Terrorists, Bandits Should Expect Tough Time – Chief Of Air Staff
By Abdullahi Ahmad Bamalli
Air Vice Marshal Hassan Abubakar, the 22nd Chief of the Air Staff, has assumed command with the promise to preserve his predecessors’ legacy.
On Monday, President Bola Tinubu announced the retirement and replacement of the service chiefs.
During the handing and taking over ceremony yesterday, Abubakar promised to reinvigorate the fight against terrorism and other forms of insecurity in the country.
He said, “My appointment is coming at the time that the expectations of Nigerians towards accelerated actualisation of peace and security are very high. I want to use this occasion to restate our commitment to reinvigorate our fight against terrorism, insurgency, banditry, and a host of other challenges.
“The cooperation and synergy with other agencies contributed immensely to the successes achieved in the various theatres of operations. In conjunction with my colleagues, we will uphold these attributes in line with the President’s directive issued during the first National Security Council meeting.
“We shall also begin to take additional measures and approaches that will continue to diminish our challenges and enhance the disposition of our various theatres of operations. We shall continue to exhibit exemplary commitment and sustain efforts to overcome any threat to the peace and security of our great nation, Nigeria.“
Earlier, his predecessor, Air Marshal Oludayo Amao, said despite the challenges his tenure recorded many successes.
He said, “I made bold to say that the Nigerian Air Force was able to attain greater height in line with my vision for the service despite some constraints. Under my leadership , we were able to record successes in key areas such as document development, air operations, human capacity development, fleet enhancement, establishment of new units, directorates, logistics support, system research and development, personnel management, as well as safety standards to mention but a few.
He added that the Air Force now has the capacity to conduct air operations, simultaneous combat operations, night operations, and precision strikes.
Amao said a total of 7,424 personnel were trained during his tenure, adding that this helped the service to overcome the shortage of combat pilots experienced in the past.
“In the past two and half years, the Nigerian Air Force trained and retrained personnel for professional and operational effectiveness. For instance, the Nigerian Airforce conducted training for a total of 7424 personnel out of which 5945 were trained locally and 1479 were trained overseas. This number is also inclusive of the 429 pilots and 203 UED operators. These efforts in particular reduce the acute shortage of combat pilots that we used to have in the past,” he said.
He urged him to build on the legacies of his predecessors to sustain and surpass the feats achieved in the ongoing fight against terrorism and banditry in the country.
Amao also urged his successor to ensure the service attained greater heights under his watch.