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War against Boko Haram, Bandits in the North Makes it Difficult to Secure Southern Nigeria-Air Chief

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•Charges personnel to sustain relative peace in Niger Delta 

•Commissions welfare projects Calabar 

Senator Iroegbu

The increasing state of insecurity in northern part of Nigeria, is making it difficult for the military to effectively man, patrol and secure the Southern part of the country, said the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

Abubakar in a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, made this remarks on Tuesday, while commissioning 2 blocks of 10 x one bedroom Single Officers’ accommodation at the 305 Special Mobility Group (305 SMG), Calabar, Cross River State. 

The CAS, who was represented by the NAF Chief of Logistics, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Yakubu, noted that “the current national security imperatives, particularly the ongoing intensive air operations to deal with bandits and terrorists in the North West and North East of the Country, respectively, had made it difficult to ensure that 305 SMG has adequate platforms to effectively execute its assigned role of securing parts of the southern axis of the Nigerian airspace”. 

He however,  stressed that efforts had been intensified to provide additional helicopters that would be deployed to Calabar for the conduct of missions within the 305 SMG’s Area of Responsibility. 

In the interim, the CAS said, 115 Special Operations Group would continue to extend air support to the Unit with the platforms deployed in Port Harcourt, as recently done when an EC-135 helicopter was deployed to support Operation Delta Safe and the Nigerian Navy during Operation Safety Check.

He again enjoined the personnel not to relent in their efforts towards ensuring the safety and security of all law-abiding citizens.

Speaking further,  Abubakar commended the contributions of the personnel  of 305 SMG towards the maintenance of peace in the South South Region. He however charged them not to rest on their oars as other forms of threats still exist. 

“You must remain vigilant and continue to dedicate yourselves to your assigned duties,” he said. 

To this end, the Air Chief charged personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to sustain the relative peace currently being experienced in the Niger Delta. 

While highlighting the NAF’s continuing efforts to address the welfare needs of her personnel and ensure the provision of befitting accommodation across all Units, the CAS noted that the newly commissioned 2 blocks of 10 x one bedroom Single Officers’ Quarters would go a long way in alleviating personnel’s accommodation challenges in the Unit. 

This, he said, was in addition to other soon-to-be commissioned blocks of accommodation currently under construction in the Unit. While promising to initiate more accommodation projects for personnel of the Unit, the CAS assured that all efforts towards accommodation sufficiency would continue to be vigorously pursued until all personnel are suitably accommodated. 

Abubakar  also expressed gratitude to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the National Assembly for their continuous support in providing the NAF with the needed resources, platforms and equipment to enable it to be more effective and efficient in the employment of air power. 

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Speaking further, he assured that the Service would continue to reciprocate by remaining disciplined, loyal and executing its statutory duties with the highest levels of professionalism.

The CAS equally expressed gratitude to the Cross River State Government for its support to the NAF and other security agencies in curtailing criminality within the State. 

Earlier, the Commander 305 SMG, Group Captain Abraham Sule, had expressed appreciation to the CAS for the numerous projects executed in the Unit. 

Sule noted that since the last visit by the CAS in November 2019 many projects had been initiated and completed, while others were ongoing. 

He also said that the projects have been a huge source of motivation to him and the entire personnel of the Unit, whom, he pledged, would continue to give their full commitment to the effective performance of their assigned tasks. 

Also present at the event were the Permanent Secretary Special Services Cross River State; Representatives of the Commander Operation DELTA SAFE, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command and Air Officer Commanding Mobility Command; as well as the NAF Director of Works along with other serving and retired senior military officers. 


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