The Nigerian Airforce (NAF) displays dominant air power capabilities as some of its fighter jets led by the L39 Albatross and the F7Ni supersonic jet, dazzled citizens of the state to several frightening air displays as part of activities drawing the curtain on the 2017 NAF Combat Sports drills completion.
Several dignitaries at the Nigerian Air force Military School Sports pavilion including Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state who was the special guest, Minister of Sports, Barr. Solomon Dalong, members of the Kogi State Executive Council, Directors, Joint Services and Air force at the Ministry of Defence could not help but marvel at the dexterity and maneuverability of the NAF pilots aboard the aircraft.
The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello commended the Nigerian military improved performance in combat operations, especially against the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East and other parts of the country because of efficiency and accountability by the current Service Chiefs
Bello attributed this to transparency in procurement or arms and ammunition such as the number of aircrafts in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) inventory and platforms as well as advanced training of personnel.
The Governor stated this on Thursday as a the Guest of Honour at the end of the NAF Second Inter-Command Combat Sports Competition in Jos, Plateau State.
He said, more than his predecessors, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has done enough to equip the Nigerian military with the needed weapons and right kind of training provided by the service chiefs to defeat the insurgents around the country.
“I learnt that in the past we only have three air crafts but today we have enough combat air crafts that are doing tremendously well against the terrorists.
We have seen what our military are doing in containing the security situation in the country, especially in the North East, which has improved. So I don’t know what people are saying. What more do they want from President Muhammadu Buhari as obviously he has done well together with the Service Chiefs he appointed,” he stressed.
Speaking Bello commended the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for initiating a workable and pragmatic vision for the NAF.
He said: “The excellent skills and talents showcased by the participants in the respective sporting events left no one in doubt of their capability. For those who are privilleged to witness these events, I am sure we are now better informed of the physical fitness of NAF, which have to be brought to bear in defending the territorial integrity our dear country.
“With the new skills and experience acquired in the course of the competition, NAF personnel are now better poised to give back to the system their take away, by way of putting in their utmost best in defence of our dear father land Nigeria. This is essentially imperative in this testing and trying times of widespread insecurity in the country.”
Bello said indicpline and corruption nearly drowned the air force but that “NAF is back to winning ways” because the current “CAS took away stealing of airforce money”.
“Gone are the days of hiding it in safety tanks and bank account of wives …we are seeing results to be different,” he said.
In the same vein, the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung, “the airmen and women for active participation in sporting activities despite being actively engaged in war against terror”.
Dalong however, noted that sports is a crucial source of development and economic growth for any nation.
“I have said that sports is what can drive Nigeria out of the present economic recession. I am saying this because the highest paid person in the world today is a sports person. If we invest in sports we will be creating a lot of jobs and employment opportunities for our youths.
“What I am seeing here today convinced me that there is hope for the nation as it needs the lubricant for both sports and military, which is discipline, ” he stressed.
Also speaking, Air Marshal Abubabakar promised to sustain the sporting competition, which he says helps the combat readiness of the Nigerian Air Force.
He also presented trophies to the winners of the competition in different sporting events including taekwondo, judo, boxing, combat relay race, combat swimming and shooting among others.
Five teams competed with Team Headquarters Nigerian Air Force (HQ NAF) emerging the overall best with nine golds; followed by Team Training Command with eight gold medals, and third position went to the Team Special Operations Command. The fourth and fifth positions went to the Team Logistic and Mobility Commands respectively.
Others sporting event winners include: Combat Relay (Training Command), Thug-of-war (Logistics Command), Boxing (HQ NAF), Obstacles Crossing (Logistics Command), Shooting (Special Operations Command), Combat Swimming (Training Command), and Judo (Training Command) among others.