The Theatre Commander of Nigerian army’s Operation Lafiya Dole, Olusegun Adeniyi has blamed their inability to conclude the fight against Boko Haram on lack of an “army aviation”.
Olusegun Adeniyi who oversees the army’s operation against the insurgents made the disclosure in a meeting with lawmakers who are on a two-day oversight assignment at the front line.
The Theatre Commander told the lawmakers led by Borno senator Ali Ndume, that Boko Haram has never been formidable as they are thought to be.
“The only thing that needs to be given to the army now is Nigeria Army Aviation,” he said.
“There is a way you solve a problem that will change the game. The army needs combat helicopters to end the Boko Haram war. If we have it, it will not be deployed like air force assets, air force jets which are for bigger strategic goals.
“These helicopters will sleep with us in the trench, they will be with us in the front line. These helicopters and the rifles are dispatched together.
“I know this has been on the table for years. When this is done, Nigeria can forget about Boko Haram.”
Premium Times reported that Adeniyi emphasized on the Nigerian army’s request to own combat helicopters, separate from those of the air force. According to him, the army aviation helicopters would perform more critical roles during attacks.
“Let me say Boko Haram is not a formidable force, Boko Haram is not strong; Boko Haram cannot sustain 15 minutes of intensive firing. I personally exchange with Boko Haram in Marte, in Delta, in Gubio as deputy theater commander and as theatre commander,” he said.
Mr Adeniyi urged the lawmakers to “please go and tell Abuja that Boko Haram is not a formidable force that the military cannot defeat.
“Air force is doing a wonderful job, but their reach is too long;… it is what we call close air support.”