Kaduna State governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, yesterday lauded the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) over its fight against insecurity in the state and urged it to sustain the tempo.
He said the Air Force hadmade tremendous contributions towards ensuring long-lasting peace and security in the state and Nigeria.
Governor Yero stated this when he fielded questions from journalists shortly after the passing out parade and commissioning of the Direct Short Service Course 21/2012 cadets of the 325 Ground Training Group at NAF Base in Kaduna.
He said,"We have a good partnership with them (NAF) and that is one of the reasons why we have to participate in their programmes because they have been helping us a lot, even with the ground troops that form part of the state's Operation Yaki as well as providing air surveillance in the state."
The governor congratulated the 144 flying officers for successfully undergoing the six months intensive training at the Air Force Training Command.
The Reviewing Officer and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh,said the officers would be deployed to crisis-prone areas in the country, adding that over the years, NAF had played a leading role in the maintenance of peace and security in the country. "The service has also participated in several peacekeeping operation particularly in the West African Sub-region", he said.
According to the air chief, their significant performance in the on-going effort to flush-out rebels in Mali has earned the Service the reputation of an effective and dependable force.
He said, even though their primary responsibility is to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria from the air, "the prevailing security situation in the country has seen the NAF involved in roles aiding the civil authority.
"As Nigeria continues to tackle the challenges of internal security, let me stress that the security of lives and property remains the highest priority of government," while reminding them that, "consequently, as young officers, you may sooner than later find yourselves deployed for internal security operations in any part of the country."