The Nigerian Air Force on Wednesday in Abuja immortalised some of its fallen heroes and officers, including late Tolulope Arotile, for their contributions to the country.
The Director of Administration, NAF, Air Vice Marshal Aliyu Pani, said it is the tradition of the service to immortalise its fallen heroes by naming blocks of accommodations after them.
Pani made the statement at the inauguration of 10 blocks of accommodation for officers/airmen at NAF base Asokoro, constructed by the Ministry of Defence as part of its 2018 Capital Projects.
According to the Director, in line with the NAF’s tradition, all the blocks have been named after nine officers and one airman to immortalise them in recognition of their sacrifices.
He said: “In this regard, at NAF Base, Bill Clinton Drive, one of the two blocks of 10×1 bedroom transit accommodation was named after Flag Officer AA Mohammed (NAF/5082), who was Killed In Action (KIA) on September 5 in Birnin Gwari, while the second block of 10×1 bedroom transit accommodation was named after Flight Lieutenant Akweke Nwakile (NAF/3014), who was KIA on July 21, 2014, while participating in Operation Lafia Dole in the North East.
“Additionally, the two blocks of 4×2 Bedroom Married Officers Accommodation were named after Flight Officer Tolulope Arotile (NAF/4512F), who died as a result of Road Traffic Accident on July 24, at NAF Base Kaduna, as well as Flight Lieutenant John Ayonoteh Adams (NAF/3104), who was KIA on February 19, 2013, while participating in Operation Zaman Lafia among others.
Pani said the projects are spread between NAF Base in Asokoro, and NAF Base at Bill Clinton Drive along Airport Road.
“The projects fit perfectly into NAF’s aspirations for providing quality and conducive accommodation for its personnel. The provision of these blocks of accommodation will alleviate the accommodation challenges faced by NAF personnel in Abuja,” Pani said.
He observed that since the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, assumed duty in 2015, the service has witnessed tremendous development and transformation.
Earlier, the Guest of Honour, the Minister of Defence, retired Major General Bashir Magashi, while inaugurating the blocks of accommodation, said the welfare of personnel is a key factor in sustaining the operational successes so far attained by the Armed Forces.
Magashi was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Babangida Husaini.
“What we are witnessing today is part of the drive and commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to support the Nigerian military, particularly NAF to gradually and progressively attend to the welfare needs of officers and airmen/airwomen,” the Minister said.
He reiterated the Federal Government’s support and commitment in ensuring members of the Armed Forces are well equipped to better perform their constitutional roles.
The minister commended the CAS for his efforts toward improving the living standards of personnel and the operational effectiveness of the NAF.
“I believe that these achievements attest to your relentless drive to reposition the service into a highly professional and disciplined force,” Magashi said.