The National Security Adviser, (NSA) Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) accompanied by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and the Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Nicholas Rogers and other senior military officers, on Tuesday joined the search team for the Dapchi schoolgirls, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
NAN reports that the NSA-led search team for the missing schoolgirls moved to areas around the Nigeria-Niger border before returning to Damaturu, the Yobe State capital for a courtesy visit to Governor Ibrahim Gaidam.
At the Government House, Damaturu, Gen. Monguno said the Federal Government would not relent in its efforts until the schoolgirls are found and reunited with their families.
Giving an update on ongoing efforts to locate and rescue the abducted schoolgirls, the NSA said the Nigerian Air Force has deployed 20 aircraft to the region to support efforts to rescue the girls.
According to him, “in spite of the harsh weather, the Nigerian Air Force has so far conducted 20 sorties and a total of 200 hours of flying time, in search of the schoolgirls.”
“The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) is directly relating with security agencies and cooperating with other contacts across the border, while the situation room has been expanded to intensify the search for the girls,” the NSA added.
Gov. Gaidam, in his response, thanked the Federal Government for its swiftness in searching for the whereabouts of the schoolgirls and urged government to deploy more security personnel to schools in the area since it remains one of the frontline states in the fight against insurgency.
He said there should be no complacency in the efforts to decimate Boko Haram insurgents from their strongholds in the northeast and in any other location in Nigeria.
Also during his visit to the northeast, the NSA commissioned an office complex and residential accommodation built for officers and airmen at the newly established 171 Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Detachment in Monguno town, Borno State.
Gen. Monguno said the new NAF unit would add value to the overall fight against insurgency especially in the northern part of Borno.
According to him, “the completion of these projects is a milestone in NAF’s continuous expansion drive to project airpower in all the nook and crannies of the country and to provide Nigeria with additional military options in conducting aerial surveillance of the country’s border with Niger Republic to curb terrorist activities and other criminal groups.”
On his part, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the NAF detachment is meant to enhance the endurance limitations of airpower in the military’s counter-insurgency operations in the northeast and especially in northern Borno.
According to him, “the establishment of this unit will expand as well as increase the reach of NAF platforms in operations around border areas.”
The projects commissioned by the NSA include an office complex, a block of 11 flats for airmen, a block of flats for Officers and a newly constructed helipad.