The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has taken delivery of 2 Agusta 109 Power attack helicopters, which are currently being assembled for induction during the forthcoming 2019 NAF Day Celebration taking place in Abuja from 27 – 29 April 2019. This was disclosed by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, today, 22 April 2019, in Maiduguri during a luncheon with troops of the Air Task Force (ATF) Operation LAFIYA DOLE (OPLD) to mark the Easter Celebrations. The luncheon, which is in keeping with the CAS’ tradition of celebrating festive periods with frontline troops, afforded him the opportunity to interact with the troops in an informal setting to appreciate them for their sacrifices in the fight against insurgency, thereby boosting their morale while also filling the void created by their inability to celebrate the season with their families.
In his remarks at the event, the CAS expressed delight to be in Maiduguri and commended the resilience and commitment of the troops in ensuring that Nigeria and Nigerians are safe. He said the NAF, with the support of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the National Assembly, would continue to acquire new platforms and build human capacity whilst ensuring the welfare of personnel, in order to effectively and efficiently respond to national security imperatives. He specially commended the Commader, officers, airmen and airwomen of the ATF for the successes recorded in the fight against the terrorists within the OPLD Theatre as well as in the Multi-National Joint Task Force Operation YANCIN TAFKI. He equally commended the ATF Commander for the various value adding welfare projects that had been executed to enhance the wellbeing of personnel. The CAS reminded the personnel that so much was at stake in the fight to rid the Nation of insurgents, terrorists, armed bandits and other criminal elements. Accordingly, he urged them to remain resolute while intensifying their efforts and maintaining continuous vigilance to defend the liberties and values Nigerians hold so dear.
Air Marshal Abubakar seized the opportunity to thank the government and people of Borno State as well as the Shehu of Borno and other traditional rulers in the State for their continued support to the NAF through the ATF OPLD. He equally appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support to the NAF by ensuring the enabling environment and providing the necessary resources for the Service to perform its assigned duties. He noted that the delivery of the 2 Agusta 109 Power attack helicopters was a testimony of this immense support. He remarked that the NAF, working in concert with sister Services and other security agencies, would continue to reciprocate by sustaining its operations, not only in the Northeast but also in the Northwest, in order to ensure that Nigerians are able to pursue their legitimate aspirations, without fear.
Earlier in his welcome address, the ATF Commander, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) James Gwani, expressed the appreciation of the officers and men of the ATF to the CAS for his consistent presence in Maiduguri, which he said, was not only a huge source of motivation, but also a staunch indication of his commitment to the welfare and morale of the personnel. He thanked the CAS for providing all necessary facilities to ensure effective service delivery and pledged their unwavering loyalty and commitment towards ensuring mission accomplishment. Branch Chiefs and other senior officers from Headquarters NAF accompanied the CAS to the luncheon, which also had the Lawan of Gomari and other members of the Gomari Community in attendance.
In a similar vein, the CAS had earlier feted ATF troops in Yola at an Easter Luncheon on 21 April 2019. The CAS, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP) Headquarters NAF, AVM Emmanuel Anebi, commended the troops for their commitment and resilience in the fight against insurgency noting that Nigerians were appreciative of their enormous sacrifices and efforts at ensuring the territorial integrity and security of the Nation. He emphasised that the get-together was also aimed at fostering comradeship and regimentation among troops, while charging them to maintain continuous vigilance at all times.
The CAS appreciated the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his unflinching support to the NAF by ensuring the enabling environment and providing the necessary resources for the Service to perform its assigned duties. According to him, “We can only show our gratitude for the President’s support to the NAF by remaining a disciplined force and exhibiting the highest level of professionalism in all our activities. I therefore enjoin you all not to relent in your efforts”, he said.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force