By Yahaya Isah
Abuja – The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on Wednesday in Abuja, immortalises some of its fallen heroes and officers including late Tolulope Arotile, for their contributions to the country.
The Director of Administration, NAF, AVM Aliyu Pani, says it is the tradition of the service to immortalise its fallen heroes by naming blocks of accommodations after them.
Pani made the statement at the inauguration of 10 blocks of accommodation for officers/airmen at NAF base Asokoro, constructed by the Ministry of Defence, as part of its 2018 Capital Projects.
According to the director, in line with the NAF’s tradition, all the blocks have been named after nine officers and one airman to immortalise them in recognition of their sacrifices.
“In this regard, at NAF Base, Bill Clinton Drive, one of the two blocks of 10 x 1 bedroom transit accommodation was named after Fg. Offr. AA Mohammed (NAF/5082) who was killed in action (KIA) on Sept. 5, in Birnin Gwari.
“While the second block of 10 x 1 bedroom transit accommodation was named after Flt.- Lt. Akweke Nwakile (NAF/3014) who was KIA on July 21, 2014 while participating in “Operation Lafia Dole“ in the North-East.
“Additionally, the two blocks of 4×2 Bedroom Married Offrs. accn. were named after Fg. Offr. Tolulope Arotile (NAF/4512F) who died as a result of Road Traffic Accident on July 24, at NAF Base Kaduna.
“As well as Flt.- Lt. John Ayonoteh Adams (NAF/3104) who was KIA on Feb. 19, 2013 while participating in `Operation Zaman Lafia` among others,“ Pani explained.
He says that the projects are spread between NAF Base Asokoro, and NAF Base, Bill Clinton Drive along airport road.
“The projects fit perfectly into NAF’s aspirations for providing quality and conducive accommodation for its personnel. The provision of these blocks of accommodation will alleviate the accommodation challenges faced by NAF personnel in Abuja,” Pani said.
He observes that since the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, assumed duty in 2015, the service has witnessed tremendous development and transformation.
Earlier, the Guest of Honour, the Minister of Defence, Retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, while inaugurating the blocks of accommodation, says the welfare of personnel is a key factor in sustaining the operational successes so far attained by the armed forces.
Magashi was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Babangida Husaini.
“What we are witnessing today is part of the drive and commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to support the Nigerian military, particularly NAF to gradually and progressively attend to the welfare needs of officers and airmen/airwomen,” the Minister said.
He reiterates Federal Government’s support and commitment in ensuring members of the armed forces are well equipped to better perform their constitutional roles.
The minister commended the CAS for his efforts toward improving the living standards of personnel and the operational effectiveness of the NAF.
“I believe that these achievements attest to your relentless drive to reposition the service into a highly professional and disciplined force,” Magashi said.