Nigerian government Tuesday unveiled 5 brand new Super Mushshak aircraft to decisively deal with insecurity including the dreaded Boko Haram fighters in the Northeastern part of the country. The unveiling was perfomed by the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo
The Acting President, who was represented at Nigerian Air Force Base Kaduna by Minister of Defense, Mansur Mohammed Dan-Ali, during the induction of the aircraft and graduation ceremony of 16 student pilots described the procurement of the aircraft as timely especially at the renewed ambushes by degraded Boko Haram elements in the Maiduguri, Borno State.
According to him, “this administration as promised two years ago is determined to protect everyone living in the country and their property. That is why the it has taken the issue of insurgency/terrorism very seriously.
“The FG is also including training and capacity building to what we are doing that is, acquisition of more Air hardwear and training so that our armed forces especially, the Air Force personnel can perform better in securing our national integrity.
“On corruption in the system and Boko Haram, we have restrategised and all these attacks you see are just sign of weakness and we have been doing a lot to see that all these ambushes come to an end. We also want to train civil defence and police so they can join us where we are and move forward instead of remaining in one place”, he added.
“You will recall that Mr President promised in his inaugural address about 2 years ago to build the capacity of the armed forces to effectively address the Boko Haram insurgency as well as other national security threats.
“This has been a major security policy thrust of this administration. We have since embarked on qualitative training and acquisition of new platforms and other supporting equipment for the Armed Forces and security agencies.
“We have also sanitised the procurement process of military hardware with a view to eliminating corruption and inefficiency. I make bold to say that we have achieved remarkable savings and infused quality into the system.
“This has contributed in no small way to the acquisition of these new aircraft without any encumbrances. I have no doubt that the acquisition of the Super Mushshak aircraft would add impetus to the training efforts of 401 FTS.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the solo acrobatic display at 401 training command, Kaduna, Chief of Air Staff, Air Mashal Sadique Baba Abubakar hinted that, the relocation of service Chiefs to Maiduguri has improved the intelligence gathering and final clean up of insurgents in that part of the country.
He added that, the NAF from aircrafts are roaving the air for mininum of nine hours daily to ensure security of lives and property as well as protection of air asset to guide against reoccurrence of what happened few years ago where insurgents attacked our base in Maiduguri and destroyed some air asset.
“We have 10 training aircraft now and we are expecting additional five by December this year. That shows that the federal government is doing very well in providing both manpower and hardware for denlfense of our national integrity.
“We have already relocated to Maiduguri at the wake of renewed Boko Haram attack. We are on air more than before. We are on air for nine hours, non stop with cameras to see how to make the country safer.
“The Super Mushshak is not only for the training. It can be used to fight crime because it has compactment where ammunition can be kept and applied. It can also be use for intelligence survelance, ambukance among others”, he added.
Speaking on the graduation of 16 students pilots the Air Chief said, “the training school here is where you prepare the pilots and give them all they require to perform well in the field.
“We are exciting that this training is happening for the first time in 30 years. When I was here as a cadet, I spent more than one year to acquire the training. But today, within four months, the training will be over and this is because we now have enough training facilities within reach.
On maintenance he said, ”we have trained 19 personnel in Pakistan and Pakistan engineers are also here. The guys you just saw flying are Nigerians. They are trained by Pakistan which is a sister country.