The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has immortalized late Flying Officer Abdulrahman Bayero, a Regiment Officer, who died in a fire fight with armed bandits at Kawan Pole Waya near Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State on 22 July 2019, by naming 2 newly constructed blocks of 10 x Single-Bedroom Officers’ Transit Quarters at the Regiment Training Centre (RTC) in Kaduna in his honour.
The new residential accommodation were commissioned by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who said the NAF has trained over 4,500 Regiment/Special Forces Personnel from 2015 till date.
Speaking through the Chief of Policy and Plans, Headquarters NAF, Air Vice Marshal Napoleon Bali, the CAS stated that the rationale behind the rapid capacity building of the NAF Regiment Specialty was premised on the need to reposition the Service to meet the emerging security challenges which had, over time, evolved to mostly threats posed by non-state actors employing unconventional tactics to target NAF aircraft and other assets.
To this end, he said, “efforts were intensified to increase the strength, equipment and weapon holding of the NAF Regiment whilst also upgrading the erstwhile Regiment Training School to a Centre for more effective discharge of its training functions.”
Air Marshal Abubakar noted that the enhanced capacity of the NAF Regiment has enabled the Service to continue to contribute to Government’s efforts at ensuring the protection of Nigerians from armed bandits, militants and insurgents. He noted, however, that, in spite of the various successes so far recorded in the various internal security operations, some personnel had paid the supreme price in the line of duty.
Accordingly, he highlighted that, while the ceremony marked the provision of additional accommodation to staff of RTC for enhanced performance, it was also a solemn occasion honouring the ultimate sacrifice made by Flying Officer Bayero.
While praying for the repose of his soul, the CAS urged personnel to emulate the values of selflessness, bravery and dedication displayed by the late officer, noting that the buildings would continue to serve as a memorial to his sacrifice.
Speaking further, the CAS noted that the efforts towards improving personnel welfare as well as ensuring a well motivated and professional force could not have been possible without the immense support of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.
He therefore registered his profound gratitude on behalf of officers, airmen, airwomen, civilian staff and entire Air Force Family, pledging continued and unalloyed loyalty. “As a Service, we will strive to continuously meet and even exceed expectations of the Nation at this time of heightened insecurity by protecting the citizenry and our critical assets as well as bringing succour to those in despair, as we discharge our constitutional responsibilities to the Nation”, the CAS said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding Ground Training Command (AOC GTC), Air Vice Marshal ldi Amin, recalled that since assumption of office, the CAS had deliberately focused on capacity building and personnel welfare as key drivers of his Vision for the NAF.
He disclosed that the upgrade of the Regiment Training School to Centre status, being one of these areas of focus, had translated to an increase in students’ intake thereby resulting in the training of over 4,500 personnel in various courses from 2015 till date.
AVM Amin remarked that some of the ongoing projects in the Centre, which include 3 blocks of 10 x one-bedroom transit accommodation for airmen/airwomen instructors, an Olympic sized swimming pool, gymnasium, dining hall, 3 classroom blocks, a 300-seat hall, construction of airborne training apparatus as well as upgrade of the Commando Village, would not only ameliorate accommodation challenges but also improve on the Centre’s training capacity.
Members of late Flying Officer Bayero’s family, including his wife, Mrs Zainab Bayero, as well as his parents, Mallam and Mrs Hassan Bayero, and siblings attended the ceremony.
Also present at the event were the Chief of Training and Operations, along with other Branch Chiefs and Directors from Headquarters NAF, the AOC Air Training Command (ATC) and Principal Staff Officers ATC and GTC as well as Commandants and Commanders of co-located NAF Units in Kaduna, amongst others.