLD TAKE NOTE!
Adesanya, on the other hand, said the air force exists to protect Nigerians, and a video recording of the operation exists. He told Punch:
The air force exists to protect Nigerians, not to fight fellow Nigerians. How it is done is that we have a video recording of operations. It shows those who were actually attacked.
There were more of warning shots – not shots to kill. Immediately the shots were fired, the miscreants realised fire was coming and they actually fled the area. I do not, at this time, have any casualty figure; all I know is that there was a positive effect of the missions.