The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on 28 August 2018, undertook an operational visit to Nigerian Air Force (NAF) units in Katsina State to get first-hand updates on the progress of Operation DIRAN MIKIYA as well as assess facilities at the Presidential Helipad and NAF Quick Response Wing (QRW) in Daura. The CAS, who was accompanied on the visit by other senior officers from NAF Headquarters, was received at the Umar Musa Yaradua International Airport Katsina by the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command (AOC SOC), Air Vice Marshal Samson Akpasa.
While briefing the CAS in Katsina, the Air Task Force (ATF) Commander Operation DIRAN MIKIYA, Air Commodore Ayoola Jolasinmi, noted that the Task Force had flown over 300 hours since the operation began on 31 July 2018 and had recorded several successful missions, neutralizing many of the armed bandits and destroying several of their camps. As a result, the bandits had been denied freedom of action and could no longer mass up to attack innocent civilians. This, he noted, had resulted in substantially restoring peace in the affected areas.Responding, the CAS expressed satisfaction with the progress of the effort and urged the ATF to sustain the momentum of operations.
The CAS, along with other senior officers, then proceeded to Daura where he expressed satisfaction with the state of facilities at the Presidential Helipad and NAF QRW Daura. The CAS also paid a courtesy visit to the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouk Umar, at his Palace. During the visit, the Emir expressed delight with NAF’s tremendous achievements in the war against insurgency in the Northeast as well as the significant strides recorded in the fight against armed banditry in the Northwestern part of the country, through Operation DIRAN MIKIYA. He said he was also impressed with the humanitarian services provided by the NAF in various crises areas including the medical outreach undertaken for over 2,000 flood victims in Jibia, Katsina State from 25 – 27 July 2018 as well as the medical outreach for about 4,500 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Shinkafi, Zamfara State in early August. He therefore commended the CAS for his admirable leadership of the Service and prayed for continued wisdom for the successful execution of his laudable initiatives.
The CAS had earlier thanked the Emir for the continued support the NAF had enjoyed from the good people of the Daura Emirate and pledged the commitment of the Service towards ensuring peace and stability in the country. He stressed that NAF’s achievements were made possible due to the immense support given by the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. He stated that this had facilitated the acquisition of 18 brand new aircraft, with an additional 12 being expected. Air Marshal Abubakar noted that the last time such a large number of aircraft was inducted into the Service was in the early 1980s. He said the increase in number of aircraft had enabled the NAF to effectively project air power in multiple theatres of operations with tangible results. He concluded by assuring the Emir that the NAF would continue to fulfil its constitutional mandate while working assiduously towards the overall development of the nation.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force