In its bid to add impetus to ongoing operations in the North Central Zone of the Country, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Sunday, 17 May 2020, deployed additional Special Forces (SF) operatives to Lafia in Nasarawa State.
The deployment of the SF elements follows the earlier deployment of a NAF Mi-35P Helicopter Gunship to conduct operations in the area and also marks the formal activation of the 22 Quick Response Wing (22 QRW) Lafia. The objective of the deployment is to hasten the restoration of peace and security to the North Central Zone.
In his address to the troops during the deployment, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command (AOC SOC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Charles Ohwo, stated that the deployment was aimed at enhancing the existing security architecture in the area.
He noted that the 22 QRW was established in 2018 with the objective of bringing security closer to the people by curbing the activities of bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and other criminal elements in Nasarawa State and its environs, working in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies.
He noted however that the Unit could not fully commence operations at that time due to some logistics and manpower constraints, which, he said, had recently been overcome in 2 ways. The first, the AOC disclosed, was the recent graduation of additional 94 SF personnel at the NAF Regiment Training Centre (RTC) Annex in Bauchi, while the second was the support provided by the Nasarawa State Government, which paved the way for the deployment of the SF elements and their equipment.
He therefore used the opportunity to thank the Governor and his entire cabinet for their unrelenting support towards ensuring that security agencies in the State succeed in performing their constitutionally assigned roles. AVM Ohwo also used the opportunity to congratulate the troops for being chosen as part of SF personnel to activate the 22 QRW Lafia.
He charged them to continue to uphold the NAF’s core values of ‘Integrity’, ‘Service before Self’ and ‘Excellence’, as they carry out their assigned tasks.
In his remarks, the Governor of Nasarawa State, Engineer Abdulahi Sule, who was present to receive the troops, expressed appreciation for the swift response by the NAF to deploy SF elements to the State which, he said, would help to bring acts of criminality in the State to an end.
The Governor added that the deployment was evidence of President Muhammadu Buhari’s pragmatic leadership and the importance the current Federal Government Administration attaches to the security of lives and properties of Nigerians in the North Central part of Nigeria.
According to the Governor, “No one could have thought that the response to the requests that I made 3 days back, during a meeting with the President, would come into fruition so quickly”.
He therefore thanked the President and the CAS for their efforts geared towards ensuring that peace is restored to Nasarawa and surrounding States.