The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, has said that the the prospect of a safe and secured Nigeria is in sight, as long as the Armed Forces of Nigeria continue to collectively keep their ‘eyes on the ball’ in getting the job done.
Abubakar said this during a Christmas luncheon organised for the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) on Monday in Maiduguri, Borno.
This is contained in a statement by the Director, Public Relations and Information, NAF, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, on Monday in Abuja.
He said that synergy of efforts drawn from a whole-of-society approach remains the best approach in winning the hearts and minds of Nigerians as well as speedily defeating the threats posed by terrorists and other non-state actors in all ramifications.
Abubakar said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on its part, had continued to engage with societal groups within the areas of operation through medical outreaches and welfare advocacies.
He added the NAF personnel at the frontlines had been continually reminded and trained on the Law of Armed Conflict, Rules of Engagement and strict observance of human rights in line with the United Nations Charter on Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
According to him, pilots, engineers and other technicians have been availed of several safety management lessons and techniques to minimise risks associated with ongoing air operations.
The CAS said the efforts of the air component, alongside the land and maritime components yielded good reasons to celebrate.
“In the last six months; we have all been witnesses to how your combined efforts, alongside our sister services have decimated scores of terrorist leaders, their foot soldiers as well as their structures and logistics.
“Through these efforts, the unfettered freedom of movement that these criminals once enjoyed has been denied or reduced to the barest minimum.
“Your efforts have also led to the surrendering of several terrorist as well as their families, an indication the end may soon be in sight,” he said.
The air chief also appreciated the troops for their commitment and sacrifices, adding that their selfless acts of courage and bravery as well as unwavering dedication and service to the nation had afforded citizens the opportunity to peacefully celebrate and enjoy this festive moment.
He said the essence of Christmas goes beyond mere merrymaking and festivities, saying, “it is season to express love, show compassion, renew hopes, and embrace their role as brothers’ keepers”.
According to him, the story of Christmas, rooted in humble beginnings in a manger, serves as a powerful lesson that even in the most modest circumstances, the spark of hope can be ignited.
“This hope is the essence of our fight against insurgency, terrorism and all forms of criminality,” he added.
The CAS used the occasion to appreciate and bond with the troops, promote comradeship and regimentation as well as remember those who had paid the supreme price in the service of the nation. (NAN)