By Musa Umar Bologi
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar has said that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) pilots are in their best of shape.
Air Marshal Abubakar disclosed this weekend at the Mogadishu Cantonment after the Third Quarter 10 kilometers Route March Exercise in Abuja.
He said NAF pilots had successfully airlifted relief materials donated by the Federal Government to the mudslide and flood victims in Sierra Leone, and also airlifted participants of the National Defence College in Abuja and the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji to various African countries on study tours, while also on the verge of airlifting participants at the Air Force War College on a study tour of two African countries.
The Air chief commended NAF personnel for commitment and dedication to duty, which he said was responsible for the feats recorded in the service.
Air Marshal Abubakar also commended personnel for demonstrating a high level of physical fitness, noting that no matter how intelligent or dedicated they were, it would be practically impossible to effectively discharge their statutory responsibilities without a sound body. He reminded personnel of the need to exercise regularly because “today’s military is a military that requires a sound mind in a sound body.”
The Air chief who also spoke on the current efforts at addressing the security challenges in the country, stated that the NAF and other security agencies were working in synergy to ensure a conducive and peaceful atmosphere for businesses to thrive.
He assured personnel that the Federal Government and indeed Nigerians in general appreciated their sacrifices, and urged them not to rest on their oars but rather redouble their efforts until those efforts result in completely stabilizing the security situation in the country.
Exercise ‘Crocodile Smile’ not show of force – GOC
General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt , Maj.-Gen. Enobong Udoh, has said that exercise “Crocodile Smile” is aimed at confidence building patrol rather than a show of force as reported in some section of the media.
The GOC made the clarification Weekend while addressing troops to signal commencement of the exercise.
He said: “Operation Crocodile Smile is not a show of force but a confidence-building patrol that seeks to reassure the people of Rivers state and the Niger Delta that the army is ready to work.
“We are ready to work in close synergy and collaboration with other security services and agencies of government to ensure that there is peace and security for the people.
“Our operation aims to reassure the public that we are ready to fight crimes like cultism, militancy, and kidnapping so that people can go about their business without fear.”
The GOC said troops would carry out collaborative patrols with the Nigerian Police, Department of State Security (DSS) , Nigerian Immigration Service and other para-military organisations.
He said the division would carry out the exercise in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states while another formation would cover other states in the Niger Delta.