Insecurity: Tinubu Vows To Procure More Aircrafts, Equipment

By Sunday Etuka, Abuja

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President Bola Tinubu has vowed to invest more in state-of-the-art Aircrafts and Equipment to end the ongoing war against insurgency in the country.

Tinubu made the vow on Saturday while speaking at the Ceremonial Parade to Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in Kaduna State.

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The President also pledged his administration’s unwavering commitment to prioritizing national security and the welfare of the armed forces.

He committed to standing with the armed forces through challenges, triumphs, and grief, not as repayment but as an assurance of the nation’s unwavering support.

So far, more than 70 new aircrafts had been acquired by the government to boost training and combat readiness of the NAF.

Represented by Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, Tinubu hailed the NAF’s six decades of service, sacrifice, and patriotism.

“I bear with me today the gratitude of a nation that has watched your transformation into a formidable and resilient organisation, vigilant of the dynamics and complexities of security threats within and outside our borders for this long,” he said.

According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Communications, Stanley Nkwocha, President Tinubu praised the critical role played by the Nigerian Air Force in maintaining regional and sub-regional peace and security, expressing pride in the institution’s formidable and resilient transformation over the years.

He congratulated the Chief of the Air Staff, officers, airmen, airwomen, and civilian staff for sustaining the culture of service on the Diamond Jubilee Anniversary, saying “we stand with you in your times of need, triumph, and grief.”

The President reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to prioritising security, noting that development cannot be guaranteed without a secure nation.

“In my inaugural address a year ago, I noted that security would be the top priority of my administration because we can never guarantee the development we have proposed unless each part of this great nation is secure. This is why we have continued to support the modernization efforts of our Armed Forces to address national and sub-regional security challenges,” he declared.

To address national and sub-regional security challenges, President Tinubu disclosed his administration’s substantial investments in procuring state-of-the-art multi-role combat aircraft, attack helicopters, sensors, and equipment to enhance the Nigerian Air Force’s capabilities.

These acquisitions, including Beechcraft King Air 360 aircraft, Diamond 62 surveillance aircraft, T-129 ATAK helicopters, Agusta 109 trekker multi-role helicopters, and M-346 attack aircraft, aim to boost the nation’s combat and airlift capabilities.

The President called for a Whole-of-Society approach to tackling Nigeria’s security challenges, even as he acknowledged the socio-economic factors contributing to security challenges.

Expressing confidence in the country’s eventual sound economic rebound, he said, “We are confident that this temporary sacrifice will come to an end soon, and the country will be on the sound economic footing we have promised the nation,” he stated.

President Tinubu paid tribute to the surviving members of the first set of pioneer NAF personnel, veterans, and fallen comrades, acknowledging their bravery, commitment, and service to the nation.

Aligning with the event’s theme, “Nigerian Air Force at 60: Leveraging Strategic Partnerships in Aerospace Innovations for Regional Security,” the President welcomed the participation of various partners and air forces from around the world, particularly from Africa.

He stresses the need for collaboration and developing partnerships with friends and allies to collectively address shared threats in the sub-region and beyond.

Earlier, a representative of Courses 37 and 38 of the Nigerian Air Force who retired from the Force recently, Air Vice Marshall Charles Ohwo, recalled “with nostalgia, the moment they were enrolled into the Airforce about 38 years ago.”

He noted that seeing the journey from then, he cannot but thank God, adding that many of them had gone unceremoniously from the service. He said while the journey was not devoid of challenges they are grateful to the officers who encouraged them, especially the Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of the Air Staff.

He also thanked the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Tinubu and everyone who helped them succeed while in the service. Those present at the event were former President of the Senate/Chairman, Senate Committee of Defence, Sen. Ahmed Lawan; House Committee on Air Force, Hon. Kabiru Alhassan Rurum; Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar; Minister of State Defence Alhaji Bello Matawalle.

Others were Chief of the Air Staff/chief host, Air Marshal Hasaan Abubakar; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla; Governor of Taraba State, Dr. Agbu Kefas; Emir of Zazzau, HRH Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli; Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed; members of the Diplomatic Corps and other senior government officials.

After the event, the Vice President proceeded on a condolence visit to the Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Uba Sani, over the demise of his brother, Pharmacist Mukhtar Lawal Ismail, who passed away recently.

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