The Chief of Air Staff, (CAS), Sadique Abubakar, has urged Special Forces personnel to tackle security challenges confronting the country with “rugged optimism and renewed determination”.
He also urged the personnel to “fight the insurgents to the finish”, saying that they should not mind the propaganda of the terrorists and their “sympathisers”.
Mr Abubakar, an air marshal, made the call in Abuja on Tuesday in his Eid-el-Fitr message to Muslims, and expressed gratitude to Almighty God.
“I wish to congratulate our Muslim faithful on the successful completion of the Ramadan fasting and pray that Almighty Allah accepts our worship and sacrifices.
“I pray that He guides us in our future endeavours as we strive to ensure the peace, security and development of our great nation,” he said.
Mr Abubakar also thanked all Air Force personnel for their patriotism, dedication and sacrifices.
“Your valuable contributions have ensured that aircraft and ancillary equipment are available, logistics requirements are in place, administrative necessities are met and personnel are combat-ready to tackle the challenges confronting the nation.
“The commitment of commanders and supervisors at all levels has also facilitated higher standards of professionalism in the Service through robust, job-focused training, commitment to improving personnel welfare as well as result-oriented research and development.
“I must also appreciate our dear families for their unquantifiable support and encouragement, which have enabled us to carry on with our constitutional responsibilities more effectively.
“It is gratifying to note also that our gallant fighter and helicopter gunship pilots as well as our Regiment and Special Forces personnel are adapting creditably to the threats facing our nation and are making good progress.
“This is critical to the NAF’s increasing capacity for projection as well as protection of Air Power, which are the core functions for which the Service is uniquely positioned.
“I therefore enjoin you all to redouble your efforts and engage the security challenges with rugged optimism and renewed determination, while remaining professional in the discharge of your constitutional duty,” he said.
The air chief charged the personnel to be courageous and to take the battle to all adversaries of the country, be they terrorists, insurgents, bandits or other criminal elements, in synergy with other security agencies.
He said, “fight them to the finish, not minding the malicious propaganda of the terrorists and their sympathisers.
“You must also remember, in the course of your duties, to always operate within the ambits of extant local and international laws, while showing compassion and respect for all law-abiding citizens.
“Importantly, in our celebration of this festive season, let us also take time to remember our colleagues who have paid the supreme price in service to our fatherland.
“We remember them today as always and restate our commitment to cater for the needs of their loved ones and those they left behind.
“Let their memories and deeds spur us on to a higher level of dedication that would ensure that their sacrifices are not in vain.”