Says he’s leaving NAF fulfilled
The outgoing Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, Tuesday, said he was leaving the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fulfilled, having met all his set objectives for the Service.
Sadique who spoke during his fly out parade at the NAF Base in Abuja, said in the last five years, the Nigerian Air Force, has been repositioned and restructured into a highly “professional and disciplined Force.”
According to him, “I thank God for giving me the exceptional privilege of being at the helm of affairs of the Nigerian Airforce since 13th of July, 2015 I thank him for his support and protection during my tenure as the Chief of the Air Staff and for allowing me to successfully exit from the service having served as the 20th Chief of the Air Staff for 5 years, 6 months and 13 days.
“I am exceedingly delighted and profoundly honoured that we have worked together as a team with all officers, airmen and airwomen as well as civilian staffs to move the Airforce to a much higher level than we met it. In the last 5 years, we have been able to restructure and reposition the Nigerian Air Force into a highly professional and disciplined Force.
“The flag of the Nigerian Airforce is today flying high from Agatu to Gembu to Gusau to Katsina to Daura to Owerri to Birin Gwari, Ipetu Ijesha, Kerang, Gombe and Bauchi. By the special grace of God Funtua will soon join up. The current structure will certainly add a lot of value to NAF’s efforts at securing Nigeria and the Nigerian people”.
He continued that, “I am confident that with the 15 aircrafts and eight unmanned combat aerial vehicles we are expecting in no distant future the service will be better positioned to be more decisive in addressing the security challenges facing the nation. The Nigerian Air Force would be able to employ air power more effectively, efficiently and timely in all theatres of operations across the country.
I want to encourage you to sustain and build on the capacity building initiatives we have put in place in the last tive years. The service through this initiative has trained and winged 133 pilots who today constitute 49% of all active NAF pilots that are fighting in different theatres of conflicts to secure our country and protect our people.
“Another 21 pilots will be completing their training before the end of the first quarter of 2021 to join their comrades in the fight to defend our territorial integrity and National sovereignty. In the area of bridging the gap in force projection and force protection we have made tremendous progress in training NAF Special Forces and force protection elements who have been recognised as a formidable force both within and outside Nigeria.
“We have also enhanced our research and development capacity through our partnership with 15 Nigerian universities to significantly address some of our aircraft maintenance challenges. I must not fail to recognise the crucial role played by the incoming Chief of the Air Staff and other senior officers still in the Service in our R&D efforts.
“I am very confident that the current Chief of the Air Staff has all it takes to move the Air Force to a much higher level. It is my prayer that the Almighty will grant you the wisdom and strength to move the Air Force to a more enviable height.
“In the last five years. We have every reason to thank Almighty God for his support and protection during my tenure. We collectively have every reason also to celebrate our achievements. I enjoin you all to extend the support you extended to me or even more to my successor and urge you all to keep on giving your best in the service of our great country, especially at this critical time in our history when we are facing unprecedented challenges to our security and sovereignty.
“As I exit the Nigerian Air Force, I am leaving the service fulfilled because I have substantially achieved what I set out to achieve. I want to thank all my family members especially my aged mother for their support, prayers and understanding.”