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NAF Moves To Overcome Operational Challenges

By Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief   |   01 August 2015   |   1:45 am  

Chief of Air Staff, Sadiq Abubakar

Chief of Air Staff, Sadiq Abubakar

THE Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadiq Baba Abubakar yesterday said the Nigerian Air Force was ready to surmount its challenges.

Abubakar’s assurance is coming just as information has emerged that the Army has re-engaged some retired soldiers to aid it in the fight against insurgency.

Major-General Lawrence Jokotola (rtd) disclosed this yesterday in Kaduna at the pulling out parade organised for him and 32 other retired Generals of the Nigerian Army Corps of Artillery (NACA) at the Kalapanzi Barracks.

The Chief of Air Staff, who was also in Kaduna yesterday on facility tour and a working visit to the Nigerian Air Force Base, said the Air Force would look inward and also seek the assistance of the Federal Government to surmount its challenges.

He said: “I agree with you that there are some challenges. But with the help of the Federal Government, they are going to get sorted out. We are going to look inwards; we have the research development centre and we have partnership or MoU with 15 Nigerian universities. We have highly qualified professors in these universities that we can partner with to deal with some of our problems while relying on what ever support we get from the outside.”

He added: “We are re-accessing what we have done so far and what we need to do additionally in order to make NAF more effective in dealing with the problems in the north-eastern part of the country.”

Abubakar further stated that the Air Force was working round the clock to ensure that it builds the capacity of its personnel in order to be able to deal with the challenges confronting the nation, adding that the idea of his visit “is to meet with officers and men and to look at what they have been doing so as to identify areas of improvement.”

Jokotola, who disclosed that the re-engaged retired officers would serve as consultants and instructors at the Nigerian Army School of Artillery (NASA), Kachia, Kaduna State, noted that “this will no doubt greatly ensure the sharing of knowledge and expertise between serving and retired officers of the NACA.” 

He urged the Nigerian Army to sustain the initiative, saying: “As retired gunner officers, we are available at all times to contribute in whatever way the corps deem us fit to perform in the achievement of its organisational goals and indeed those of the Nigerian Army.”

He added: “There is no gainsaying that the challenges the military is currently facing are not insurmountable if the old ideals of training, good administration and discipline are extolled. I therefore enjoin all gunners to rise to the occasion and do the nation proud by providing timely, accurate and effective support for the Nigerian Army in its drive to meet up with its constitutional responsibilities at all times.

“We all started the journey in the service of our fatherland as young men and grew up to become the retired Generals that we are today. We were privileged to get the best education and training while in active service and these opportunities moulded all of us into responsible citizens that we are today.”



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