The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has enjoined personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to march into 2019 with optimism.
Abubakar urged the personnel to enter the new year with a rugged determination to perform their professional and constitutional duties.
Abubakar made the call in his New Year message to the NAF personnel on Tuesday in Abuja.
He congratulated them for entering into the new year full of hope and expectations.
Abubabkar also expressed gratitude to them for their patriotism, dedication to duty, commitment and hard work, “as well as your countless sacrifices made in service to our great nation”.
He noted that 2018 was marked by challenges and opportunities, saying the NAF, with vital support from stakeholders, was able to exploit the opportunities and overcame the challenges encountered.
” In the fight against Boko Haram, we saw the emergence of new tactics as well as the introduction of highly experienced and skilled fighters and technology, as ISIS elements, dislodged from Syria, relocated to the North East of our country.
” Our gallant fighter and helicopter gunship pilots are adapting creditably to these emerging nuisance and making good progress, despite recent setbacks.
” The Year 2019 similarly promises to be filled with challenges and opportunities and we must gear up to make the most of the opportunities for greater service delivery, whilst leveraging our collective resolve to surmount the inherent challenges.
” I, therefore , enjoin all NAF personnel to march into the future with the rugged and optimistic determination for which we are known.
” You should remain professional in the discharge of your constitutional duty of ensuring the security of our beloved nation and its good people.
” You must be courageous, take the battle to the terrorists and fight them to the finish, not minding the malicious propaganda of the terrorists and their sympathisers.
” You must also remember, in the course of your duties, to always show compassion and respect for all law-abiding citizens.
” Furthermore, as the 2019 general elections draw near, I urge you all to remain apolitical in your professional duties, and firmly resist any entreaties to be used against the interest of our beloved nation by any unscrupulous elements.
” Nonetheless, you are encouraged to exercise your legitimate rights to vote for the candidates of your choice on election day,” he said.
” Over the past three-and-a-half years, the NAF has made giant strides and recorded significant achievements in the ongoing fight against terrorism, insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country.
” In this regard, our modest accomplishments have been greatly facilitated by the enhancement of our aircraft holdings through acquisition of new platforms and reactivation of existing ones.
” In addition, we have raised the standards of professionalism in the service through robust human capacity development, coupled with the expansion of NAF organisational structure and systematic augmentation of our personnel strength.
” Also of note has been the focus on improving personnel welfare and result-oriented Research and Development (R&D) which have had a marked positive impact on our operational effectiveness,” he said.
The air chief said the various achievements recorded by the NAF over the years would not have been possible without the enabling environment and resources provided by the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
” We therefore, thank Mr President for the confidence reposed in the service and pledge our commitment to even greater output in this new year.
” We also appreciate the tremendous support from the National Assembly, Ministry of Defence, Defence Headquarters, Nigerian Army and Navy as well as other security agencies and, of course, the Nigerian people,” he said.
He wished the personnel and their families a happy and prosperous 2019.(NAN)