‘I’m leaving NAF a fulfilled man, says ex-CAS, Sadique Abubakar
The former Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, said on Tuesday he was leaving the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) a fulfilled man.
Abubakar, who stated this at his fly out parade at the NAF Base in Abuja, added that he had met all the objectives he set for himself on the day he was joining the Force.
He said with his visionary leadership in the last five years, the NAF has “been repositioned and restructured into a highly professional and disciplined Force that every Nigerian should be proud of.”
The ex-NAF said: “I thank God for giving me the exceptional privilege of being at the helm of affairs of the Nigerian Air Force since July 13, 2015. I thank Him for His support and protection during my tenure as the Chief of the Air Staff and for allowing me to successfully exit from the service having served as the 20th Chief of Air Staff for five years, six months, and 13 days.
“I am exceedingly delighted and profoundly honoured that we have worked together as a team with all officers, airmen, and airwomen, as well as civilian staff to move the Nigerian Air Force to a much higher level than we met it.
“In the last five years, we have been able to restructure and reposition the Nigerian Air Force into a highly professional and disciplined Force.
“The flag of the Nigerian Air Force is today flying high from Agatu to Gembu, Gusau to Katsina, Daura to Owerri, Birnin-Gwari to Ipetu Ijesha, Kerang to Gombe and Bauchi. By the special grace of God, Funtua will soon join up.
“The current structure will certainly add a lot of value to NAF’s efforts at securing Nigeria and the Nigerian people should be proud of the Force.
“I am confident that with the 15 aircraft and eight unmanned combat aerial vehicles we are expecting in the no distant future, the service will be better positioned to be more decisive in addressing the security challenges facing the nation.
“The Nigerian Air Force would be able to employ air power more effectively, efficiently and timely in all theatres of operations across the country.
“I want to encourage you to sustain and build on the capacity building initiatives we have put in place in the last five years. The service, through this initiative, has trained and winged 133 pilots who, today, constitute 49 percent of all active NAF pilots that are fighting in different theatres of conflicts to secure our country and protect our people.
“Another 21 pilots will be completing their training before the end of the first quarter of 2021 to join their comrades in the fight to defend our territorial integrity and national sovereignty.
“In the area of bridging the gap in Force projection and Force protection, we have made tremendous progress in training NAF Special Forces and Force protection elements who have been recognised as a formidable force both within and outside Nigeria.
“We have also enhanced our research and development capacity through our partnership with 15 Nigerian universities to significantly address some of our aircraft maintenance challenges. I must not fail to recognise the crucial role played by the incoming Chief of the Air Staff and other senior officers still in the Service in our R&D efforts.
“I am very confident that the current Chief of Air Staff has all it takes to move the Nigeria Air Force to a much higher level. It is my prayer that the Almighty will grant you the wisdom and strength to move the Nigerian Air Force to a more enviable height.”