By Ibukun Emiola
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on Monday urged Nigerians to support security agencies by providing relevant information.
Sadique made the plea in Ibadan on Monday in an interview with newsmen after delivering a lecture at an event organised by the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies (IPSS), University of Ibadan.
According to him, there is no country that relies on others to get everything it wants to tackle security challenges.
“There are few challenges but as I said, security is about everybody, it is not a military issue alone.
“Every Nigerian has a role to play and I urge all of us to play our roles, support security agencies and give them relevant information.
“All these kidnappers and people committing crimes here and there are people living in the communities.
“We should be able to pass relevant information to security agencies and I think with that information we should be able to have more secured environment,” he said.
Sadique said that Boko Haram had been substantially degraded compared to what obtained in 2014.
“If you recall in 2014, from where we were coming from to where we are now, Boko Haram has been substantially degraded.
” It is only caged in a section of the North East and we are fighting them on daily basis.
“They are not able to come out as a force; from time to time there might be some soft targets because we can’t be everywhere.
“But apart from that, you will agree with me that compared to where we were coming from, bombs explosion in the UN headquarters and everywhere, the situation has changed substantially,” he said.
Speaking on the theme of the lecture: “Roles of the Nigerian Air Force in Internal Security Operations in Nigeria,” Sadique stated that the Air Force was participating in all operations in the North East, North West and North Central.
“There are several roles; one of which is close air support to the ground force, air transportation or movement of equipment and personnel from theatre of war to other areas and vice versa.
“We also provide logistics, we supply armour, medicine and evacuate wounded soldiers and all that,” he said.
He also commended the University of Ibadan for the support provided in the area of research and development.
Prof. Tajudeen Akanji, Director of IPSS, said the choice of Sadique for the lecture was deliberate as new emerging threats were calling for more action from the security agencies, especially the air force.
“The changing nature of internal security operations in the security sector, particularly in Nigeria, has revealed the increased strategic importance of the Nigerian Air Force in the prosecution of the various operations.
“We have witnessed the contribution of the leadership style of the Chief of Air Staff in the success attained so far in the Boko Haram operations,” Akanji said.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Kayode Adebowale, commended the role of the air force
in the creation of strong research and development units in Nigerian universities,.
He cited the University of Ibadan, which he said, has two Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
NAN reports that the event featured presentation of Distinguished Alumnus Award of the university to Sadique.
The Fellowship Award of the Society for Peace and Studies Practice (SPSP) was also conferred on the air chief for combating insecurity and for his humanitarian service.
Sadique had arrived Ibadan Airport at exactly 9: 41am in a NAF 961 aircraft and had visited the IPSS premises before paying a courtesy visit to the vice chancellor. (NAN)