The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Mashal Sadiq Abubakar, has blamed unpatriotic Nigerians over the funding of some terrorist groups in the country.
Abubakar made the allegation at the inauguration of Small Arms Shooting Range and some projects at Nigerian Air Force Base, Bauchi.
He said it was unfortunate that when the Air Force and other security agencies were busy trying to curb the menace, some unpatriotic Nigerians were busy supporting the groups.
“Some of these groups are being funded, supported and encouraged by certain unpatriotic Nigerians for self-centered political interests.
” The crisis in Libya and emergence of ISIS in Syria and Iraq have unleashed armed conflicts perpetrated by non-state actors such as Boko Haram, ethnic militias, separatist movements and armed bandits of all colours and shapes.
“These threats have undoubtedly exerted a lot of pressure on our resources and infrastructure and require us to think out of the box if we are to successfully address them,” Abubakar said.
He, however, said that NAF had deployed about 1,000 Special Forces in addition to air assets in support of other security agencies to deal with the threats.
Abubakar said that the air operations in Zamfara were being reorganised and very soon, more personnel and assets would be deployed to support the exercise, code named “Operation Sharan Daji.”
He said that 2,000 Special Forces had so far been trained and were currently in Benue and Gembu in Taraba while some would be deployed to Agatu in Benue and Nassarawa State.
Abubakar said 14 additional air assets were acquired by the force and had since been deployed to various operations in the country.
He said that another 12 Super aircraft were being expected from USA and 13 serviceable aircraft on the fleet of the force had been activated while three others were being eactivated.
Abubakar said that the shooting range being inaugurated would sharpen the skills of officers and men likely to be deployed to various battle fields in the country.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his support to the force by ensuring that it had well trained personnel and equipment to enable it to discharge its constitutional duties.
The CAS promised that the force would remain loyal to Buhari and unwavering in its commitment to the security and wellbeing of Nigerians.
Gov. Muhammed Abubakar of Bauchi State said the government was planning to hand over Lame Bura Forest to the force.
Abubakar explained that the land could be used to establish an air range for Nigerian Air Force fighter aircraft.
He said that the air range, when established, would go a long way in sharpening the fighting skills of the pilots.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commander’s quarters, senior non-commissioned officers’ quarters and one block of 10 bedrooms for non-commissioned officers were also inaugurated.