The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has pledged its continued support to the success of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
This was made known on Tuesday, 13 November 2018, by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, while hosting the Special Adviser to the President/Coordinator Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Dokubo, on a courtesy visit to his Office at the Headquarters NAF (HQ NAF), Abuja.
The CAS congratulated Professor Dokubo on his recent appointment and expressed delight with the Programme’s approach to security through human capacity development.
He stated that this was in tandem with the capacity building initiatives of the NAF which had, within the past 3 years, resulted in the expansion of NAF training institutions and establishment of new ones.
The CAS said, for instance, that the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Kaduna, has been upgraded to university status.
He noted that the Amnesty Programme could explore the opportunities at AFIT for the training of beneficiaries of the Programme in Aerospace Engineering and other related fields.
Speaking further, Air Marshal Abubakar stated that he was quite conversant with the peculiarities of the Niger Delta, having served 4 separate tours of duty and spending many years in the area.
He added that the NAF equally had significant presence in the Niger Delta with units in virtually every state in the region aimed at ensuring security and overall wellbeing of the people of the area.
The CAS expressed the willingness of the NAF to make available its facilities and resources to further contribute to the human capacity development drive of the Amnesty Programme.
A statement by Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Director, NAF Public Relations and information said Air Marshal Abubakar however advised the Coordinator to articulate specific areas of interest which could be jointly discussed with a view to developing tailored solutions.
Earlier in his remarks, Professor Dokubo had solicited NAF’s support towards the attainment of the Programme’s twin objectives, which are maintenance of peace and security as well as the development of human capacity in the Niger Delta.
He noted, particularly, that the focus on human capacity development was based on the realization that the empowerment of the human being was the most critical requirement for sustainable peace and security in any society.
Accordingly, he said, the Amnesty Programme, which was established to ensure security stabilization in the Niger Delta through the disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and sustainable re-integration of ex-militants as a precondition for medium and long term development, had continued to focus on training with a view to equipping the participants with the necessary skills to be self-reliant in order to make meaningful contributions to national development.
Professor Dokubo stated that it was in this regard that the Programme desired to collaborate with the NAF to explore available training opportunities within the Service that would compliment its human capacity development drive.
The Coordinator, who noted that peace building processes after conflicts would not be complete without creating the necessary opportunities for the youths, also seized the opportunity to implore the NAF to consider enlisting qualified candidates from the zone into the NAF.