The vice president Namadi Sambo on Saturday in Kaduna assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would ensure the safety of lives and properties in the country.
Mr. Sambo said this at the closing ceremony of the 2nd edition of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Air Exposition 2012 at NAF Base, Kaduna.
“I must say that we are leaving no stone unturned at ensuring the safety of lives and properties of all Nigerians and our visitors by subduing the current security challenges we are facing.”
“We are still calling on the group to take our offer for dialogue in the interest of peace and development of our country,” he said.
The vice president said the government was exploring all the options, including dialogue, in search of peace in every part of the country.
He said that the military was “well prepared’’ with the support of government and other security agencies to enforce and maintain security across the country.
Mr. Sambo quoted the President Goodluck Jonathan, saying that a strong and proactive military was pivotal to the transformation agenda of the present administration.
“President Goodluck Jonathan clearly captured the mood of the nation when he stated that a strong, modern and proactive military is pivotal to achieving the administration transformation agenda, especially in the face of ongoing security and development challenges we are currently faced with,” he said.
“The military in pursuance of its tradition has been actively engaged in the full defence of our territorial integrity as well as maintaining our sovereignty with them being pivotal in quelling internal insurrection due mainly to the inadequacies of the needed manpower in the police force to which government is committed to address with the urgency that it desires,” he added.
He commended air force for an excellent air exposition and said that if the standard was sustained and improved upon, they would emerge as the most formidable air force in Africa.
“I am delighted to be invited to close this event aimed at showcasing our air power and the various activities of officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force and let me use this opportunity to commend the Ministry of Defence as well as the Chief of Air Staff for putting up this gigantic show that is aimed at further preparing our officers and men to address issues of internal and external security.”
Mr. Sambo said the equipment, aircraft, aerial display and combat tactics exhibited at the event had demonstrated the fitness and readiness of the air force, and indeed the military, to face emerging challenges.
“With the formation of strategic training modules and the determination of our tested and trusted personnel, there is no doubt that we are creating one of the best air forces of the African continent; we are very proud of what you are doing,” he said.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on other arms of the military and the paramilitary organisations to emulate the example of the air expo 2012; an event like this will further engender civil confidence in the armed forces.”
In his speech, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Mohammed Umar, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the 2012 Air Exposition and promised an improved a 2014 edition which would mark NAF’s Golden Jubilee.
Mr. Umar assured Nigerians that the officers and men of the air force would always be available to carry out their primary duty of protecting the country’s territorial integrity and helping to quell any internal insurrection.
“I want to say that we are pleased with the outcome of the Air Exposition 2012 and as you must have seen, our exhibitions have been very marvelous and our crew very professional”.
“As you can attest, they are willing, able and ready to take any task given to them. I want to use this opportunity to thank the entire nation for the support given to the air force.”
The ceremony was attended by the governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa, the Minister of Defence, Bello Mohammed, the Minister of State for Defence, Olusola Obada, National Assembly members, service chiefs, foreign defense chiefs, members of the diplomatic corps and senior military officers.