By Elohor Igbru
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has said Nigeria must adopt a comprehensive approach if it must solve the problems of insecurity confronting the nation.
Air Marshal Abubakar was speaking in Kaduna during an operational visit to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) base in Kaduna to discuss with the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command (AOC ATC) Air Vice Marshal Musa Muktar and other Component Commanders of Operation GAMA AIKI and THUNDER STRIKE.
Air Marshal Abubakar, noted that addressing security issues requires a comprehensive approach, which will not only ensure that aircraft are serviceable and personnel are properly trained but would also ensure that adequate facilities are in place to enable both the machines and personnel to function effectively and efficiently.
This, the CAS said, require the right infrastructure such as good offices and residential accommodation, roads, schools and hospitals, amongst others. I
Abubakar: “It is not only about the aircraft but also about the human beings that fly the aircraft and keep them serviceable. We need to ensure that they are properly accommodated and have good roads, water and medical facilities for their families as well as schools for their children. So, it is a comprehensive thing.”
He also restated the unwavering commitment of the NAF to deal with the security challenges confronting the nation, especially banditry and other criminal acts in the North West and North Central parts of the country.
He said the NAF, in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, would continue to work assiduously to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians. He therefore urged NAF personnel and Commanding Officers to remain focused and redouble their efforts to ensure all enemies of the nation are dealt with.
Meanwhile the NAF is set to deploy air assets as well as Special Forces personnel in support of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Deep Blue Project.
This was made known today by the CAS while playing host to the Director General (DG) of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, at the Headquarters NAF Abuja. Speaking during the visit, the CAS noted that, the NAF has maintained a long standing, cordial relationship with NIMASA, with an MOU on Maritime Air Surveillance and Intelligence signed in 2013.
He stated further that, despite the fact that the MOU had elapsed, the NAF had continued to play crucial roles, working very closely with the Nigerian Navy, using the NAF ATR 42 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA), which had participated in several exercises within Nigeria’s maritime environment.
He noted that the DG’s visit was auspicious and would mark a new era in moving NAF’s partnership with NIMASA to a much higher level.
In his remarks, the DG NIMASA, commended the CAS for his prudent management of resources. According to him, under his watch, the NAF had witnessed a tremendous boost in its aircraft holding, through systematic acquisition and reactivation of platforms. He therefore applauded the quality of leadership of the Service.
While stressing the importance of cooperation between the NAF and NIMASA, the DG noted that both agencies have mandates that are somewhat interwoven. He reiterated NIMASA’s stance on zero tolerance for piracy on the Nation’s waterways, stating that the NAF’s deployment of its air assets and Special Forces would help tackle the issues head-on for the overall good of Nigeria’s Maritime Sector and the nation as a whole.