Attackers of NAF jet are terrorists – Rep

Dairo with service chiefs

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on the Army, Abdulrazak Namdas, has described those who attacked and shot down a Nigerian Air Force Alpha fighter jet in Zamfara State as terrorists and not bandits.

He also called on the media to be firm in defining banditry, insurgency and terrorism.

He said these during a capacity building workshop on conflict reporting for journalists organised by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Premium Times Centre for investigative journalism in Abuja on Thursday.

A NAF Alpha jet, which was returning to base from a mission on the Zamfara-Kaduna border, came under attack on Sunday.

However, the pilot, Abayomi Dairo, was able to successfully eject himself and escaped to safety.

According to Namdas, given the kind of sophisticated weapons acquired by the men, who now also have the capacity to bring down a fast-flying attack jet, it is proper to label them as terrorists.

He decried the deteriorating security situation in the country and called for decisive action against any form of insurgency.

The lawmaker stated, “We should be able to define who is actually a terrorist or cattle rustler, because those who are called bandits have moved one step forward in view of the kind of weapons they use. If bandits can go to the extent of bringing down a fighter jet, it is no longer banditry, but terrorism.

“The media should help to unravel the identities of these people; this is more than banditry and calling them the right name will help us to tackle them. If I don’t have the knowledge of who these people are, it means even in terms of resource allocation, there is no way we can allocate resources.”

The Head, European and International Cooperation, Konrad Adenauer Tiftung, Dr Vladimir Kreck, said it was imperative for journalists to report conflicts and insecurity in the different parts of the country accurately and without bias.

“Those that shot down the military plane should not be called bandits anymore, because of the kind of work they do. You can’t call armed robbers bandits. Terrorists could be a proper name for them,” he said. Punch


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