By Yakubu Salisu, Kano
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has restated the unwavering commitment of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to dealing with the security challenges confronting the Nation, especially banditry and other criminal acts in the North West and North Central parts of the Country.
The CAS reiterated that the NAF, in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, would continue to work assiduously to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar gave this assurance yesterday while on Operational Visit to NAF Base Kaduna, where he held a closed door meeting with Operational Commanders and other senior officers and also inspected some projects on the Base as well as ongoing maintenance work on some NAF aircraft at the 431 Engineering Group (431 Engr Gp) Hangar.
Speaking to the Press after the meeting and inspections, the CAS, who was received on arrival in Kaduna by the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command (AOC ATC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Musa Mukhtar, stated that he was in Kaduna to discuss with the AOC ATC and Air Component Commander of Operations THUNDER STRIKE and GAMA AIKI ways to further add value to ongoing air operations to deal with armed bandits in Kaduna State as well as other parts of the North West and North Central Zones of the Country.
He disclosed that he had urged the Commanders to remain focused whilst redoubling their efforts to ensure that all enemies of the Nation are decisively dealt with.
Speaking on his assessment of the projects inspected, Air Marshal Abubakar, noted that addressing security issues required a comprehensive approach, which will not only ensure that aircraft are serviceable and personnel are properly trained but would also ensure that adequate facilities are emplaced to enable both the machines and personnel to function effectively and efficiently.
This, the CAS said, required the right infrastructure such as good office and residential accommodation, roads, schools and hospitals, amongst others. In his words, “it is not only about the aircraft but also about the human beings that fly the aircraft and keep them serviceable. We need to ensure that they are properly accommodated and have good roads, water and medical facilities for their families as well as schools for their children. So, it is a comprehensive thing”.
According to Air Commodore Abikunle Daramola, Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, the air force boss expressed satisfaction with the progress of ongoing maintenance work on the Diamond DA-42 and other aircraft at 431 Engr Gp Hangar as well as repair work on a road in the Base, which was being executed, free of charge, by a private construction firm in Kaduna as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.
“They are supporting us. That is the kind of support we want to see from not only the private sector but from every Nigerian. Security is not just about Government agencies. All hands must be on deck to make sure that the entire Country is safe”, he added.
The CAS was accompanied on the Operational Visit by Branch Chiefs from Headquarters NAF as well as the AOC Special Operations Command.