The Nigerian Air Force said it has received two of its newly acquired attack helicopters meant to be added to the existing fleet battling terrorism in the country.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, according to a statement by the Nigerian Air Force spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Monday night, revealed this during visit to frontline troops, said the delivery the two Agusta 109 power attack helicopters was enhance the fight against insurgency in the country. Abubakar said the helicopters were being assembled and would be inducted during the forthcoming 55th anniversary celebration of the Air Force.
The Air Force chief, according to the statement, had visited the troops in the front line in Maiduguri to celebrated Easter with them.
The statement explained that the Air Chief reminded the troops that there is so much at stake hence the need for troops to clear up remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents from their hideouts.
“The luncheon, which is in keeping with the CAS’ tradition of celebrating festive periods with frontline troops, afforded him the opportunity to interact with the troops in an informal setting to appreciate them for their sacrifices in the fight against insurgency, thereby boosting their morale while also filling the void created by their inability to celebrate the season with their families,” it said.
He expressed delight to be in Maiduguri and commended the resilience and commitment of the troops in ensuring that Nigeria and Nigerians are safe.
Abubakar said with the support of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the National Assembly, the Air Force would continue to acquire new platforms and build human capacity whilst ensuring the welfare of personnel, in order to effectively and efficiently respond to national security imperatives.
He specially commended the Commander, officers, airmen and air women of the ATF for the successes recorded in the fight against the terrorists within the OPLD Theatre as well as in the Multi-National Joint Task Force Operation YANCIN TAFKI, Daramola noted.
The statement read further: He equally commended the ATF Commander for the various value adding welfare projects that had been executed to enhance the wellbeing of personnel.
“The CAS reminded the personnel that so much was at stake in the fight to rid the Nation of insurgents, terrorists, armed bandits and other criminal elements. ”
Accordingly, he urged them to remain resolute while intensifying their efforts and maintaining continuous vigilance to defend the liberties and values Nigerians hold so dear.
“Air Marshal Abubakar seized the opportunity to thank the government and people of Borno State as well as the Shehu of Borno and other traditional rulers in the State for their continued support to the NAF through the ATF OPLD. ”
He equally appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support to the NAF by ensuring the enabling environment and providing the necessary resources for the Service to perform its assigned duties. ”
He noted that the delivery of the 2 Agusta 109 Power attack helicopters was a testimony of this immense support. He remarked that the NAF, working in concert with sister Services and other security agencies, would continue to reciprocate by sustaining its operations, not only in the Northeast but also in the Northwest, in order to ensure that Nigerians are able to pursue their legitimate aspirations, without fear.”