By John Ikani
The Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd), has disclosed that the Federal Government of Nigeria is expecting the delivery of three new types of fighter aircraft to tackle insecurity in addition to the recent procurement of J-F17 Thunder multi-role aircraft and Super Tucano attack aircraft.
He listed them as the DA-42 surveillance aircraft, A109 Trekker helicopters and Beechcraft KA-360i aircraft.
The minister made the disclosure in Kaduna State on Saturday as 49 new officers were commissioned and 1,549 recruits enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force.
Represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, the minister charged the military to protect the lives and property of Nigerians in the face of the various security challenges bedevilling the country.
According to the Minister, the military profession, which they have chosen, requires absolute discipline, loyalty and hard work, among other virtues, adding that it is much more than just a job, especially at this crucial time in the nation’s history, when they are battling the challenges of insecurity on several fronts.
He stated, “As such, you are expected to secure the lives and properties of the Nigerian people and ensure that they can live in peace and pursue their legitimate aspirations without fear. Such a noble service demands extraordinary courage, commitment, and patriotism, and Nigeria will continue to count on you and demand such qualities from you.
“Accordingly, the Federal Government’s recent procurement of new platforms such as the J-F17 Thunder multi-role aircraft and Super Tucano attack aircraft to enhance the capacity of the Nigerian Air Force to tackle current security challenges in the country is a testament to Mr President’s quest for equipping the Nigerian Air Force.
“The Nigerian Air Force is also expecting the delivery of the DA-42 surveillance aircraft, A109 Trekker helicopters and Beechcraft KA-360i aircraft in the next few years, among so many other requirements. We, therefore, once again thank Mr President for strengthening our Armed Forces and pledge our unalloyed loyalty and total commitment towards restoring peace and order in all parts of the country.”