The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has disclosed that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) will deploy additional personnel to the Niger Delta as part of the resolve to combat militancy and other forms of internal security challenges in the oil-rich region.
The Air Chief was quoted as making the disclosure while on operational visit to NAF Mobility Command in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Saturday.
A statement issued by the spokesman of the NAF, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, said the planned deployment is aimed at strengthening the Force’s existing manpower disposition, especially in Bayelsa State, and to enhance its involvement in Operation Delta Safe.
It added that preparatory to the deployment, new facilities were recently put in place to cater for accommodation and other welfare needs of the personnel.
These facilities include construction of new blocks of accommodation for officers and men, office accommodation, airmen mess, and provost squadron, which were commissioned recently.
“Two of the airmen’s block of accommodation were named after Corporal Omaka V.I and Aircraft man Ofonih E.F, both of whom were killed recently in Bosso, Niger State during an Internal Security Operation”, the NAF spokesman said in the statement.
Famuyiwa also said Air Vice Marshal Larry Koinyan (retd.) commissioned the newly constructed projects as the Guest of Honour.
He said while speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the retired AVM lauded NAF personnel for their courage and successes brought about by the renewed vigour at ensuring peace and stability in the various theatres of operations across the country.
Mr. Koinyan, he noted, also called on Bayelsans to partner with the Federal Government to provide holistic solutions to the problems of the Niger Delta.
Group Captain Famuyiwa further said, earlier during Air Marshal Abubakar’s courtesy call on the Governor of Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson, the governor declared support for the NAF.
Dickson was quoted in the statement as saying “his administration is ready to partner with the NAF and other Security Agencies because the Government of Bayelsa understands the importance of security and the need for the State to be safe for economic prosperity”.
It said Governor Dickson also promised that his government would partner with the Air Force to build NAF Primary and Secondary Schools in the State to enable Bayelsans benefit from the quality education provided by NAF Schools.