The Nigerian Air Force has denied that it is involved in human rights abuses during the herdsmen/farmers clashes in Numan general area of Adamawa as alleged by the Amnesty International.

NAF, in a statement by its Spokesman, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, described the entire allegations by the international body as “lies.’’

Adesanya explained that on Dec. 4, 2017, NAF was called in by the GOC 3 Division to provide support to troops in curtailing farmers/herdsmen crisis in Numan, Adamawa.

According to him, the support is in form of “show of force low-level flights."

"To set the records straight, in the early hours of Dec. 4, 2017, a NAF Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance platform departed Maiduguri to conduct ISR over Numan general area.

"This was in response to a request by the General Officer Commanding  3 Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army, following reports of clashes around that location.

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"Hundreds of people, mostly dressed in black attires, and who appeared armed, were sighted ransacking and setting a village on fire.

"In addition, the hoodlums set large portions of farmlands ablaze.

"Furthermore, some of the men were seen guiding livestock out of the village.

"Consequently, a NAF aircraft was called in to support the Nigerian Army and other relevant security agencies through ‘show of force’ low-level flights,’’ Adesanya said.

He explained that the action of the NAF was aimed at dispersing the huge crowd and thereby stopping the ongoing carnage.

The spokesman, however, added that after several low passes, the crowd was undeterred and refused to disperse.

“Rather, the assailants started firing shots at the aircraft and continued with their dastardly act of burning houses within the settlement.’’

According to him, the aircraft, therefore has to fire shots ahead of the rampaging crowd when it became obvious that they were heading for Numan to inflict further damage.

The intervention, he said made the hoodlums scatter and fled to a nearby bridge.

Adesanya further explained that the hoodlums had set several villages on fire and much destruction had taken place before the arrival of NAF aircraft.

“Nevertheless, the intervention of the NAF proved decisive in putting an end to the hoodlums’ rampaging activities,’’ he said.


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