From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, on Friday in Kano, hinted that plans have been concluded to intensify the fight against banditry and terrorism in the North with the deployment of three L39ZA Aircraft by December this year.
Air Marshal Abubakar who stated this while inspecting the ground-running of one of the L39ZA Aircrafts marked NAF354, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has been very supportive in ensuring that the Nigeria Air Force acquire enough Air Asset to combat insurgency, banditry and terrorism.
According to him, “we are once more here in Kano as part of our efforts to ensure that every Air Asset in Nigeria Air Force is mobilized and put to use in order to ensure the security and stability of our country.
“We are very excited that this morning, in Kano, we have witnessed the ground-running of one of our reactivated L39ZA aircrafts. We are hoping that before the end of December, we will be having three L39ZA fighter aircrafts coming out from Kano.
“This will add value in what we are doing, fighting in the North-East, as well as the North-West, which include Zamfara, Katsina, and Kaduna states.”
The Chief of Air Staff further stated that, “apart from the L39ZA aircrafts, we are also hoping that by the end of December, we will see two Alpha Jet Fighter aircraft coming out to join the Air Force in ensuring that the country is secured.
“You will also recall that two weeks ago, I was in Makurdi, Benue state, where the Federal Government is equally supporting the reactivation of nine fighter aircrafts. Seven are going to be air-fleeted to China for overhauling, while two will be overhauled locally here in Nigeria.”
He expressed happiness that, “now, the most exciting thing about what we are doing in terms of mobilizing assets for the security of Nigeria is the fact that some of these maintenance activities are being done locally here in Nigeria.
“This is the second time we are reactivating the L39 aircraft here in Kano in the last five years. Similarly, the reactivation going on in Kainji is the second time we are doing that, as well as the F7A9 Life Extension programme. This is also the second time we are doing that in Makurdi.
“We have equally done Periodic Depot Maintenance on C130 aircraft in Ikeja twice, and we are preparing for the third one.
“So, obviously, from what we are seeing, it is very clear to us that the Federal Government is doing everything humanly possible to continue to support the Nigeria Air Force in order to ensure that we have enough Air Assets that can be deployed to protect Nigeria.”
Air Marshal Abubakar also revealed that currently, about 200 Air Officers are studying in nine different countries across the world.
According to him, four of the officers are studying in Zech Republic where the aircrafts were manufactured.
He maintained that, “in addition to reactivation of aircrafts, we have about 200 people that are outside in nine different countries. Some of the officers are from Kano. We have four of them that are in Zech Republic where these aircrafts are manufactured.
“So, I think we want to appreciate the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari for the support given to us; and we hope that the Nigerian people will continue to support not only the Air Force, but indeed, the Military to work round the clock to ensure that our country is secured and our people pursue their legitimate aspirations without any hindrance.
“So, I want to also continue to commend the Commander. I hope we will be here next week Saturday to see the three aircraft rolled out so that they can immediately be deployed to other conflict areas where they are required.
“I also want to commend the Engineering personnel who are benefitting from the reactivation programme because it is part of their Courses. So, we want to thank you to continue to work harder so that we have a better country for our people.”