Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar on Tuesday declared that promotion in the Nigerian Airforce henceforth is reserved for the best and no longer business as usual.
Speaking at the decoration ceremony of newly promoted Air Vice Marshals and Air Commodores Flight Liutenants in Abuja, the CAS said the decoration of the officers with their new ranks, apart from serving as a reward for hard work, is also to serve as motivation to the airmen/airwomen to aspire for such elevation.
His words, “It is my pleasure to welcome you all as we gather to witness the high point in the career and lives of the 14 newly promoted AVMs and 36 Air Commodores.
“I am also particularly thrilled to be part of another history being recorded here today, in the commissioning of 4 dedicated, hard working and astute Air Warrant Officers to the rank of Flt Lt.
“These AWOs have put in nothing less than 33yrs of outstanding meritorious service to the nation and have been found to possess exemplary leadership qualities.
“Their commissioning today, apart from serving as a reward for hard work is also to serve as motivation to the airmen/airwomen to aspire for such elevation.
“It therefore behooves on all of you promoted to strive to leave up to expectations.
“In an increasingly complex security environment where new challenges call for the very best, promotion can no longer be business as usual.
“While time on rank would, understandably, continue to be central, factors such as merit, productivity, establishment vacancy, deploy-ability and, to some extent, geographical spread have combined to raise the bar and make the race even more competitive.
“Also, I need not stress that in the discharge of their professional responsibilities, the demands on members of the Armed Forces are unique, requiring in some instances, our paying the supreme price.
“It is thus very important that the Services are led by persons of exceptional leadership qualities if we must eliminate or minimize costly mistakes in the fog of war.
“This requirement is even higher in the case of the Air Force given its sophisticated technological culture.
“In all circumstances, therefore, our leaders in the Air Force must be able to dominate the events which surround them, to paraphrase Viscount Montgomery. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to say that we have found in the 14 Air Vice Marshals, 36 Air Commodores and 4 Flt Lts we have decorated this morning such men.
“As you must have realized by now, these Officers have earned these ranks by dint of hard work amongst several other criteria considered.
“As part of our desire to reward excellence, we have chosen to have them decorated in front of their friends, peers and families.
“We believe that their families, particularly their spouses have been greatly involved in their accomplishments.
“We implore them not to relent in their support. Promotion though a reward for hard work, is however considered a privilege and a call for higher responsibilities.
“I therefore charge all the officers decorated today, to brace up for the challenges ahead especially in our collective resolve to regenerate the Nigerian Air Force.
“I urge you to be prepared to apply your skills, experience, commitment and time when and wherever it is demanded of you. And as we continue in our march to build a new NAF, I encourage everyone of you to strive to contribute his quota by all means possible.
“Having said this, let me sincerely thank our invited guests for finding time to come and share in the joy of this occasion.
“My particular thanks go to the family members and friends of the officers decorated this morning for the support they have been providing all these years.
“These officers will continue to need this support, perhaps even more now than ever, because promotion demands higher responsibility.”
In his vote of thanks, Air Vicfe Marshal Daniel Gwani, the Air Task Force Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole described the promotions as a demonstration of the trust and confidence that the CAS has in the officers.
He therefore pledged that the officers would strive to repay the trust by putting extra hard work in the service of the NAF and the nation.
The officers decorated include AVM Gwani, AVM Aliyu Gaya Bello, AVM Ibrahim Ali, AVM Ismail Abdulmumin Yahaya, AVM Maxwel Chukwuma Nnaji, AVM Musibau Olatunji, AVM Moses Onilede, AVM Christopher Umolu, AVM Olutimi Tuwase, AVM Musa Ibrahim Mukta and AVM Ebenezar Alade.