By Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja
The House of Representatives has called on the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to establish a Quick Response Wing (QRW) in Kebbi State, which it said has two international borders with Benin and Niger Republics, to assist in curtailing increased security challenges in the area.
The Chairman, House Committee on Air Force, Mohammed Koko, made the call Thursday in Abuja when the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, appeared before the committee for NAF budget defence.
He noted that the problem of insurgency and other security problems in the country have been drastically reduced through the fighting skills and airpower of the NAF under his leadership.
Koko stated: “I would be delighted if you could equally extend the security apparatus and airpower of the Nigeria Air Force to the old Sokoto States, presently comprising Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara in order to nip in the bud, the perennial security challenges in this area by establishing a Quick Response Wing (QRW) in Kebbi State which has two international borders with Benin Republic and Niger Republic to assist in curtailing increased security challenges in the area.”
He assured Abubakar that the committee would do all within its powers to sustain the good work by ensuring that adequate budgetary provision is given to the Air Force during this period of budget process.
Earlier, Abubakar stated NAF’s eight different operations in different parts of the country, adding that it has flown over 65,000 hours out of which 21,900 hours were flown in the North-east of the country.
The air chief said that NAF was on the verge of acquiring two helicopter gunships from Italy, adding that it has sent a shipment inspection team to Italy to ensure that all the components of the aircraft are intact before its onward shipment to Nigeria. He stressed that the helicopter gunships would arrived the country before the end of the year.
According to Abubakar, “We have made substantial progress in terms of acquiring the JF17 vital aircraft from Pakistan and I believe that very soon our officers and men would move to Pakistan for training while the production of the aircraft is ongoing.”
Meanwhile, the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, has said that peace has returned to the state after recovering from the devastation of Boko Haram insurgents.
Buni disclosed Thursday during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Qatar Charitable Organisations held at Yobe governor’s lodge in Abuja.
He said: “Let me use this opportunity to thank the Qatar Charitable Organisations for extending this gesture to Yobe State. We are happy that Yobe is part of the state that is recovering from the devastation of Boko Haram and peace is now returning gradually and Yobe is now safe and the security situation has tremendously improved.”
The governor assured the organisation that the state has provided all the land that would be used for the projects, which included building of schools, boreholes and mosques in all the local governments in the state.
He added that the state would partner with the organisation in ensuring that these projects are carried out successfully to the benefit of the people.
On his part, the Executive Director, Qatar Charitable Organisations, Mr. Hamdi Elsayed, said that the organisation would visit Yobe State very soon to ascertain that the locations for the projects are ready after which its headquarters in Qatar would be notified.
He explained that 17 motorised boreholes and 20 hand-pump boreholes would be constructed in all the 17 local government areas.
Elsayed revealed that the organisation has its presence in 17 states across the country, adding that just last week it completed the drilling of 42 boreholes in Cross River State.
He said the objective of the organisation is to go to states like Borno, Taraba and Adamawa that have problem and help them in solving the problem.