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Armed Forces Remembrance Day: Oyetola Salutes Fallen Heroes, Living Gallant Officers For Sustaining Nation’s Corporate Existence

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Armed Forces Remembrance Day: Let’s seize this day to recommit ourselves to the ideals of nationhood, Oyetola urges Nigerians

…salutes fallen heroes, living gallant officers for sustaining nation’s corporate existence.

As the year 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration ended with the traditional ‘laying of wreaths’, the Governor of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, has urged Nigerians to seize the day to recommit to the ideals of nationhood by taking responsibility to create a society that works for all in line with the vision of our forefathers.

He said citizens must resolve to give all for the development of their fatherland, saying “no one of us should find an excuse for giving up on this dearly-beloved nation.”

This is even as the Governor saluted the fallen and the living heroes of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their selfless service and for paying the supreme price to keep Nigeria one, united and indivisible entity.

Governor Oyetola spoke shortly after he laid the wreaths in honour of fallen heroes at the military cenotaph, Osogbo.

He said the Armed Forces Remembrance Day was a day of sober reflection to consider the sacrifices of the soldiers who, in the quest for sustaining unity and collective sovereignty, paid the supreme sacrifice to keep the country united, indivisible and peaceful.

Governor Oyetola said that his Administration was fully committed to further encouraging members of the Armed Forces through diverse interventions and would continue to raise the bar in the provision of qualitative governance in a manner that improves the living standard of the people.

“When on this day over 50 years ago, the nation reunited in the pursuit of the shared goal of peace after a protracted civil war that lasted three years, it was to recommit to a new dawn of a nation that is both at peace with itself and refocus on its quest for territorial prosperity.

“That foundation was made possible through the monumental sacrifices of our armed forces — a rare breed of distinguished men and women who placed us all first above their own security and safety. It is to these illustrious professionals we owe this annual commemoration.

“These are men who have fought gallantly for the sustenance of our collective peace and territorial integrity. From their exploits in the world wars, their peace support operations and fledgling internal security operations, especially as exemplified by their sustained combat against terrorism, they have made us proud and surmounted imposing mountains for our sakes.

“Through their lives and sacrifices, they speak to us eloquently that ours is a nation that is great, cherished and worth fighting for. In their pains, they beckon to us to rediscover hope amidst the challenges that characterise today.

“As an Administration, we will continue to draw inspiration from their lives, knowing that the journey to a brighter future will be determined by unparalleled patriotism, loyalty, dedication and sacrifice to the common good.

“Therefore, as a people, let us seize this day to recommit ourselves to the ideals of nationhood that is reflective of the vision of our forefathers, by taking responsibility to create a society that works for all.

“While thanking members of the armed forces for their immeasurable contributions to nation building, I, on behalf of our people, charge them to give more for our nation, knowing that no true and genuine service to humanity shall go unrewarded.

“As a government, we are fully committed to further encourage members of the Armed Forces through diverse interventions and will continue to raise the bar in the provision of qualitative governance in a manner that improves the living standard of our people”, he added.

The occasion was attended by the leadership and members of the State Chapter of the Nigerian Legion; the Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye who was represented by his Deputy, Hon. Femi Popoola; Chief Judge of the State, Justice Adepele Ojo; some members of the State House of Assembly; members of the State Executive Council, other top government functionaries, among others.

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Nigerian troops foil ISWAP attack on Special Forces School in Yobe

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The Special Forces and Air Task Force of the Nigerian military on Sunday foiled an onslaught at the School of Special Forces in Yobe.

However, seven insurgents were eliminated in a separate attack on civilians at Buni Yadi, 53 kilometres from Damaturu, the state capital.

The sect members stormed the town at about 5 pm, targeting the school and community.

The terrorists were said to have used cows as cover to avoid detection, but troops opened fire after sighting them.

An intelligence officer told PRNigeria that the fighters succumbed to the superior firepower of the military.

“In the process, seven of them were gunned down, while two vehicles were destroyed”, he disclosed.

Surveillance has been increased in the general with additional reinforcement.

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BREAKING: NAF Confirms Jet Crash in Zamfara, says Pilot Rescued

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The Nigerian Air Force has confirmed the crash of its Alpha Jet Aircraft in Kaduna on Sunday.

Confirming the crash through a statement by its Director, Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet on Monday, a copy of which was made available to AbujaCityJournal, Gabkwet said a Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet aircraft, returning from a successful air interdiction mission between the boundaries of Zamfara and Kaduna State, on Sunday came under intense enemy fire which led to its crash in Zamfara State at about 12.45 pm.

The Rescued Pilot with CAS and CDS

He added that luckily, the gallant pilot of the aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo, successfully ejected from the aircraft.

He said, using his survival instincts, the pilot, who came under intense ground fire from the bandits, was able to evade them and sought refuge in nearby settlements awaiting sunset.

 

“Using the cover of darkness and his phone set for navigation, Flight Lieutenant Dairo was able to elude several bandits’ strongholds and maneuvered his way to a Nigerian Army Unit, where he was finally rescued.

“It is instructive to note that upon receipt of the news of the crash, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, had directed that all efforts must be emplaced to rescue the pilot”, he said.

 

Gabkwet explained that, “accordingly, NAF Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance platforms and helicopter gunships provided close air support to NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops who were able to locate the crash site and the pilot’s parachute, while also combing nearby locations for any sign of the pilot.

” lt is gladdening to note that while in hiding, Flight Lieutenant Dairo confirmed that the presence of NAF aircraft within the vicinity of the crash site helped in scaring the bandits who were after him, thus enabling him to find refuge and escape to a safe location.

“It is important to also recall that only recently, the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, had directed the Armed Forces of Nigeria to do all it takes to flush out criminal elements in Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna States.

“It is in fulfilment of this directive that the NAF, in conjunction with surface forces, has in the last 2 weeks mounted intensive day and night air interdiction operations against bandits and their hideouts, especially in these 3 states.

 

“Through these intensive air operations, hundreds of bandits have been neutralized and several of their hideouts destroyed”.

The NAF spokesperson added that, despite the setback of yesterday’s crash, the NAF remains committed towards fulfilling the President’s mandate as well as other constitutional roles assigned to it.

He restated the willingness, readiness and tested ability of the Force to remain unshaken and unwavering as it continues to carry out its assigned roles.

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Manpower Development Critical for Airpower Component – CAS

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Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has reiterated the importance of the human factor as the most critical airpower component that must be enhanced and sustained for effective and efficient performance.

This, according to the CAS, gave reason for the increase in manpower development witnessed in the NAF in recent times.

Air Marshal Oladayo Amao made this ascertion on Friday during the winging of another set of six helicopter pilots who recently completed their basic flying training at Draken Helicopter Academy in the United Kingdom.

He said, these efforts are expected to place the Service in a dominant position to deliver on its constitutional role more effectively, especially in the light of NAF’s involvement in several internal security operations across the country.

“The overall effect of these efforts, according to the CAS, is that the NAF, operating in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, will be better positioned to more effectively counter both domestic and foreign threats to the nation’s security and the wellbeing of our people”, he added.

Speaking further, Air Marshal Amao revealed that the NAF currently has a total of 195 officers and airmen/airwomen undergoing various training courses abroad cutting across several specialties and trades.

He also stated that locally, there are 12 student pilots undergoing Basic Fighter Training at 403 Flying Training School, Kano, while 10 others are undergoing Basic Transport Training at 401 Flying Training School, Kaduna.

He emphasized that these courses are aimed at maintaining combat readiness by increasing the number of pilots to man existing aircraft, including the 26 new platforms acquired by the Federal Government in the past 6 years.

On the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, the CAS stated that about 60 NAF personnel, comprising pilots, engineers, technicians, and other specialists, have completed their training on the aircraft in the USA.

While encouraging the newly winged pilots, the CAS urged them not to rest on their oars as the feat they have achieved also comes with a burden of responsibility as so much is expected of them.

He also advised them to continue to give their best to the Service and the Nation. Air Marshal Amao also used the opportunity of the ceremony to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support to the NAF.

Earlier, the Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) James Gwani, noted that the winging of the pilots further lends credence to one of the Key Drivers of the CAS, which is to “Pursue purposeful training and human capacity development’.

He added that the new pilots would undoubtedly further enhance NAF’s capacity for effective, efficient, and timely employment of air power in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives.

While giving the highlights of the courses, the CTOP stated that the Basic Flying Course 24B, which commenced from 27 February 20 to 20 June 21, included 3 phases: Basic Rotary Wing Phase, Operational Rotary Wing Phase and Conversion Phase.  The ceremony had in attendance Branch Chiefs of Headquarters NAF, Directors as well as relatives of the newly winged pilots.

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