Air Chief Sadiq Abubkar with retired Flight Lieutenant Dauda Philip and Wife
Air Chief Sadiq Abubkar with retired Flight Lieutenant Dauda Philip and Wife

NAF Provides Motorized Wheelchair to Retired Air Officer

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has fulfilled a promise made in 2014 for the provision of a wheelchair to retired Flight Lieutenant Dauda Philip. The specialised wheelchair, which was bought at a cost of 16,577.10 Pounds Sterling, was formally handed over to the retired officer, today, 13 March 2019.

The retired officer was involved in a road traffic accident on 13 September 2008, in which he sustained a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. Despite being treated within the country and evacuated for advanced care in Egypt and India by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), he eventually lost total use of his upper and lower limbs. He was subsequently retired from the NAF on 4 December 2014 with a recommendation that a motorized wheelchair should be provided to aid his movement in retirement. However, this was not done, which prompted the retired officer to appeal to the present CAS for the provision of a wheelchair. The CAS, who was hitherto unaware of his predicament, swiftly approved the recommendation and the specialised wheelchair was ordered.

Speaking while making the presentation of the motorized wheelchair, Air Marshal Abubakar thanked the retired officer for his service to the NAF and the Nation at large. He stated that the Service would continue to support any member of the NAF family with medical challenges in every way possible, whether they are serving or retired. “Be assured that we will support you in any way we can to make life more comfortable for you”, the CAS said.

Responding, the elated retired officer expressed profound appreciation to the NAF for his magnanimity. He said “God has used you to acquire this wheelchair for me, which was promised before you took over the affairs of the NAF. I am really grateful for the provision of the wheelchair as it would improve my quality of life.” Present at the ceremony were the wife of the retired officer, Mrs Naomi Philip, as well as the Chief of Administration, Air Vice Marshal Kingsley Lar, Chief of Medical Services, Air Commodore Mohammed Shaibu and other senior Headquarters NAF staff officers.

IBIKUNLE DARAMOLA
Air Commodore
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force

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Belarus Commends NAF on Counter-terrorism Campaigns

The Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus to Nigeria, Mr Vyacheslav Bril, has commended the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) for the role it has continued to play in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in Nigeria, especially since 2015.

The Ambassador assured NAF of the Belarusian Government’s continued support in this regard whilst identifying possible areas of collaboration between his country and the NAF.

Some of these areas include acquisition and repairs of aircraft and aviation equipment, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technology, aircraft armament, airfield meteorological equipment, training as well as cyber security, amongst others. T

his was made known by the Ambassador yesterday, 13 March 2019, while on a courtesy call to the Office of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, at the Headquarters NAF Abuja. Mr Vyacheslav stated further that the Belarusian Government and its people were open to more cooperation with Nigeria so as to deepen the relationship between the two countries. He also seized the opportunity to invite a NAF team to attend the 2019 International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) scheduled to hold in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, in May.

In his remarks, the CAS expressed delight to receive the Ambassador in his Office. He also thanked him for highlighting the range of opportunities in Belarus which could be exploited by the NAF to surmount some of its extant challenges. Air Marshal Abubakar noted that Nigeria and Belarus had maintained a very cordial, mutually-beneficial relationship, which had spanned several years and resulted in tangible results. He remarked that many of the Armed Forces Special Forces (AFSF) personnel, which included some NAF officers and men, were trained in Belarus.

He highlighted that the AFSF was instrumental to most major successes recorded in the Northeast since their induction into the Theatre of Operation in 2014. He equally attested to the dexterity of Belarusian aircraft technicians, having had some attached to his unit while serving as the Commander 115 Special Operations Group in Port Harcourt.

Accordingly, he said, he was fairly-well acquainted with the level of expertise in defence and security matters that was available in Belarus. He therefore expressed the willingness of the NAF to explore the opportunities presented by Belarus, especially in the area of training.

He said arrangements would, consequently, be made for a team of NAF officers to not only attend IDEX 2019 but also visit some of the training institutions, factories and repair facilities in Belarus as well as hold technical discussions with a view to ascertaining specific areas of collaboration that would enhance NAF operations.

IBIKUNLE DARAMOLA
Air Commodore
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force