The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, has reiterated its commitment to support the police and other security agencies with imagery intelligence to tackle security challenges in Nigeria.
NAF spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said this was part of inter-agency cooperation to address security challenges in the country, especially, the issue of kidnapping and banditry along the Abuja-Kaduna highway and Kaduna-Birnin Gwari axis.
Mr Daramola, an air commodore, said the Chief of the Air Staff, CAS, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this when the acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Director General SSS, Yusuf Bichi, visited him at NAF headquarters, Abuja.
He said the I-G and the DG SSS on arrival went into a closed door meeting with the CAS before undertaking a guided tour of facilities at the newly established, state-of- the-art Geospatial Intelligence Data Centre, GIDC and Strategic Air Operations Centre, SAOC.
He said the GIDC, equipped with high-tech computer hardware and software, was established to enhance the acquisition, analysis, interpretation and exploitation of imagery and geospatial information to provide actionable intelligence for the Armed Forces and other security agencies.
He said the equally well-equipped SAOC is expected to greatly enhance the coordination of air operations in support of internal security operations across the country.
Mr Adamu while inspecting the facilities, expressed delight and satisfaction with the cutting edge technologies and sophisticated computer software at the Centres.
He said the essence of the visit to the CAS was to explore possibilities of using NAF air assets and the products of the GIDC to improve the effectiveness of operations to deal with issue of kidnapping and armed banditry, especially along the Kaduna-Abuja highway and other parts of the country including Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Niger and Kogi States.
According to him, the criminals had moved towards the Abuja axis to carry out their nefarious activities, “as a result of the onslaught by security agencies against the bandits in Zamfara.
“I felt that as a security agency, we need to synergize with other security outfits.
“We don’t have the air capability but the NAF has them, with this, we can have a joint operation to deal with this security issue.”
The I-G appreciated the CAS for making NAF air assets available for the operation and also availing the police and SSS of the capabilities of the GIDC and SAOC.
He also congratulated Mr Abubakar for emplacing such facilities and making them available to other security agencies to enhance internal security operations for the benefit of the Nigerian people.