Chief Of Air Staff Urges Fair Treatment Of Civilians As He Celebrates Eid el Kabir With Troops
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, alongside other senior officers from Headquarters Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on 1 and 2 September 2017, celebrated this year’s Eid el Kabir with NAF frontline troops in Yola and Maiduguri respectively. The celebration of festive periods with frontline personnel has become a tradition with the CAS, who greatly appreciates the enormous sacrifice being made by the personnel. The frontline personnel are unable to celebrate the festive seasons with their family members as a result of their commitment to the ongoing efforts to completely end the Boko Haram menace. The CAS seized the opportunity of the festivities to urge the NAF personnel to treat civilians with utmost respect while ensuring that they do not spare Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) and other criminal elements.
In his separate remarks to the personnel in Yola and Maiduguri, Air Marshal Abubakar commended them for their efforts, which had substantially degraded the capability of the BHTs. He was, however quick to add that the NAF had not gotten to its end state despite all its successes. He cited isolated cases of setbacks such as kidnapping and suicide bombings, which were not good enough and hence, the need to redouble efforts in all respects. He added that it was just a matter of time before the BHTs were flushed out unless they surrender. In addition, the CAS assured the personnel that efforts were being made at Headquarters NAF to ensure the creation of a more conducive environment for the frontline personnel to effectively operate. One of such efforts, according to him, was in the area of human capacity building, adding that “the challenges of the Twenty First Century can only be resolved with adequate knowledge”.
The CAS equally assured the personnel that, with the constant support of the Federal Government, the Service would continue to make their welfare a priority. Air Marshal Abubakar intimated the personnel that the post-service housing scheme for commissioned officers was being evaluated to improve the system. He expressed happiness that the latest set of recruits into the NAF had already registered with the newly introduced post-service housing scheme for non-commissioned officers and were therefore assured of their private accommodation after completing their 35 years of service in the NAF. In the same vein, he said that 150 dependants of NAF personnel would soon graduate from the skill acquisition program designed to empower them by giving them skills in addition to education. He promised that more residential accommodation would be built in the mission areas while arrangements were being made to supply additional combat uniforms. The CAS then charged the personnel to remain focused and continue to do their jobs professionally.
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