The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar, said the force had intensified the deployment of soldiers to the Niger Delta Region to contain the activities of militants.
Abubakar made this known on Saturday in Yola at the inauguration of projects at the Air Force Base, Yola State.
“As we speak, we have intensified our deployment in the Niger Delta Region to deal with the emerging threat of economic sabotage perpetrated by a group of criminals.
“We shall not relent nor rest our oars until we ensure the protection of every inch of the country’s territory and infrastructure.” Abubakar said.
He noted that the inauguration of projects at the Yola Air Force base was part of measures to improve the welfare of personnel and to re- position the force.
He said the project to be inaugurated would help reduce pressure on existing office facilities and residential accommodations.
In his welcome address, the Commander, 75 Strike Group, Yola, who is also the Air Component Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Commodore Pete Uzezi, lauded the Chief of Air Staff for his commitment in addressing the problem of infrastructure at the base.
“Since assuming office, our amiable Chief of Air Staff has shown tremendous determination to permanently address the perennial infrastructural challenges in NAF Base Yola,” Uzezi said.
The projects inaugurated include Wing building/pilot crew room, accommodation quarters, officers mess and Apron.
Dignitaries at the occasion include Governor Muhammadu Jibrilla of Adamawa and Senate Leader, Sen. Ali Ndume.
Also the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said that it has deployed additional aircraft to the Niger Delta in support of the military operations code named ‘OPERATION PULO SHIELD’ against militancy, economic sabotage and all forms of criminalities in the South-South. The deployment was necessitated by the spate of attacks on the nation’s oil and gas installations by the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
A statement by Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, Director of Airforce Public Relations, said ‘The additional platforms, comprising fighter aircraft, helicopter gunship and surveillance aircraft, are intended to enhance the capability of NAF to undertake offensive air operations and intelligence gathering in support of the surfaces forces. ‘Since the recent deployment the NAF has increased air operations around critical infrastructure in Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
‘These include but not limited to Escravos, Forcados in Delta State; Bonga oil field, Agbami offshore and Brass in Bayelsa; Bony in Rivers; Qua Iboe Terminal in Akwa Ibom State, and Opuekeba in Ondo State. ‘Meanwhile, NAF urges members of the public not to panic at the sight of low level flying aircraft but to go about their legitimate businesses.
‘The NAF also enjoins any member of the public to avail it or other security agencies with useful information about the whereabouts or activities of the militant group’.