The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, on Saturday Inaugurated a 271 detachment in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, as part of efforts to tackle security challenges in the country.
News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that 271 NAF Detachment was established as a blocking force for troops involved in Operation DIRAN MIKIYA and SHARAN DAJI.
Gov. Nasir El-Rufai said the establishment of 271 NAF detachment in Birnin Gwari and instituting the necessary infrastructure was to ensure that Nigeria could meet and conquer many security challenges it was currently facing.
“I have no doubt that your efforts will continue to keep our country safe and our economy growing,”El-Rufai said.
According to him, the prevalence of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping has increased in recent times.
“And we are grateful that the Armed Forces of Nigeria, particularly the NAF, is boosting security operations and developing even more effective strategies to end this menace.
“The establishment of the 271 NAF Detachment in Birnin Gwari is therefore timely, as it will further boost the ongoing Operation DIRAN MIKIYA, Operation SHARAN DAJI and play a very crucial role in restoring and maintaining the peace in all affected areas.
The Governor expressed appreciation of the Kaduna State Government for the support NAF extended to the state to acquire UAV-Drones.
“The Chief of Air Staff may recall that it was the NAF that applied for the end user certificate that made it possible for the state government to acquire the drones.
“The drones were inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari, the commander-in -:Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces on the Feb. 27, but they are not fully operational due to the necessary clearance that is required by the security agencies, of which the Air Force is central.
“We are hereby requesting the Chief of Air Staff to intervene in this matter,” he said.
“While we recognise the efforts of the NAF we also want to appeal to the Chief of Air Staff to approve the deployment of NAF Special Forces for the Abuja-Kaduna road to participate in the new Joint security operations aimed at confronting the prevalence of banditry and kidnapping that have bedeviled the road for the last two years now.
“To all our brave Air Force officers, I assure you that the nation sees your selfless sacrifice and appreciates your many efforts of providing peace and security in our communities.
“Your efforts and sacrifice will not be in vain,’’El-Rufai said.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, said NAF for some time now had been involved in various internal security operations in the country, either singularly or in conjunction with sister security agencies.
Abubakar said one of such operations was Operation DIRAN MIKIYA, which was intended to neutralise and flush out bandits and kidnappers as well as cattle rustlers operating in the North-West.
“Accordingly, the 271 NAF Detachment was established as a blocking force for troops involved in Operation DIRAN MIKIYA and SHARAN DAJI.
“The Air Chief NAF is committed to seeing that the territorial integrity of our dear country is preserved as this is the only country we can call our own.
“It is our desire, therefore, to ensure that the menace of terrorism, kidnapping, cattle rustling and armed banditry are curtailed, if not completely eradicated.
“Today, in a short while we shall witness the inauguration of 271 NAF Detachment Birnin Gwari as a testimony of the NAF commitment to the fight against insurgency and banditry in Nigeria,’’ he said.
He added that the establishment of 271 NAF Detachment Birnin Gwari would not have been possible without the full support of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“May I also recognise the immense contribution of the National Assembly, especially its committees on Defence and Air Force in both the Senate and House of Representatives respectively,” he said.
Abubakar reassured Nigerians of the firm dedication of the NAF to the fight terrorism and all forms of criminality in the nation.
The Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, AVM Napoleon Bali, said “ today’s event is a clear demonstration of the Air Chief’s priority and vision to adequately motivate personnel through training and provision of an enabling environment to facilitate effective and optimum professional performance,” Bali said.
He assured the Air Chief of their dedication to align with his vision and commitment toward ensuring that insurgency and banditry were totally defeated in the state and the country.