The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, had on Thursday in Abuja, promised to re-professionalized and re-equip the country’s security personnel to meet the growing exigencies of security, assuring Nigerians that the promise of ending terrorism would be realised.
The President stated this at the commissioning of two Nigeria Air Force Agusta 109 Power Helicopters and Mi-17 E Helicopters at the Eagle Square.
According to President Buhari, it is the major policy of his administration to breed professionalism, capacity building and to adequately equip the Armed Forces and other security agencies.
He urged the Nigeria Air force to ensure discipline in their operations, and a strong maintenance culture that will enable the nation derive maximum benefits from the newly acquired helicopters.
In his words “I have no doubt that the deployment of these Agusta 109P gunships and the M-17IE helicopter would add impetus to the combat efficiency of the Air Force in combating our contemporary security challenges,’’ he added.
The President commended the support of the Governments of Italy and the Russian Federation, and efforts of the Italian and Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, at sustaining the strategic partnership which facilitated this acquisition.
He commended the country’s security agencies for their steadfast and resolve towards the decimation of Boko Haram and other internal security challenges. He also commended their peace keeping exploits in other African Countries such countries like Guinea Conakry, The Gambia, Mozambique, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Guinea Bissau.
According to him, “I promised to put an end to Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping and other forms of criminalities that have bedeviled our country during my inaugural speech as President. You will all agree with me that the successes we have achieved so far have restored our pride and honour the world over.”
The President thanked Nigerians for believing in his government inspite challenges and for supporting the military and other security agencies against terrorism, banditry and kidnapping, adding that the security challenges would be collectively won.
In his remarks, the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magashi, said the purchase of the helicopters further demonstrate the administration’s commitment to bringing the security challenges in the country under control.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the visionary approval of the president to purchase more aircraft for the Air force since 2015 had impacted positively on the fight against terrorism and other crimes.
“Your Excellency, your government has so far procured and inducted 22 aircraft. And the service is expecting 17 additional platforms including 12 x Super Tulcanos from the United States.’’ he stated.