Osun State governor, Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, has commended the leadership of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) for consistently prioritizing the welfare of its personnel, which has gone a long way in boosting their morale and helping to improve their commitment to peace and stability in the state and Nigeria as a whole.
This commendation was made Wednesday, at the commissioning ceremony of newly completed projects at the NAF 209 Quick Response Group (209 QRG), Ipetu Ijesha in Osun State. The projects commissioned include a block of 12 one-bedroom Single Officers Quarters and the Main Gate of the Unit.
Speaking further, the Governor recalled that the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, was in the State in May 2018 to commission projects, which included a block of transit accommodation of 10 studio flats and 2 blocks of additional classrooms at the Air Force Primary School, Ipetu-Ijesa.
“The Primary School will no doubt be of benefit to the dependants of NAF personnel and members of the host community. That the CAS is here again in less than two years to commission another block of 12 One Bedroom Single Officers Quarters, is a clear demonstration of the interest the Air Force boss has in his officers and men,” he added.
The Governor therefore appreciated the dedication and zeal of the CAS for his leadership style and foresight. He went further to appreciate the NAF for participating actively, in collaboration with other security agencies, in bringing about peace when the State was faced with security challenges.
He added that, since its establishment in the State, the NAF Unit has been a critical part of the success story of the State as one of the most peaceful in Nigeria. While pledging the commitment of his Government to continue offering needed support to the NAF, Governor Oyetola urged the beneficiaries of the new accommodation to use the facilities with a high sense of responsibility.
In his remarks, the CAS, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans Headquarters (HQ) NAF, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Napoleon Bali, appreciated the government and good people of Osun State for their continued support to the NAF, as evidenced by the physical presence of the Governor at the commissioning ceremony.
He also expressed his delight for the rapid infrastructural development witnessed at the 209 QRG Ipetu Ijesha, which, he said, was established to serve as a support and training base for jungle awareness training for Special Forces (SF) and jungle survival training for NAF pilots.
The CAS equally highlighted that the Group has also been designated as an Annex to the Regiment Training Centre Kaduna to enhance the training of NAF Regiment and SF personnel, in addition to carrying out its role as a QRG, conducting special operations within the South West Zone, to bring security closer to the people. He expressed satisfaction that the Group has continued to perform these roles creditably.
The CAS, while appreciating the support of the Federal Government, noted that the establishment of 209 QRG, would not have been possible without the implicit support of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, who despite the harsh economic realities of the country, has continued to avail the NAF necessary requirements to sustain its numerous operations.
“We pledge to re-double our efforts to ensure the security of our people and to uphold democratic ideals for the progress and prosperity of our fatherland; while also ensuring that available resources are used judiciously by applying the principle of doing more with less,” he remarked.
In his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command (AOC SOC), AVM James Gwani, represented by the Chief of Staff of the Command, AVM Aliyu Bello, noted that the event was yet another demonstration of the pragmatic leadership of the current CAS, who has continued to motivate personnel through the provision of the enabling environment for enhanced professional performance.
He added that the current NAF leadership has sustained its efforts to improve infrastructure in order to enhance personnel comfort in all NAF units, including 209 QRG Ipetu-Ijesha, which is the hub of NAF internal security operations support to the civil authorities in the South West.
Dignitaries at the event included former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin along with other serving and retired senior military and police officers; members of the Osun State Executive Council as well as His Royal Majesty, Ajalaye of Ipetu-Ijesa, Oba Adeleke Agunbiade lII, and His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran ll, the Paramount Ruler of Ijesaland, amongst others.