The Nigerian Air Force has promised to end the ongoing war against Boko Haram in the North East before the end of this year.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, gave the assurance on Saturday in Maiduguri while addressing troops of the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole, saddled with the task of ending the war on terrorism in the North East.
Abubakar said the Nigerian Air Force must ensure that the territorial integrity of Nigeria is not undermined by any individual or group of individuals.
He said, “We must, therefore, keep working hard and I am very sure at least, before the end of this year or latest by the end of this year, we will be rounding up this operation. So work towards that and rest assured that the Nigerian Air Force will continue to support you.
“I have been adequately briefed by the Commander and I have also been monitoring what you have been doing in the last few months, starting with “Operation Long Reach I” and “Operation Long Reach II”. I want to say that we are satisfied, we are very excited that you are making substantial progress in ensuring that the Boko Haram terrorists are eliminated in the Northeast so that our people can go back to their farms and live their normal lives.
“I urge you to continue to ensure that everything is being done to ensure that Northeast and Nigeria are secured. On our part at the Air Force headquarters, I want to assure you that we will continue to support your operations, not only in terms of training you require, the equipment you require, but all the welfare requirements that you need in order to make you effective in your assigned task.”
He revealed that the Nigerian Air Force has got excellent support from the federal government, noting that it has not had such type of support in many years.
He said in the last few years, more than 22 aircraft were procured while the delivery of 16 more is currently awaited, insisting that without the aircraft in the present security challenges, “the security situation in the country would have been unimaginable.”
Abubakar said: “Assuming these aircraft were not acquired, what would have been the situation. That is what we keep forgetting. So I want to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari, the members of the National Assembly for passing the appropriate laws that enabled us to really have the resources to acquire this aircraft.
“The availability of the aircraft has made us to be in every part of the country to tackle security challenges. So we are very grateful to the federal government for this support.
“We are hoping that we are going to get more support. If we sustain this effort, in the next five to ten years, Nigeria will have one of the strongest Air Forces in the continent.”