The new Air Force deployments follows the resolve to combat militancy and other forms of internal security challenges in the Niger Delta, a statement by the Air Force spokesperson, Ayodele Famuyiwa said.
Recall that the Army and the Navy had also carried out similar deployments to suppress the militancy in the region which has led to massive oil and gas pipelines vandalism, and consequently slashed the nation’s oil production by half.
According to the statement, the Chief of Air Staff , Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, announced the deployments on Monday, saying that, “The planned deployment is aimed at strengthening the existing NAF manpower disposition, especially in Bayelsa and to enhance Nigerian Air Force (NAF) involvement in `Operation Delta Safe,” Mr. Abubakar was quoted as saying by the spokesperson.
“Preparatory to this deployment, new facilities were recently put in place to cater for accommodation and other welfare needs of the personnel.”
The statement which said that the Air Force boss disclosed this in Yenagoa during his visit to NAF Mobility Command, said the measures include the construction of new blocks of accommodation for officers and men, office accommodation, airmen’s mess and provost squadron which were commissioned recently.
The statement further said, two of the airmen’s blocks of accommodation have been named after Cpl. Omaka V.I. and Aircraftman Ofonih E.F., both of whom were killed in Bosso, Niger, during an Internal Security Operation.
Retired Air Vice Marshall Larry Koinyan commissioned the newly-constructed projects as the guest of honour.
In his remarks, Koinyan commended the Air Force personnel for their courage and successes following their renewed vigour at ensuring peace and stability in the various theatres of operations in the country.
He, however, called on the people of Bayelsa to support the Federal Government’s effort at solving the problems of the region once and for all.
Earlier, Mr. Abubakar paid a courtesy call on Governor Henry Dickson of Bayelsa, who gave assurance that his administration was ready to partner NAF and other security agencies in their bid to rid the state of criminal activities.
Governor Dickson said it had become necessary because Bayelsa government understood the importance of security and the need for the state to be safe for economic prosperity.
He also promised that his government would partner the service to build Air Force primary and secondary schools in the state to enable Bayelsa residents benefit from the quality education provided by such schools.
The governor noted that the discipline and re-orientation of the youth in the state would further be enhanced at the Air Force base in Yenagoa where the schools would be sited.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last week given an option to the militants to embrace the peace talks being offered by the Federal Government or face force.
The Niger Delta Avengers, a notorious militant gang which has claimed responsible for most of attacks on oil and gas facilities in the region had declared a ceasefire, an apparent move to pave way for negotiations with the Federal Government.