The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Baba Abubakar on Monday celebrated the Eid-el-Fitr festival with the troops of the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri and Yola.
Speaking during the Sallah lunch in Maiduguri, Abubakar said the culture was part of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) culture to its personnel at the frontline during festive periods since he assumed office in 2015.
“These get-togethers foster comradeship and give us the opportunity to commend ourselves in the duty of securing our nation against criminal elements. I want to express my gratitude to his Excellency, The Executive Governor of Borno State, Professor Engr Umaru BabaGana Zulum for making out time to attend our event today, despite the limited notice.
” I also want to commend the Air Task Force Commander and his personnel for their efforts in ensuring that the activities of the units in the North-East run smoothly.
“During my last operational visit to Maiduguri, we highlighted the immense contributions of the Nigerian Air Force through the Air Task Force OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE in the fight against insurgency in the North East. These contributions have no doubt, helped shape the theatre of operation and provided freedom of action for the ground troops.
“Despite the challenges of competing resources and COVID-19 induced lockdown, we have through pragmatic planning and foresight, maintained the tempo of Nigerian Air Force Operations, not only in the North East, but other parts of the country”, Abubakar said.
He reiterated the commitment of NAF to not only sustain operations but to improve on his key drivers.
“We have kept the pace in training of both air and ground crews, developed the Regiment speciality to defend our Bases and increased the force structure of the Service, whilst building more accommodation and office infrastructure to cope with the growth.
“On a general note however, I wish to thank you all for the concerted efforts and contributions. As we are aware, much is at stake and more would be required from us. I urge you not to rest on your oars, neither relent your efforts till we achieve victory. We must continue to evolve new methods and enplace new strategies aimed at eliminating all forms of criminal elements in our nation.
“While thanking the Almighty for letting us see this day, I appreciate your efforts and wish you all a Happy EDI-EL-FITR Celebration. Having said this, I wish to remind us on the need to maintain continuous vigilance,” the CAS said.
While noting the sustain of the President and Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari to NAF in the discharge of its assign duty, the tasked personnel to reciprocate by remaining discipline and professional in their actions.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Air Task Force, Air Commodore, P.N Amadi, lauded the CAS for his commitment to welfare of personnel which said has continue to boost their morale and give them a sense of belonging.
“Today, you are here once again to wine and dine with us on this special sallah lunch. Let me reiterate that this Luncheon has been a routine gesture of the CAS since 2015 to motivate the troops in the frontline, especially in the North East.
“The Chief of the Air staff sir, a few days ago, precisely on the 13th of May, you were here for an operational visit to the Air Task Force and also to commission some very key laudable projects, which not only enhanced our productivity, but also increased our morale tremendously.
“Furthermore, recent approvals by the Chief of the Air Staff for the construction of 2 blocks of 3 bedroom married officers’ quarters consisting of 12 flats with complete furnishing and also a block of one by 30 studio apartment for the airmen. These projects are a demonstration of your dynamic leadership and commitment at its peak. We can only continue to say ‘Thank You Sir’ for your pragmatic direction and visionary leadership.
“Your consistent presence in our midst is not only a huge source of motivation, but also a staunch indication of the Chief of the Air Staff’s commitment to the welfare and support of personnel. It also demonstrates the solidarity you have for your men and strong desire to give us a sense of belonging. We appreciate you Sir.
“I wish to express our sincere gratitude to you Sir, for all your support to the Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE. We cannot, but give full commitments to our duties. We therefore once again pledge our unwavering loyalty to the Service of the Nigerian Air Force and the Nation at large,” the task force commander said.