The newsmen detailed to cover the induction ceremony of the six newly acquired A-29 Super Tucano aircraft into the Nigerian Air Force Order of Battle, were on Tuesday barred from gaining entrance to the Presidential Air Fleet Apron, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Armed security operatives from both military and para-military organisations, who were stationed at the venue of the ceremony and other strategic locations at the airport, told newsmen that the event had been postponed.
But a top official from the United States Embassy in Nigeria told Daily Trust that the induction was neither cancelled nor postponed as informed by the security agents, saying the ceremony was done ‘quietly’.
When asked why the government and the military took the decision of barring journalists from the function, the official said he had no knowledge about the decision.
The spokesman of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, had on July 22, 2021, announced the arrival of the first batch of six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft in Kano.
Officials of the United States, the country where the fighter jets were acquired had on Monday during a roundtable meeting with selected media houses, said the U.S. would help Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, using A-29 Super Tucano.
Commander, United States Air Forces in Europe and Africa, Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, said the induction of A-29 Super Tucano into Nigerian Air Force operations, would be a defining moment in combating terrorism and other violent extremism.
NAF spokesman, Gabkwet, neither answered calls put across to his mobile phone nor responded to a text message sent to him.