By Thompson ABISOLA
A total of 7,644 Nigerians have been recruited into the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) since assumption of office of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, has said.
Abubakar made the disclosure on Friday in Kaduna at the Passing-Out Parade of 1,558 airmen and women that participated in the Basic Military Training Course 39/2018.
He said those recruited consisted of 7,244 young Nigerians as airmen and airwomen, and 400 young graduates as officers.
“This occasion is another testimony of the commitment of the NAF to operate a professional Service properly structured, appropriately manned and adequately trained to provide security to Nigeria and the Nigerian people,’’ the air chief said.
Abubakar said the NAF leadership remained committed to building the capacity of its personnel for effective, efficient and timely deployment in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.
“Let me reiterate our resolve to continue to improve professionalism and maintain discipline in the NAF. This was why at the inception of this administration we carved a vision of repositioning the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives.”
To the trainees, the air chief warned them to subject themselves to civil authority, be resilient, innovative, patriotic and ready to die for Nigeria.
“You must embrace NAF core values of integrity, excellence and service delivery as essential ingredients of high reputation, which the Service has earned over the years.
“On our part, we will continue to focus on improving facilities while paying adequate attention to your welfare within available resources by creating a conducive working and living environment so as to sustain your morale for optimal performance.’’
He reminded them that they may be deployed immediately to operational theater to contribute to ongoing national security efforts across the country by the military.
“I urge you to operate within the rules of engagement as enumerated in the code of conduct for armed forces personnel involved in internal security operations.
“You must respect and protect the innocent and law abiding civilians whom you are paid to defend. Treat them with respect and protect their rights. It is by so doing that you will be discharging your professional and constitutional duties.’’
Abubakar added: “Also, we must not succumb to any inducement or action that would cause disaffection among fellow members of the Armed Forces.
“We must remain apolitical and absolutely loyal to the President and Commander-in-Chief while abiding by the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at all times. This is imperative as we approach the general elections in 2019.”