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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Insecurity: FG Inducts 2 Aircrafts Into Nigeria Air Force’s Inventory

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From Msurshima Andrew, Makurdi

The Federal Government of Nigeria, on Tuesday, commissioned T129 ATAK helicopter and Beechcraft King Air 360 fighter jet into the inventory of the Nigerian Air Force for counterterrorism and counterinsurgency.

Performing the ceremony at the Air Force Base, Makurdi, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu represented by the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, directed all heads of security agencies in the country to unite in order to combat insecurity in the country.

While he appreciated the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria for facilitating the procurement of the two fighter platforms, Tinubu assured of his administration’s commitment to continue to support the Nigerian Air Force and other security agencies to train and retrain its personnel to protect Nigerians.

In his remarks, Minister of Defense, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, said the induction of another set of aircraft was a fulfillment of president Tinubu’s promise to equip security agencies for maximum performance, assuring of judicious use of the platforms to achieve intended objectives.

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Earlier in a welcome address, Chief of Air Staff (COAS), Air Marshal Hassan Baba Abubakar, said the commissioning of the platforms was a resolve of the federal government to equip and energize the Nigeria Air Force and indeed the entire armed forces of the country towards combatting terrorism, armed banditry, oil theft and other threats to Nigeria’s territorial integrity and security of the people.

“Barely six months since the assumption of office by Mr president, the Nigerian Air Force has taken delivery of seven brand new aircrafts into its inventory comprising Diamond 62 surveillance aircraft, two T129 ATAK helicopters as well as the King Air light transport aircraft. The ATAK helicopters are part of the six earlier ordered for the Nigerian Air Force with the remaining four expected to be delivered by June this year while the King Air 360 is one of the two procured for the service with the second expected to be delivered by the end of this month”, the COAS said.

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He added that pilots have been trained and more were undergoing various trainings within and outside the country in order to specialize in how best to use the new equipment.

Speaking on the sidelines, Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr Hyacinth Alia, expressed optimism that the unveiling and induction of the additional aircrafts into the inventory of the Nigerian Air Force would help to fight insecurity bedeviling Nigeria and Benue State in particular.

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