President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), for living up to its constitutional role of securing the nation, while noting that the investments of the government in the NAF in acquiring new platforms and other support equipment for the military and other security agencies, as well as reactivating and upgrading existing platforms are well justified.
The President made the disclosure in Enugu, at the NAF 59th anniversary celebration, where he noted that the move to prioritize the restoration of professionalism in the military to enable them effectively discharge their duties had sufficiently transformed the NAF into a formidable entity, ready to confront immediate and future challenges.
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Speaking at the ceremony, President Buhari who was represented by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, noted that the parade and aerial display by officers, airmen and women aptly demonstrates the NAF’s commitment to achieving high standards of operational readiness, of being able to meet its constitutional responsibilities.
He disclosed that the NAF has witnessed tremendous improvement in the past four years, in particular, with the provision of modern equipment such as the JF-17 Thunder, A-29 Super Tucano, DA-62 aircraft, T-129 Attack Helicopter, Beechcraft and Unmanned aerial systems.
The President further stated that the huge investments in capacity development of the NAF have helped to turn the tide against terrorists and other violent non-state actors in the country.
The Commander-in-Chief particularly lauded the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao and his team for a commendable leadership style which has made the NAF a force to reckon with globally, and extolled the renewed focus on research, innovation and self-reliance, emphasizing that it has contributed to NAF’s confidence in its ability and capacity to innovate and deploy locally developed technology.
He, therefore, called on the NAF to also strive to expand its collaborations with academia, civilian technology hubs as well as independent innovators and creators.
While commending the NAF for its contributions alongside other security agencies in containing the security challenges across the nation, the President charged officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the Nigerian Air Force to continue to work to earn the confidence of the nation as they discharge their duties of protecting, as well as neutralizing existing and emerging threats.