WorldStage Newsonline– Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State has commended the troops of the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE for their immense sacrifices in the fight against insurgency as well as securing the territorial integrity of the country.
Speaking at the luncheon organized by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir with the frontline troops in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, he said the contributions of the NAF troops in the ongoing counterinsurgency operation could not be overemphasized, just as he promised to pay the 2020 West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) fees of children and wards of NAF personnel.
The luncheon was held in keeping with the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar’s, tradition of spending festive periods with the NAF troops in the frontlines.
The Governor said, “I will be failing in my duty as the Executive Officer of Adamawa State, if I don’t on behalf of the people of Adamawa State recognize the sacrifice and the good work that you are doing.
“From 2020, whether you are a citizen or non-citizen, indigene or non-indigene of Adamawa State, so long you stay in the State, NECO and WAEC fees would be paid by the Government to encourage officers and men of NAF for the good work they have been doing.”
He said whatever he would be doing in the society, he would extend to personnel of the NAF, particularly in terms of provision of infrastructure.
Air Marshal Abubakar expressed appreciation of the troops for their contributions and sacrifices in order to ensure that Nigeria and Nigerians are secured.
He urged them to work much harder to ensure that the country is safe, saying security was a prerequisite for national development.
He also charged the troops not to be distracted by what they see or hear on the social media but to remain focused.
According to him, “Nigeria’s greatness cannot be interfered with by any individual or group of individuals. Therefore, as an air force and as members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, we will continue to work round the clock to ensure that our country is secured and no individual or group of individuals succeeds in undermining the territorial integrity of Nigeria.”
He reminded the troops of the need to ensure a stable and secured country where every Nigerian, irrespective of political, ethnic, regional or religious affiliation, would be able to express his or herself, and pursue his or her legitimate aspirations.
The CAS noted that the substantial progress made in securing Nigeria could not have been possible without the high level of aircraft serviceability enjoyed in the last four years.
He said this had enabled the NAF to deploy to different parts of the country including the Northeast and Northwest in order to continue to ensure a united, prosperous, stable and peaceful Nigeria.
The NAF chief said, although, few challenges had recently emerged, the Service was working very hard, along with other security agencies, to surmount them.
He reported that the NAF, alongside other security agencies were making substantial progress in terms of dealing with the banditry in the Northwest and would continue to work round the clock to ensure that security is brought closer to the Nigerian people.
He appreciated the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for his unwavering support to the NAF in the last four years and thanked the Federal Government for its support in terms of aircraft acquisition, reactivation of grounded platforms and unprecedented training opportunities for pilots and personnel of other NAF specialties.
According to him, “currently, we have 31 pilots that are training in different parts of the world. We have 12 in South Africa, 15 are in the United States of America and four in Egypt.
“We are planning to send additional 12 pilots to the United Kingdom. With the recent graduation of 517 technicians from Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), it clearly shows that the Federal Government is giving the NAF all the support required to build sufficient capacity to be able to provide what is required in terms of deployment of air power”, the NAF chief added.
In the area of welfare, the CAS said, the NAF was addressing all the welfare related issues for personnel and would continue to do so.