Pipeline Vandalism: Air Force Vows to Flush out Militants in Lagos


Chiemelie Ezeobi

Following the recent resurgence of militants-cum-pipeline vandals in creeks bordering Lagos and Ogun States, the Nigerian Air Force has vowed to flush them out indefinitely.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, made this disclosure at the inauguration of some buildings for its personnel at 041 Communications Depot Shasha, Lagos.

Stressing that the Air Force would take advantage of its aerial power, he said they would continue to flush them out just like they have been doing in the past.

He said, “We have been in Lagos, Taraba and other states in the country. Very soon something is going to be worked out which will involve not only the Air Force but all military formations.

“Our commanders are giving us all the inputs. Just like we flushed them before, we are going to continue to flush them with the support of other security agencies”, he added.

On the recent quarters built for airmen the CAS said the force had brought in 7,000 personnel in the last three years, thus necessitating the need for adequate quarters.

He said, “Professionalism is not just about equipment and training but most importantly about the human beings because human being is the most important resource. The whole essence is to ensure Nigeria and Nigerians are secure and be able to go about his or her business without fear.

“Thus, we embarked on massive construction of new accommodation as well as remodelling of old ones to address the infrastructural deficit of the past. This is thereby gradually solving the accommodation challenges of the NAF.
“It is quite important to ensure that the living condition of our tireless and hardworking personnel is given high premium. Human beings, being the most important resource in organisation ought to have their welfare needs addressed in order for them to be effective in discharging their assigned roles and responsibilities.”
He said the NAF Base Shasha, being one of the bases in Lagos area was critical to the successful conduct of NAF operations.

“It was therefore appropriate that such a base receive a commensurate provision of facilities for the general wellbeing of personnel and their families.
“The project being inaugurated is dedicated to one of our pilots who paid the supreme price while on a national assignment. The project is therefore named after the senior officer who passed on while on rescue mission on an Alpha-Jet aircraft.

“It is hoped that this would create the enabling environment and serve as motivation for personnel to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently,” he added.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari, for his continued support for the military especially the NAF through the provisions of platforms and logistics support to operate them, he said they recently received some new platforms while awaiting the delivery of others.

He said, “A number of platforms in our inventory are also undergoing reactivation and will soon be injected back to service to boost our counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations.

“You could also remember that the NAF was also instrumental in ridding the creeks within the South-West region of criminal elements. As much as capacity is being built within the NAF, we must continue to develop strategies to anticipate and curb other emerging security imperatives across the country.”

The newly inaugurated accommodation is designed to accommodate a total of 120 airmen and airwomen.
The CAS also toured some formations and units in the Lagos area including 641 Aircraft Maintenance Depot (ACMD), 651 Base Services Group, 661 NAF Hospital, all in Ikeja. He also inspected two NAF C-130 Hercules aircraft that were undergoing Periodic Depot Maintenance and Life Extension Programme.