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Yobe Governor Praises NAF on Giant Strides

The Executive Governor of Yobe State, Honourable Mai Mala Buni, has commended the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for the giant developmental strides recorded by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the last 4 to 5 years as well as the successes recorded in the war against insurgency and terrorism.

He said the patriotism, bravery and commitment of NAF officers and men who go the extra mile to ensure the safety and security of Nigeria and Nigerians by conducting daring raids into terrorists’ locations to destroy their facilities and neutralize their fighters were highly commendable.

The Governor made this known on Thursday, 17 October 2019, while receiving the CAS on a courtesy call at Government House Damaturu. The Governor also led the CAS on a tour of facilities and progress of work at the proposed Damaturu International Cargo Airport.

Governor Buni, while welcoming the CAS to Government House Damaturu, noted that the visit of the CAS to the State would further solidify the excellent working relations between the NAF and the Yobe State Government.

He seized the opportunity to thank the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his leadership and dedication in dealing with the security situation in the Northeast which, he said, had yielded significant results against insurgents, terrorists and other criminal elements. He equally commended the CAS, as well as other Service Chiefs, for their resilient efforts in defending Nigeria’s territorial integrity.

The Yobe State Governor stated that he had been observing the giant strides made by the NAF under the leadership of Air Marshal Abubakar, which had resulted in several landmark achievements.

He said he was particularly delighted with the recent winging of the first female fighter jet pilot as well as the first female helicopter pilot in the 55 years history of the Service.

He therefore urged the CAS to sustain the developmental strides whilst also maintaining the tempo of operations against the terrorists and other criminal elements. Governor Buni observed that he would continue to provide all necessary support to the NAF and other security agencies to enable them operate effectively in the State. He said the State Government would also continue to encourage its people to give useful information to enhance the operations of security agencies in the State. Regarding the Damaturu International Cargo Airport project, Honourable Buni said he was counting on the support of the CAS to ensure the success of the project whist also requesting for the establishment of a NAF Base as well as an Air Force Secondary School in Damaturu.

Speaking earlier, Air Marshal Abubakar stated the successes so far recorded in the war against insurgency would not have been possible without the cooperation of the Government and good people of the State. He therefore expressed the appreciation of the Service to the Governor for his tremendous support. The CAS remarked that the NAF, in the last 5 years, has continued to reposition itself to more effectively deal with the emerging security challenges facing the Nation. He noted that this had been achieved through massive capacity building, with over 100 pilots winged during the period and tens of thousands of personnel trained in other NAF specialities including engineers, technicians, Regiment and Special Forces, amongst others.
These, he said, had enabled the Service to maintain an unprecedented aircraft serviceability rate that had facilitated the effective and efficient employment of air power, whilst also ensuring the security of NAF Bases and assets.

The CAS disclosed that the Service was on the verge of receiving 2 additional attack helicopters, which, he said, would further boost operations in Borno and Yobe States. Furthermore, he said the completion of the Damaturu International Cargo Airport project would give added impetus to air operations in the Northeast, as the NAF would be able to operate from Damaturu instead of just from Maiduguri. He disclosed that arrangements would be made to establish a Military Airport Commandant’s (MAC) Office, along with its complements of Regiment personnel, at the Airport, once completed. He said this would be a precursor to the eventual establishment of a NAF unit in Damaturu to further enhance operations in the area.

The Governor, the CAS and other dignitaries were conducted on a tour of ongoing work at the International Cargo Airport along the Damaturu-Geidam Road. The CAS was accompanied on the visit by the Chief of Training and Operations Headquarters (HQ) NAF, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, as well as the Air Task Force Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Air Commodore Precious Amadi, along with other senior officers from HQ NAF.

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