The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has tasked officers and personnel to be committed and maintain combat-readiness to end insurgency and restore peace in the Northeast.
Abubakar made the call on Wednesday at a feast organised to mark the Christmas celebration at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), 105 Composite Command, Maiduguri.
Abubakar, represented by AVM I.O Amao, the Director of Training and Operations, said the event was organised to appreciate the personnel over their gallantry and selfless contributions to the successful implementation of the counter insurgency campaign.
He noted that such celebration with troops at the frontline during festive period would make them feel at home and foster comradeship.
The CAS urged them to remain committed, focus and vigilant in the fight against insurgency.
“I am happy to be here this afternoon to celebrate the Christmas with all of you. It has been my tradition since the beginning of my administration to dine with my officers and men during festive periods, especially those at the front line.
“This is to fill the void created by our inability to be with our families for the festivities. The get-together is aimed at fostering comradeship and give us the opportunity to commend ourselves for our efforts in the fight against insurgency.
“I must commend the Air Task Force Commander (ATF) and his personnel for their efforts in ensuring that the activities of the units in the Northeast are running smoothly; and the tempo of operations is being maintained.
“The NAF and the country at large appreciates your efforts at restoring normalcy and peaceful coexistence in the Northeast.
“However; we should always remember that it is not over, there is still a lot to be done. We must redouble our efforts to completely rid the Northeast of the terrorists to enable people go about their businesses in peace.
“You are aware that so much is at stake in the theater and a lot expected from us, thus, we cannot allow ourselves to be taken unawares.
“I implore you to remain committed and focus on the objective of the operation while you remain vigilant to protect property and men as well as equipment put under your care,” he said.
According to him, the service had adopted proactive measures to address challenges facing its operations, provide additional plant forms and improve personnel welfare.
The CAS reiterated commitment to rout out remnants of the insurgents in the region and Lake Chad basin.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari over his support to the service, Abubakar lauded the personnel over successful completion of “Operation Rattle Snake I”.
Also, Air Commodore Precious Amadi, the Air Task Force Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD), commended Abubakar over his support toward the improvement of its operations and well being of the personnel.
“You are here once again to celebrate Christmas with us. This rare gesture is not only a huge source of motivation, but also a staunch indication of the CAS commitment to the welfare and morale of personnel.
“It also demonstrates the solidarity you have for your men and your thirst to give them a sense of belonging,” he said.
Amadi reiterated the commitment of the personnel to remain loyal, discipline and professional in the discharge of their duties.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by senior officers, airmen and representatives of the Gomari community of Maiduguri.