Being Text of Vote of Thanks by Newly Decorated AVM Peter Uzezi on behalf of fellow AVMs and Air Commodores on Friday, November 24, 2017.
It is a great honour and privilege for me to be called upon to give a vote of thanks on behalf of the newly promoted senior officers of the Nigerian Air Force, who have been decorated here today, to Air Ranks.
Incidentally, with this vote of thanks, I would be performing my first official function upon my promotion to the rank of Air Vice Marshall.
Permit me to start this vote of thanks by giving glory to the Almighty God; for making today’s occasion a reality as well as a resounding success. Promotion, as we all know, comes from God, and but for the favour, blessings and guidance of the Almighty, we all decorated here today, would have labored in vain. We therefore glorify His blessed Name.
I want to specially thank His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari GCFR: President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, who considered us all worthy to be entrusted with higher responsibilities, by approving our elevation to the next higher ranks.
This promotion along with other support of Mr. President to the Nigerian Air Force undoubtedly signifies Mr. President’s commitment to take the Nigerian Air Force in particular and the Armed Forces in general to greater heights. May Nigeria continue to grow from strength to strength.
Worthy of our deepest gratitude is the Chief of the Air Staff for his care, guidance, and for his commitment in ensuring that our personnel get the best that can be provided in order to move the service and our careers forward.
Sir, it is on record that your vision to “Reposition the Nigerian Air Force into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient and timely employment of airpower in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives” has resulted in the unprecedented initiation of capacity building programmes and partnerships.
Partnership initiatives with Belarus, Egypt, Israel, the Pakistani, Jordanian and the Royal Air Force amongst others, have helped build capability in NAF specialties of Aircrew, Regiment, Engineering, Logistics, communications and Medical.
The improved capability have culminated in a more professional, operational and efficient fighting force skilled in both force projection and force protection to the end that the Nigerian Air Force remains the major enabler to other services and security agencies in our nations fight against insecurity in general and insurgency in particular.
At this point, I would like to refer to one of the several insightful statements of the Chief of the Air Staff and I quote
“In the race to add value to our society and secure our communities, there is no finishing line”. Unquote.
The CAS, distinguished invitees, ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to announce to you that, under watch of the Chief of the Air Staff, the Nigerian Air Force has witnessed an unprecedented widespread infrastructural development and expansion of the Service from 8 to 10 Branches, from 4 to 6 Commands and establishment of several Units and Formations that are well equipped with modern facilities. All of these are in order to position the NAF to meet current and emerging security challenges. The promotion and decoration of 22 officers to the rank of Air Vice Marshall today is another unprecedented feat in the annals of the Nigerian Air Force, which, again is still part of the process of repositioning of the NAF.
To motivate personnel to add value, the Chief of the Air Staff, has always reiterated that, and I quote
“Those who are working for the system can go to sleep and should not bother about whether they would be promoted or not, because the system is watching and would recognise them”. Unquote.
Sir, you kept your word. We are indeed most appreciative of your recognition of our contributions and your magnanimity. Please, a round of applause for our amiable Chief of the Air Staff.
We cannot but express our heartfelt gratitude to our seniors both serving and retired who have by no small means, contributed to our success. You along with our other comrades at arms have immensely assisted us to attain these heights. Indeed without your mentoring, support and encouragement, we could not have achieved these heights. May the good Lord continue to be your pillar.
I would also like to recognize with gratitude, the invaluable contributions of our better halves, our dear wives who remained committed to our success and in holding the home front in our journey through our service life. There is no better time to reiterate the truth that behind every successful man, there is a praying and virtuous woman. Today we say thank you for your understanding, support and encouragements and in believing in us. May the Good Lord continue to keep our homes.
For the members of the press, we say thank you for presence here and your continuous support to the Nigerian Air Force.It was the Honourable Justice Mohammad Mustapha Adebayo Akanbi CFR, who once said and I quote:
“Those who offer selfless services to the Nation are the builders of the Nation and the pride of their race and breed”. Unquote.
It is my humble opinion that these words encapsulate the scope and depth of the sacrifice in military service for which officers and men are rewarded with elevation to the next higher ranks. We recognize that along with our elevation are accompanying responsibilities. Therefore, we pledge to continue to give our very best to actualize the vision of the Chief of the Air Staff as well as the mission of the Nigerian Air Force.
On a personal note, I want to specially thank the Chief of the Air Staff for giving me the opportunity to serve in several command positions in the past 2years which not only exposed me to leadership in both peace and war situations but also prepared me for the new challenges associated with my promotion. I am also fortunate to be one of the very few officers to have the privilege of being promoted through two ranks by same Chief of Air Staff.
Finally, on behalf of the newly promoted senior officers and their families, I once again, say thank you to all our esteemed guests of which, some of you travelled from far places to grace this occasion.
Your presence has indeed added colour to this event. I wish you all Gods protection and journey mercies to your various destinations. Thank you again and God bless.
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