The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar says security operatives’ efforts in tackling security challenges in Nigeria will be successful if the people partner with the military.
Abubakar said this could be done through the provision of information about the environment and neighbourhood to security operatives.
According to him, ”security of lives and property is not the duty of the military alone to but everyone has a role to play.”
The Air Force boss spoke while responding to questions from journalists after delivering the 2nd Distinguished Personality Lecture at University of Ibadan, UI, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The lecture themed, ‘Roles of the Nigerian Air Force in Internal Security Operations in Nigeria,’ was organised by the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies (IPSS) of UI.
Giving an overview of the lecture, Abubakar said that ”efforts of the military in the North have yielded positive results as it has caged the Boko Haram sect to one section of the North-east.”
“The Boko Haram insurgency is substantially degrading. There used to be explosions everywhere. If you recall in 2014, from where we were coming, to where we are now, Boko Haram is being caged in a section of the North-east and we are fighting them on a daily basis and I can tell you that they have been substantially degraded,” he stated.
The lecture is about the role of the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, in resolving internal security challenges facing Nigeria.
Abubakar stated that NAF is participating actively in all the internal security operations, including close-air support in the North-east, North-west and North Central.
He further said that, “NAF has been providing air transportation with modern equipment for personnel from the theatre of war and to other areas in the theatre of war. We have also been providing logistic supply for the Nigerian Army. There are several sectors of the Army. We supply them armour, food and medicine and we evacuate wounded soldiers as well.”
He however admitted that there were challenges in different places and the support of the people through the provision of relevant information to the security operatives would improve the security architecture in the country.
Abubakar stated; “All these kidnappers and people that are committing crimes here and there are people living within our communities. We should be able to pass relevant information to security agencies. I think with that information, we should be able to have a more secured environment.”
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka said the lecture was part of efforts by the Institution in contributing positively to national security.
According to him, the event brought stakeholders together to brainstorm and proffer solution to the issues and challenges facing the country.
He was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor Kayode Adebowale.
The of Director, Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, UI, Professor Tajudeen Akanji said the choice of the Chief of Air Staff for the lecture was deliberate.
Professor Akanji stated that the changing nature of internal security operations in the security sector, particularly in Nigeria has revealed the increased strategic importance of the Air Force in the prosecution of the various operations.
“We have witnessed the contribution of the leadership style of the CAS in the success attained so far in the Boko Haram operations. Credence to this was reported in the 2018 global terrorism report. However, new emerging threats are calling for more action from the security agencies, especially the Air Force. We do hope this lecture will provide an agenda for more research on the institute,” he added.