File photo: NAF helicopter
According to The Nation, the Nigerian Air Force said yesterday that it has airlifted scores of Boko Haram hostages from the Sambisa Forest following the capture of the forest (Camp Zairo) by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole.
The Director of Public Relations and Information of the NAF, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya said in a statement issued in Abuja that the rescued hostages including the aged, women and children were airlifted to the 105 Composite Group, Maiduguri by the NAF Agusta 109 helicopter.
AVM Adesanya said the NAF medical team on standby has conducted preliminary checks on the hostages and provided them medical treatment prior to the process of integrating them with the society.
According to him, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has directed that those with serious medical conditions be placed on admission to ensure that they are well taken care of .
AVM Adesanya said: “Following concerted efforts by air and ground elements against Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) in the Sambisa Forest, which led to the capture of Camp Zairo, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has airlifted rescued hostages who had been in the captivity of the BHTs. ”
The rescued hostages, including the aged, women as well as children, were airlifted to the 105 Composite Group, Maiduguri by the NAF Agusta 109 helicopter. At the NAF Base in Maiduguri, the NAF Medical Team, which was on standby, conducted preliminary medical checks on the rescued hostages and also provided them with medical treatment prior to the process of integrating them into the larger society. ”
Furthermore, the rescued hostages, who were all looking tired and malnourished after the period of captivity, were fed by the NAF.
“The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has directed that those with serious medical cases be immediately placed on admission to ensure they were adequately cared for. This is in furtherance of the NAF’s resolute efforts at winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of the locals, as part of an overall campaign strategy. ”
It would be recalled that the NAF, under its current leadership, has been rendering humanitarian services to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East and other parts of the country as part of its corporate social responsibility.
“So far, over 300, 000 IDPs have benefited from NAF’s medical outreach programmes, which spread across the entire country. The NAF would continue to airlift the rescued hostages and provide them with the needed initial succour”.