The Commander 651 Base Services Group Ikeja, Air Commodore Musibau Olatunji, has reiterated the importance which the Nigeria Air Force, NAF attached to a cordial relationship with the civil populace and to community relations which he said s a crucial departmental activity in the NAF.
The Commander who was represented by Wing Commander Alfred Ogbonda stated this during an environmental sanitation exercise organized for residents of Mafoluku, Shogunle and Ladipo in Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area of Lagos State, as part of its Quarterly Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) outreach programme of the Logistics Command of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) last weekend.
He noted that engagements with the civil populace enhance the relationship between the military and civilians while also encouraging mutual cooperation. According to him, “civilians see the military as unapproachable.
We need to interact with them in a manner to show them that we are part of them,” he said. The Base Commander also noted that the Quarterly Exercise would reinforce the confidence and trust of civilians and create the mutual understanding, cooperation and support necessary for the Nigerian Armed Forces to succeed in their operations.
The CIMIC Programme, which was aimed at improving the cordial relationship between the NAF and members of the host communities, attracted a large turnout of NAF personnel. Residents of Mafoluku, Shogunle and Ladipo, who were the direct beneficiaries of the Exercise, expressed profound appreciation to NAF personnel for cleaning their environment.
The residents, who were very glad at seeing the men in uniform cleaning their communities, expressed their willingness to continue to cooperate and support the NAF in all its activities whenever the need arises. According to the residents, the proximity of the NAF Base to the communities has remained a source of blessing to the host communities. They, therefore, seized the opportunity to commend the NAF for its quick response to distress calls whenever there is a breach of peace in their communities.
The NAF, under the leadership of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has continued to place a lot of premium on respect for the human rights of members of the general populace and the maintenance of cordial civil-military relations at all NAF bases across the country. About 200 NAF personnel keenly participated in the sanitation exercise.