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Stakeholders’ collaboration aided safe return of NAF pilot – CDS

Chuks Oyema-Aziken

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor on Monday continued search for peace in the country, attributing rescue and safe return of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter pilot to interaction with stakeholders in the country.

The NAF pilot, Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo was involved in air crash on Sunday after embarking on a successful air interdiction mission against bandits between Zamfara and Kaduna States boundary.

The CDS who was in Kaduna for the second edition of security parley, tagged “Chief of Defence Staff Interaction with Retired Senior Military Officers” in Northwest Geopolitical Zone said his Interactive session with retired senior military officers across the country aided the good news about the pilot.

A press release signed by Air Commodore W A P Maigida, Deputy Director Defence Information,
Defence Headquarters said the Kaduna parley took place at the 1 Division, Nigerian Army Officers’ Mess in Kaduna.

According to Gen Irabor, “the necessity of this gathering today which is of course to engage with you (military veterans), and by extension the larger society is partly what is responsible for the safe return of our cherished pilot. We believe that going forward, greater gains will be made as we undertake this operational task.”

According to the CDS “the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) is constantly reviewing its techniques, tactics and procedures as well as operational doctrines to be in tandem with the requirements for the containment of the security threats.

“Gen Irabor appealed to the senior citizens to show the same level of commitment and patriotic zeal which they exhibited while in military service and to be in-depth as well as forthright during the interactive session.

“He pointed out that the retirees are part of members of the Armed Forces and security agencies, noting that they must play critical roles in national security as relevant stakeholders.

He said further, “from our (AFN) assessment of all the stakeholders within our environment and nation, there is no other people that is better placed to understand the nuances of not just the security threats, but of course, the containment measures than you (military retirees).

“He stated that the full spectrum of issues are better understood by the retired senior officers, due to their experiences in the service and interaction with civilian populace.

“In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Civil Military Cooperation (CDCMIC), Rear Admiral Fredrick Ogu, disclosed that the informed recommendations by the participants would further aid the AFN in tackling the array of security issues in their domains.

“The CDCMIC, who lamented that the Northwest is becoming a safe haven for terrorist groups, highlighted the current security challenges in the region to include attacks on local communities, kidnapping, abductions, banditry and sundry crimes.

“He disclosed that the CDS interaction with the retired senior military officers in the Southwest was the maiden edition held in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, last month. According to him, a lot of security issues in the zone were x-rayed during the security parley.

“The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, represented by Commander 51 Signals Brigade, Brigadier General Adeleke Ayanuga said recent months have been a challenging times for the AFN and security agencies vested with the responsibility of defence and security of the nation. He added that the AFN in conjunction with other security agencies have been able to confront the prevailing security threats in Kaduna and Niger states. These feats, he said, was as a result of the relentless support and leadership direction of the CDS and Service Chiefs.

“Before proceeding for the security parley, the CDS, Gen Irabor in company of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao met with Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo, the NAF Alpha jet pilot, who survived the air crash yesterday.

“The CDS commended the fighter pilot for his gallantry and bravery which he demonstrated in the fight against banditry. He encouraged NAF pilots to remain steadfast in the task of national security.

“The security conference which is organized by Defence Headquarters is platform where the military high command and its veterans brainstorm on issues of national security, with a view to get first-hand knowledge on the nitty-gritty of the reoccurring security challenges being witnessed in each of the regions.”

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