The Chief of Air Staff (COAS), Air Marshall Saddique Abubakar, has lauded the Federal Government for its sustained support to Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to carry out operations against insurgents in the North-East and other areas of conflicts in Nigeria.
Abubakar made the commendation on Monday, August 12, in Yola NAF Base while having Eid-el-Kabir Lunch with officers and airmen of Air Task Force of “Operation Lafiya Dole”.
Abubakar said the federal government under the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, had done a lot in terms of acquiring aircraft and activation of some grounded NAF platforms.
“In terms of training opportunities, we currently have 31 pilots training in various parts of the world including the U.S, South Africa and Egypt. We are planning to send 12 more to the UK.
“Recently, we graduated 517 technologists at the Air Force Institute of Technology.
“That clearly shows that government is giving us all the support we require to build sufficient capacity to be able to provide what is required in terms of deployment of airpower,” Abubakar said.
While commending the air officers and men for their commitment and sacrifice in providing security, the COAS urged them not to be distracted by criticisms on security they see in social media, but to remain focused on their assignment and improve on the progress being made.
“We have made substantial progress in terms of securing Nigeria if you look at where we are coming from in 2014, compared with where we are today,” he said.
Abubakar said NAF had established some quick response units in Taraba, Benue, Osun, Zamfara, Imo and Plateau states to bring security closer to the people.
In his remarks on behalf of the troops, the Commander, 153 Base Service Group, Air Commodore Mohammed Yusufu, lauded the COAS for celebrating the Eid-el-Kabir with them, adding that the measure not only boosts their morale but also showed his level of commitment to their welfare.
Yusufu reiterated their loyalty to the Commander in Chief and sustained commitment to their assigned tasks.
Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa also lauded the contributions of NAF to security in the state and assured his administration’s commitment to working with them and other security agencies in securing the state.
Fintiri pledged to extend his administration’s infrastructural development to NAF barracks in Yola as part of his appreciation.