The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has stated that the prospect of a safe and secured Nigeria is in sight, as long as the Armed Forces of Nigeria continue to collectively keep their ‘eyes on the ball’ in getting the job done. He also noted that aside kinetic means of curbing the current security challenges confronting the country, the synergy of efforts drawn from a whole-of-society approach remains the best approach in winning the hearts and minds of Nigerians as well as speedily defeating the threats posed by terrorists and other non-state actors in all ramifications.
Air Marshal Abubakar stated this earlier today, 25 December 2023, while in Maiduguri to attend a Christmas luncheon organized for the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK).
The CAS went on to note that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on its part, has continued to engage with societal groups within the areas of operation through medical outreaches and welfare advocacies. He also stated that under his watch, NAF personnel at the frontlines have been continually reminded and trained on the Law of Armed Conflict, Rules of Engagement and strict observance of human rights in line with the United Nations Charter on Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Similarly, he added, pilots, engineers and other technicians have been availed of several safety management lessons and techniques to minimize risks associated with ongoing air operations.
Speaking further, the CAS took stock of the efforts of the Air Component, alongside the Land and Maritime Components and concluded that there were good reasons to celebrate.
According to him, “In the last 6 months, we have all been witnesses to how your combined efforts, alongside our sister services have decimated scores of terrorist leaders, their foot soldiers as well as their structures and logistics. Through these efforts, the unfettered freedom of movement that these criminals once enjoyed has been denied or reduced to the barest minimum. Your efforts have also led to the surrendering of several terrorist as well as their families, an indication the end may soon be in sight.”
Air Marshal Abubakar also appreciated the efforts of the troops saying, “I cannot tell you enough how much the entire nation appreciates your commitment and sacrifices and there is no iota of doubt that your selfless acts of courage and bravery as well as your unwavering dedication and service to our nation have afforded our citizens the opportunity to peacefully celebrate and enjoy this festive moment. We are indeed proud and appreciative of your gallant efforts and your devotion to duty remains a beacon of hope for all Nigerians.”
In reminding them of the essence of Christmas, Air Marshal Abubakar noted that Christmas goes beyond mere merrymaking and festivities as it is, “A season to express love, show compassion, renew our hopes, and embrace our role as our brothers’ keepers.”
According to the CAS, “The story of Christmas, rooted in humble beginnings in a manger, serves as a powerful lesson that even in the most modest circumstances, the spark of hope can be ignited. This hope is the essence of our fight against insurgency, terrorism and all forms of criminality.”
Events of this nature provide avenues for the CAS to appreciate and bond with the troops, promote comradeship and regimentation as well as remember those who have paid the supreme price in the service of the nation.
The occasion was attended by the Governor of Borno State, who was represented by the Commissioner of Information and Internal Security, Professor Usman Tar, the Shehu of Borno represented by Aji Sudan of Borno, Alhaji Mohammed Nur Makinta, the Director Air Force at the Ministry of Defence as well as the Theatre Commander OPHK and other senior military officers.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force
25 December 2023