The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, has said that it would be difficult for the country to win the war against terrorism without winning the confidence and support of the host communities in the mission areas.
He said that the Air Force commanders must be diplomatic and display the requisite tact in dealing with the communities which according to him would play a crucial role in understanding their environment of operations.
He challenged the commanders to meet with officers to come up with creative ways of winning the confidence and support of the various communities in their environment of operation.
Amosu spoke at a ‘Commanders’ Retreat’ organized as part of the activities lined up for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force in Abuja on Tuesday.
“It is apparent the challenges of insurgency and terrorism are in the country and may not be easy to eliminate if the hearts and minds of host communities are not won.’’
“Advocacy, diplomacy and adoption of tact in the way we relate with our host communities would assist in no small measure in understanding the dynamics of your environment.”
“This will assist us in winning the war since we cannot rule out the cooperation of the local populace, if we must be on top of the war against insurgency and terrorism,” he said.
“I expect each commander to sit with officers and come up with innovations on the way of achieving this,” he said.
Amosu who urged the troops to be committed to the present task stressed deployment of sufficient troops in each of the patrol units to put them in a position to protect themselves whenever it became necessary.
The Air Chief also cautioned troops against excessive use of force on civilian populace and advocated strict adherence to the code of conduct for Internal Security operations.