• Arik Air solicits for airlift of soldiers for peace keeping operations
Paul Obi in Abuja
The Defence Headquarters yesterday pledged to uphold principles of human rights in all its operations and engagements across the country.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Gabriel Olonisakin, emphasised that the Nigerian military has always been guided by the principles of human rights protection in the spirit of democracy.
The CDS made this known when the Project Implementation Committee of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and its partners visited the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in Abuja.
Represented by the Chief of Defence Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal Bashir Saidu, the CDS assured the delegation “that the armed forces of Nigeria would continue to respect the right of every individual, not only in its operations in the North East but in every other operations it is involved.”
He said: “The DHQ and the services have Departments of Civil Military Relations which report directly to the CDS and the service chiefs respectively.
Olonisakin maintained that the military has also established Human Rights Desks in all its formations, units and operational areas across the country.
“This gesture,” he said, “was aimed at ensuring that the principles of human rights are strictly adhered to and observed in all its operations”.
Acting Executive Secretary, NHRC, Mrs. Oti Anukpe Ovrawah, said the team had come to seek collaboration with the Nigerian Military at both the national and field command levels in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States in the project aimed at promoting human rights accountability in the prosecution of counter insurgency operations in the States.
Also, the Chairman of Arik Airline, Joseph Arumemi, yesterday solicited the airlifting of officers and men of the Nigerian armed forces, including those on peace keeping operations inside and outside the country.
He made this call when he led a delegation to pay courtesy call on General Olonisakin at the Defence Headquarters Abuja.
Arumemi explained that the airlines “could contribute positively to various peace keeping operations by providing affordable air transportation and better services to the members of the armed forces.”
therefore solicited support of DHQ to have confidence in Arik Airline, as an indigenous airline that put safety as its priority.
The CDS, who was also represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal Saidu, reaffirmed the military’s commitment to continue to do its best to ensure safety of all Nigerians around the country.