The Nigerian government is set for the deployment of the 12 Super Tucano jets from the United States in the fight against bandits in the country.
Prior to the deployment, the government has also started perfecting the conditions for the release of a gazette, which will legally classify bandits as terrorists.
Already, the government has secured a court order declaring bandits as terrorists.
However, the United States has not given a blank cheque to Nigeria on the use of the fighter jets.
The U.S. has floated a monthly schedule to monitor the deployment of the jets, the battle grounds and the purpose of the deployment
Some US officers have been coming to Nigeria to evaluate the use of the jets in line with the terms of sale.
According to The Nation, sources said the Super Tucano jets would be deployed as soon as the gazette against bandits was out.
The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, on Monday confirmed that the procedures were almost met.
It was also learnt that the Armed Forces, top government officials and some states and communities held hostage were excited about the news of imminent deployment.
A source added that the court declaration of bandits as terrorists was an impetus to the war against insurgency.
The source said, “You know that the Federal Government, on its own, went to court and got the judgment declaring bandits as terrorists. This has excited everyone.
“The American suppliers of the aircraft needed to be assured that Nigeria will keep to the terms of the sale, which is to strictly use them against terrorists.
“Now that the courts have said so, you should expect the deployment of the aircraft as soon as all processes, including the gazetting of the judgment, are completed.
“But, even before this is done, new platforms are being received and deployed and you can see the devastating effects of the nation’s airpower on the terrorists and bandits in the Northeast and the Northwest.
The source added, “Last week’s Nigeria Air Force bombing of the camp of the notorious bandit, Turji, in Zamfara State, is a case in point. Things are changing very rapidly.”
When contacted, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu said: “We in the presidency are excited by the decision of the court.”
The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice said the procedures for the gazette on bandits were almost done.
The Special Adviser on Media to the AGF, Umaru Gwandu, said, “The Federal Government has published the proscription order in two national dailies as a requirement.
“The Federal Government has also ordered that the order be in the gazette. I am optimistic that the Nigerian public will soon see the published order in the gazette. I think if it is not out, it could be out any moment from now.”