Elections: Maintain integrity and neutrality, NAF chief tells officers

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Oladayo Amao, chief of air staff (CAS), has asked personnel to be apolitical and remain neutral in the elections scheduled to take place in February and March.

 

According to a statement issued on Saturday by Wapkerem Maigida, NAF director of public relations, Amao spoke on Friday during an operational visit to the NAF institute of safety and 209 quick response group in Ipetu-Ijesa, Osun state.

 

Amao said personnel are to protect the constitution and ensure that public perception of the force is faultless.

 

“Commenting on the upcoming general election, the CAS urged NAF personnel to remain apolitical but only exercise their legal franchise which is the constitutional right to vote for any candidate of their choice,” the statement reads.

 

 “We must continue to maintain our integrity and neutrality as a service.

 

“He further urged NAF personnel to remember that as custodians of Nigeria’s constitution, they must ensure that  public perception of the NAF and the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains positive and unblemished.”

 

Amao said NAF has operationalised the usage of all its new and modern platforms towards tackling terrorism and insurgency in the country.

 

He said the new and modern air assets have been “instrumental in the feats being recorded against terrorists and insurgents”.

 

The air chief said the successes recorded by the NAF in the theatres of operation were due to the recently acquired JF-17 Thunder aircraft, A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, and the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles.

 

He explained that the military was winning the war against terrorism in the country with the aid of modern platforms.

 

He said, “more still needs to be done to completely decimate and flush out the remnants of terrorists still preying on soft targets”.

 

“He, however, warned that being complacent at this point would be harmful to ongoing operations and called for more focus, vigilance, and caution,” Maigida said.

 

“The CAS revealed that the NAF is expecting the delivery of additional new platforms which the president has approved for the service.”

 

He said the air assets included two Beechcraft King Air 360, four Diamond DA-62 surveillance aircraft, three Wing Loong II UCAVs, and six T-129 ATAK helicopters.

 

According to him, there are ongoing acquisitions of 12 Agusta 109 Trekker multi-role helicopters and 24 M-346 attack aircraft.

 

“Some of these additional platforms are expected to be delivered to the NAF before the end of the first quarter of 2023. This would further boost NAF’s air power employment and projection capabilities as well as air combat training,” he added.

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