The Federal Government has taken delivery of all the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets expected from the United States.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who confirmed this in an interview on TV Continental yesterday, described the fighter jets as a “game changer” and disclosed that they have been used for operations in the north-east.
Noting that the jets contributed to the recent successes recorded by the military, 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 also commented on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report which alleged that the Nigerian air force paid bandits N20 million in exchange for an anti-aircraft gun.
According to the report, the anti-aircraft gun was stolen by the bandits after a clash with a military unit in Rugu Forest, Katsina State.
The gun was said to have posed a threat to President Muhammadu Buhari who was flying “to his hometown about 80 miles away”.
The Air Force had described the allegation as “utterly illogical,” saying it could be part of a campaign to worsen insecurity in Nigeria.
But the minister 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.”
He said the military’s onslaught against terrorists was encouraging people to return to the farms, particularly in the North-East.