By Tunde Adetunji, Abuja
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, yesterday, explained that the secret behind the dislodgement of remnants of Boko Haram terrorists in the North East was the application of what he called “software approach mechanism” by his officers and men.
Abubakar said without the approach which he called “winning hearts and minds of the people”, the final dislodgement of the terrorist group to pave the way for return of peace would not be possible.
The soft approach mechanism, he further explained, had to do with fostering intelligence gathering within the local communities to assist military operations and efforts to flush out remnants of the insurgents in their hiding areas.
The Air Force boss, spoke through Air Vice Marshal James Gbum, Chief of Policy and Plans of the Nigerian Air Force, at the occasion of presentation of 4,000 cartoons of Indomie noodles to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the Northeast, through his service, by a company under the brand name of Tolaram Africa Enterprises.
“Soft approach mechanism which we call in the military winning hearts and minds is necessary because you will never make any lead way in fighting terrorism if the people in that envirornment are not happy with you.
“They will never divulge any information to you and you cannot fight terrorism without having human intelligence, that is having timely reports with those within the environment to help you fight insurgency. And we have build on this in several ways.
The Air Chief assured that the donation to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) would get to their various camps in the northeast, stressing that the NAF already had level two hospitals where some of the IDPs are receiving treatment as part of its humanitarian efforts to victims of insurgency
Speaking at the occasion,, the Chief Executive Officer of the donor company, Mr Deepak Singhal, said the gesture was aimed boosting the humanitarian efforts of the Nigerian Air Force in assuaging the plight of the IDPs.
Mr Singhal said his company identified with the humanitarian efforts of the Air Force as a way of reaching the victims of insurgency in the North East,promising that his organization would come up with more support towards ensuring peace in the area.
According to him, no business could strive in an atmosphere that lacks peace.