Air Chief: At 56, NAF Has Acquired Multiple Air Strike Capabilities

Sadique Baba Abubakar

21 bandits, four soldiers killed in Zamfara

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, wednesday reviewed the exploits of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) since inception in 1964 and declared that the organisation has acquired the ability to conduct multiple air strikes when compared to the past.

Abubakar, during an occasion in Abuja to celebrate the organisation’s 56th anniversary, said the NAF had made substantial progress, especially in the deployment of air power.

He recalled that in the 60s, bombs were rolled out from the cabin with bare hands but over the years it had acquired the capacity to attack enemy locations in the North-east and other flashpoints in the country at the same time.

“Looking at the history of Nigerian Air Force, a service that started in 1964, we had progressed tremendously. If you look at where we are today, compared to the beginning, we have every reason to thank the almighty God for giving us a service we can be proud of.

“In the 60s, especially during the civil war, we use to roll bombs out with our bare hands from the cabin of an aircraft but today, all that has changed.

“We can now attack multiple enemy locations at the same time in the North-east and other troubled areas. Clearly, we have made substantial progress and we hope to continue to work hard so that our country will be secured,” he stated.

Abubakar, who spoke after the ceremonial fly past of fighter jets of the Air Force in commemoration of the 56th anniversary, commended NAF personnel for their patriotic contributions to ensure the peace of the nation and commitment to work.

“Well, I want to salute the courage, commitment and sense of patriotism of officers, airmen and airwomen of the Nigerian Air Force. They are doing so much.

“They are working very hard to ensure that our country is secured, have serviceable aircraft and support government policies”, he said.

Abubakar noted that NAF was at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are at the forefront of ensuring that it is curtailed. We are the one flying officials of government all over the federation. We have flown over 151 hours so far in support of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

Meanwhile, in furtherance of the battle to rid the North-west of bandits, the military said four soldiers were killed while 21 bandits died during a firefight with troops at the notorious Zurmi forest in Zamfara State.

Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, said: “Gallant troops of Operation Hadarin Daji engaged a large number of bandits on 20 April 2020 at Zurmi in Zurumi LGA of Zamfara State.

“After a fierce encounter, 21 bandits were neutralised and four of our troops paid the supreme price”.

He said the troops were in high spirits, having commenced aggresive patrols in the area, for domination and confidence building among the locals.