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The Nigerian Air Force said it had deployed seven fighter jets and attack helicopters to Benue and Taraba states in an ongoing Operation Whirl Stroke, to tackle the herdsmen and farmers’ violence in the two states.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, confirmed the deployment in Makurdi, Benue State, during an induction of the seventh platform – an Mi-35P attack helicopter on Saturday.

According to Abubakar, the deployed aircraft are two F-7 fighter jets, two Mi-35 helicopters, one ATR plane, one 350 King air surveillance aircraft and one Mi-35P helicopter.

The air chief said the military operation, which also covered Nasarawa State, would seek an end to the violent clashes between the herders and the communities.

“The deployment is targeted at checkmating the farmers/herdsmen’s clashes and it shows the military’s commitment to the protection of the citizens and their property in all parts of the country.

“The induction of the Mi-35P aircraft in the operation is to increase security presence in the states,” Abubakar noted.

According to a statement by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Air Force, Samson Okwu, was also in Benue State with the air chief during which they were briefed by the operation’s Joint Task Force Commander, Maj Gen Adeyemi Yekini.

Bayern Munich and Austrian International star, David Alaba, paid a goodwill visit to the Nigeria Super Eagles team camp in Austria on Friday, in the company of West Ham forward, Marko Arnautovic.

Alaba, born of a Nigerian father during his visit was full of kind wishes for the Nigerian team as they begin their world campaign on Saturday, June 16.

The left-back also thanked Nigerian football fans for their support and show of love to him. “I want to thank Nigerians for their love and support. I know there is a lot of love for me over there,” Alaba said.

He also concluded saying “I wish the Super Eagles only the best in Russia.”

The Super leave their camp today for Russia.

The Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr on Wednesday reduced his 30-man provisional squad for the Russia 2018 World Cup to 25 players.

The German dropped domestic league top scorer Junior Lokosa, Standard Liege midfielder Uche Agbo, Lokomotiv Plovdiv defender Stephen Eze and Plateau United Dele Ajiboye. Twenty-three players will make the final squad.

Meanwhile, Rohr left Abuja with 24 players for London ahead of Saturday’s friendly match against England at Wembley.

The NFF said in a statement that Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Kenneth Omeruo, Ahmed Musa, Bryan Idowu, Tyronne Ebuehi, Francis Uzoho, Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Ola Aina, Leon Balogun, Shehu Abdullahi, Joel Obi, William Troost-Ekong, Chidozie Awaziem and Elderson Echiejile were on the chartered flight that conveyed the players to London.

Others are Wilfred Ndidi, John Ogu, Mikel Agu, Oghenekaro Etebo, Odion Ighalo, Simeon Nwankwo, Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho.

The statement confirmed that Moses Simon, who was earlier ruled out of the tournament due to injury, will undergo further medical checks in the UK to ascertain the seriousness of his injury. The body added that Victor Moses would join the team in London.

Nigeria play Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in the group stage of the June 14 to July 15 tournament in Russia.

Eze expressed his sadness on Twitter.

“Sadly, my journey to the World Cup ends here. I am disappointed to not make the final squad, but I want to thank our coach and management for the opportunity! I wish my team the best & hope to join in celebrations when they bring the trophy home! GO #NIGERIA! #DefendLikeEze,” he wrote.

SOURCE – PUNCH