The Federal Government has announced that it has taken delivery of the last batch of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets expected from the United States.
The fighter jets are to help in the federal government’s fight against terrorism and other forms of security threats like banditry, kidnapping among others.
According to NAN, this disclosure was made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while featuring on a phone-in programme of TV Continental, “This Morning,’’ on Monday in Lagos.
What the Minister of Information and Culture is saying
Mohammed said, “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 a game-changer. Most of the successes we have recorded in recent time is because of the acquisition of the new platforms, not limited to the super Tucano.’’
The minister said that with the recent notable successes recorded by the military on insecurity, he found hilarious, a trending story that the Nigerian Air Force paid the sum of N20 million to bribe bandits so that they would not bring down the president’s aircraft
He said, “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.’’
Mohammed expressed confidence in improved food security with the improved security situation in the North-East and North-Central zones of the country.
Going further, the minister said, “If you observe what is happening of recent, you can see heightened activities in the agricultural area.
“This is because of the superior firepower 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.’’
The minister gave an assurance that the success of the military against terrorists and bandits would be sustained and asked for the cooperation and support of Nigerians for the sustenance of the military action.
In case you missed it
Recall that earlier in July, Nigeria received the first batch of the jets from the United States, which, according to Magashi, were still being test-run.
The purchase of the Super Tucano had caused drama between the Nigerian president and the 8th National Assembly.
In April 2018, in a letter to the National Assembly, Buhari disclosed that $496 million was withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account to purchase military aircraft.
However, the money was paid to the United States for the 12 Super Tucano aircraft without the approval of lawmakers as required by the constitution.
After the payment, in a move regarded as anticipatory approval, Buhari then sought the approval of the National Assembly to include the money in the 2018 Appropriation Bill, which was at the time under consideration by the lawmakers.