Gov. Mai Mala Buni has asked the Nigerian Air Force to establish an airforce base in the state to strengthen its fight against Boko Haram Insurgency and enhance internal security. The governor also wants the airforce to establish a command secondary school “to enable our people benefit from the numerous services that such schools render”.
“I believe it would be faster and easier for the Air Force to take out Boko Haram bases and hideouts and strengthen our internal security system if we have an Air Force Base in place”, he said.
The governor spoke in the afternoon today when the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar paid courtesies on him at the Government House.
Governor Buni commended the airforce, the army and other branches of the nation’s security forces for their hard work, saying Yobe and the rest of the country are now a lot safer because of their services.
“The Nigerian Airforce plays a very important role in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency. The men and women of the Nigerian Airforce are patriots who continue to do our country proud by undertaking those aerial campaigns to take out terrorist and insurgent camps. We are a lot safer today in Yobe State and the rest of the country because of the services of the Air Force and other branches of our military and para-military forces”, he said.
The governor added that in the quest to restore peace and secure the life and property of the people, his administration will continue to make every effort and every sacrifice that is necessary. “As you continue the effort to defeat the Boko Haram insurgents, therefore, let me assure you that we would continue to strengthen the synergy, collaboration and exchange of information that are the hallmarks of our relationship with the Air Force and other security agencies. Let me assure you also that no sacrifice is too much to support and cooperate with the security agencies to help you to maintain law and order and ensure the security of life and property of our people”, he said.
Governor Buni urged officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force to continue to develop strategies for effective intelligence gathering and aerial surveillance of the “vulnerable areas” of the state in order to mop out any criminal and insurgent activity.
On his part, the Chief of Air Staff assured the governor that the airforce will continue to do “everything humanly possible” to secure the North-East.
“We have been building capacity over the last four years. We have trained over 100 pilots and we have also trained a number of technicians and engineers to man our aircraft and hence the serviceability of our aircraft has gone up substantially”, he said.
The Chief of Air Staff also assured, on a visit to the Yobe International Cargo Airport on inspection with the governor which he described as impressive and “would serve a lot of purposes” that the airforce will support the state government’s airport project.
“This is why I have with me here the director in charge of air traffic services. We will make sure we have our platforms here as we acquire them because it is much easier to have facilities such as refuelling facilities so that our aircraft do not have to go to Maiduguri to refuel. They can organise and operate from Yobe here and make sure that our communities in Yobe are safe and secure.
“When the airport is fully operational, the airport commandant will be here and we will have a regiment unit that would support our subsequent operations here in Yobe State”, he said.
Air Marshal Abubakar also revealed that the Nigerian Air Force will soon take delivery of two helicopter gunships, which he said would be deployed to ensure people all across the country are safe. ” We will have some of them here both in Borno and Yobe States”, he said.