Intensify efforts to secure Nigeria, CAS charges commanders

Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar has charged commanders to be proactive and also  intensify efforts at  actualising a safe and secure nation.

Abubakar gave the charge Wednesday in Abuja at the opening of the meeting with Branch Chiefs, Air Officers Commanding and Directors as well as the entire senior leadership cadre of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

He reiterated the commitment of the NAF alongside sister services to reinvigorating the fight against terrorism, insurgency, banditry and other security threats facing the nation.

”All these threats have global and regional perspectives and attendant impacts on Nigeria’s national security,” he said.

Abubakar  added that the implications of the broader strategic external security outlook must never be overlooked.

The CAS said key global and regional challenges like the Russian-Ukraine war, upsurge in coups in West Africa and withdrawal of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), had negative impacts on collective regional security architecture.

He also said that the withdrawals of UN troops from MINUSMA, 2000 Chadian troops from Mali as well as Niger Republic troops from the Multi-National Joint Task Force could aggravate the security challenges in the Sahel Region.

The CAS  noted that this could cause the influx of more weapons and terrorists into Nigeria.

”Invariably, this situation militates against our counterinsurgency efforts. Consequently, we would likely witness a continued growth in the pattern of threats I have previously highlighted.

”Hence, it is no gainsaying that we must be proactive and intensify our efforts to meet the Federal Government and Nigerian citizens’ expectations for an expeditious actualisation of a peaceful, safe and secure nation for prosperity to thrive.

”In the past 12 months, to enhance our gains against these  threats of terrorism, insurgency, banditry and other criminal activities,  we have re-strategised  and  adopted new  air power measures in line with my command philosophy,” he said.

Abubakar further said the NAF had so far, achieved modest, yet significant progress in fighting insurgency, terrorism, banditry, oil theft and other criminal activities in the country.

He commended the top officers and commanders for their efforts and support over the last 12 months, adding that there was still so much more to do.

According to him, the harsh economic realities such as high rate of youth unemployment, increasing inflation and high multi-dimensional poverty have further aggravated the security situation in the country.

He explained that the leadership meeting was crucial, as it would holistically review their performances and actions in the past 12 months in transforming the NAF to effectively meet the air power demands of Nigeria’s security.

Abubakar  added that the purpose of the meeting was to look back at the set objectives in line with his command philosophy and key enablers, discuss performances and achievements as well as the militating challenges.

According to him, the meeting will also allow us to directly interact and exchange ideas towards achieving more in the coming year, going forward.

“I assure you of my commitment to continuous improvement at all levels in the NAF,” he added. (NAN)