Kingsley Madaki, Abuja
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for diligently stamping out activities of Boko Haram terrorists in the North Eastern part of Nigeria as well as criminal activities in other parts of the country.
Bello made this commendation while receiving a delegation of the Nigeria Air Force led by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar in Abuja.
He said it takes a patriotic and fighting spirit of the Nigerian military to restore peace and hope to many parts of the country.
Bello noted that the Nigerian Armed Forces have restored its pride saying, “you have restored hope at least to so many parts of this country”.
He noted that the intervention of men and officers of the Armed Forces in the North East and South-South respectively deserves commendation.
The Minister particularly lauded Nigeria Air Force for a planned aerial surveillance of Abuja-Kaduna road, Abuja – Jos road as well as Abuja – Lokoja road by the Force; saying the action will go a long way in ensuring security of motorists on the roads.
“I assure you that this additional support you want to give in terms of aerial surveillance of the major enteries into the territory is a welcome development. If there are new areas you want to partner with us in terms of support, we are available”, he said.
The Minister appreciated the wonderful relationship that the FCTA and Nigerian Air Force have maintained, promising that it would be sustained.
“The Air Force as an institution has been a very important agent of development in this nation and you have done tremendously well for the country over the years,” he added.
While commenting on plans by the force to provide accommodation for the lower ranks, the Minister said the initiative was very timely and in line with the FCT Administration’s general vision and focus.
“We held an interactive meeting with officials of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and we told them in clear terms that any new land we provide for mass housing will now really be geared towards the lower income level”, he said.
The Minister lamented that private individuals and estate developers have built a lot of houses in Abuja but all tended to cater for the high end market and as a result, most of the houses are still unoccupied and have remained a big challenge.
Commenting, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar lauded the excellent relationship between the Air Force and the FCTA and assured that as a service, the Nigeria Air Force has the responsibility to ensure that every inch of the Nigeria’s territory was secured and also safe for people to go about their legitimate aspirations.
Air Marshal Abubakar assured that the Air Force would continue to do everything legitimate in support of other security agencies, particularly the Police that is constitutionally empowered to handle the issues of internal security.
“We are looking at other possible areas of introducing some aerial surveillance along Abuja/Kaduna road and then Abuja/Jos and Abuja/Lokoja roads. We are working towards that as a way of making sure those roads are safe with no problems,” he revealed.
The Air Chief thanked the Minister for all the titles the Force has received for its landed properties in Abuja, adding that the service is looking at addressing welfare needs of officers and men particularly the Air men.
“That is why we are looking at a way of coming up with non-commissioned officers’ housing programme, which is a programme that is aimed at giving opportunities to non-commissioned officers to also have opportunities to own a house by the time they leave the service”, he said.