The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, yesterday declared that the Armed Forces remained committed to ending the crisis of insecurity ravaging the nation.
He said the expected delivery of six A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets by the United States in July and two drones from China, would be a “game changer” in the war against insurgency.
The position of the air force chief is coming on a day the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, sought the assistance of the Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, to provide security for train stations and railway construction sites across the country.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of 1,031 recruits of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Basic Military Training Course 41/2020, Amao affirmed that “the NAF in consonance with other members of the armed forces and security agencies would continue to do all it takes to ensure that the security challenges in the country are speedily brought to an end.”
The air force chief, who spoke while serving as the reviewing officer at the colourful Passing Out Parade (POP) of 1,031 trainees which took place at the Military Training Centre (MTC), NAF Base, Kaduna, disclosed that “the NAF was expecting eight aircraft in July 2021, comprising six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States and 2 Wing Loong Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV) from China.
“The remaining six A-29 Super Tucano would arrive in September while 2 CH-3 and 4 CH-4 UCAV would arrive the country before the end of 2021. “These additional aircraft, would no doubt boost air power employment capabilities in support of joint operations and would be a game changer in various theatre of operations.”
He charged the graduands to be innovative and subordinate their personal interests to the service and the nation.
Air Marshal Amao noted that the occasion was another testimony of the commitment of the NAF to operate a professional service properly structured, appropriately manned and adequately trained to provide security to Nigeria and the Nigerian people. According to the CAS, the graduation of yet another batch of recruits was in consonance with NAF’s overall strategy of mitigating the challenges of insecurity in the country.
He further stated that the six months rigorous training the graduands went through was designed to deliberately expose them to near real-life scenarios which they may encounter in the course of their career.
He then urged them to ensure they operate within the ambits of the law and rules of engagement as enumerated in the code of conduct for military personnel engaged in internal security operations as they would be involved in several operations across the country. He reminded them of the need to respect and protect the innocent and law-abiding civilians whom they are paid to defend.
“Treat them with respect and protect their rights. It is by so doing that you will be discharging your professional and constitutional duties”, he said.
Air Marshal Amao further charged them to submit themselves to civil authority in accordance with democratic tenets and should not allow themselves to be used by any subversive element in the society to compromise national security.
Highlights of the occasion were the silent drill, march-past in quick and slow time and presentation of awards to deserving recruits.
The ceremony also witnessed a large turnout of dignitaries including members of the National Assembly, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, Emir of Zazau, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Nuhu Bamali, Branch Chiefs and Air Officers Commanding amongst others, a statement issued by NAF Spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday sought the assistance of the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya, to provide security for train stations and railway construction sites across the country.
A statement signed by the Spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima, said the minister solicited security synergy between the Nigerian Army (NA) and the Ministry of Transportation.
This, he said, “would enhance security at train stations and during the upcoming massive railway constructions in Nigeria”.
Congratulating the COAS on his appointment, the minister revealed that “he was at Army headquarters to seek the support of the NA in providing security for the workers executing projects for the ministry in various parts of the country.
“He noted that the request became necessary due to the security challenges facing the country adding that the presence of military and other security agencies in various construction sites would boost the morale of the workers and give the expatriates good sense of security in all construction sites across the country”.
The minister further stated that some railway projects would be channeled through military establishments particularly the rail track linking Kaduna and Kano which was designed to pass through the Nigerian Defence Academy new site, stressing that the support of the Nigerian Army to access such areas would greatly reduce the construction costs and enhance the development of the barracks environment.
Responding, the COAS, Maj. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, said the visit was a welcome development stressing that it provided an avenue for the NA and other agencies of government to deliberate on issues of national development.
He assured the minister of the required support adding that the NA was in support of any programme or project that enhanced national development and improved the welfare of the citizenry.
Highlights of the visit were group photographs, exchange of souvenirs and signing of visitor’s register.