Eid-el-Fitr: Give bandits no breathing space – CAS charges troops

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has charged the frontline troops not to give bandits any breathing space as they must continue to work in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies to ensure that the capacity of the bandits to carry out attacks on innocent citizens is drastically reduced.

Speaking at the celebration of Eid-el-Fitr with the frontline troops of the Operation HADARIN DAJI, 213 Forward Operation Base (213 FOB) in Katsina, the CAS who was represented by the Air Officer Commanding, Special Operations Command (AOC SOC), Air Vice Marshal Charles Ohwo said keeping the tradition of celebrating festive period with frontline troops would boost their morale and foster comradeship.

According to him, “It has become imperative that we do not give these miscreants any breathing space and as well reduce their capacity to carry out attacks on innocent citizens. It is in furtherance of this that we have deployed more platforms and 60 Special Forces (SF) personnel to support the Operation in the Northwest”.

Air Marshal Abubakar remarked that wining and dinning with troops in mission areas was particularly dear to him. “This has become a tradition since my assumption of Office as it serves as an avenue to foster comradeship as well as ease the tension the operational environment creates, whilst reassuring you of our commitment to continuously cater for your welfare and provide the much-needed support to prosecute your missions”, he said.

He noted that, in the last four and half years, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), had taken giant strides by inducting new platforms and reactivating grounded ones while stated further that the the Service has also trained many pilots, engineers, technicians as well as Regiment and SF personnel. The training, he said, is in line with his vision to build the capacity of the Service to enable it effectively and efficiently tackle current and emerging security challenges.

He added that a lot was at stake in the war against banditry and kidnapping. “We must not allow ourselves to be taken unawares. I therefore enjoin all NAF personnel to remain displined and not to relent in their efforts towards the safety and security of our citizens”.

While thanking the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his continued support to the NAF, the CAS enjoined the troops to take responsibility in the fight against COVID-19. He said the NAF has provided them with face masks that must be worn at all times.

He charged them to maintain physical/social distancing in public gatherings and strictly adhere to the guidelines and protocols as issued by the Federal Government and Headquarters NAF, including regular washing of hands with soap and use of hand sanitizers, whilst endeavouring to educate their families on the dangers of the virus.

The CAS had earlier feted NAF troops deployed to Gusau in Zamfara State, Agatu in Benue State, Lafia in Nasarawa State and Gembu in Taraba State, where he appreciated the gallant efforts of the personnel towards ensuring that communities where they are deployed, and Nigerians at large, are secured and able to go about their lawful businesses without fear or intimidation.

He commended the Air Component Commander Operation HADARIN DAJI, the Commanders of 207 Quick Response Group Gusau and 213 FOB Katsina as well as as the Commanding Officers of the Quick Response Wings (QRWs) in Agatu, Lafia and Gembu, along with their officers and airmen/ airwomen for their conduct and high level of professionalism in ongoing operations. He also thanked the Government and people of the host States and Communities for their hospitality and cooperation with the NAF.

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