Air Force Honours Outstanding Officers, Others

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Wednesday held a one-day workshop for commanders of its various field units to equip new Commanders and remind older ones of their responsibilities and Headquarters’ expectations in the conduct of their activities.

Presentations at the workshop focused on subjects such as Command Responsibility, Administration, Financial Matters and Base Defence.

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Awards Ceremony was also held to celebrate NAF personnel that were deemed to have demonstrated courage, resilience, commitment, ingenuity and dedication to service within the purview of their assigned tasks.

Unlike previous CAS Awards ceremonies,  the event was unique because some civilians who added value to the efforts at ensuring the territorial integrity of our fatherland were also honoured.

While declaring the workshop open, the CAS, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated that command appointments in the NAF come with a lot of responsibilities, including management of human and material resources, and hence the need for the workshop.

He, therefore, urged all participants to take keen interest in the presentations, which were carefully selected, to prepare them for increased effectiveness in the discharge of their responsibilities.

On the CAS Awards Ceremony, Air Marshal Abubakar noted that special awards were conferred on a few individuals who were deemed to have exceptionally extolled the 3 core values of the NAF in the past year. Those NAF core values were said to be ‘‘Integrity first, Service before self and Excellence in all we do’’.

The CAS was quick to add that the personnel who received the awards represented a sample of the many resilient hearts that the NAF is proud of. While advising the award recipients not to lose steam, he equally enjoined those who did not receive awards not to despair but rather be motivated.

According to the CAS, “it is glaring that the NAF cannot be strong without our collective contributions no matter how modest they may be”. On the civilians that were honoured, he said “By their actions, these unique civilians have proved that the quest for peace and security in Nigeria, just like the rest of the world, requires the combination of the efforts of all Nigerians, irrespective of their affiliations or status”.

He added that the action of the civilians was a testimony to the popular saying that “security is everybody’s business”.

The awards were in 4 categories, the first being that of the Best Unit in Research and Development in 2017, an award presented to 041 Communications Depot Shasha and received by the Unit Commander, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola. The second category of awards was for civilian staff, with Mr Armstrong Buba emerging as the Best Junior Civilian Staff in 2017 while Engineer Ajibola Suleimon received the award for the Best Senior Civilian Staff in 2017. The third category of awards was for military personnel only. Award of the Best Non-Commissioned (NCO) of the Year went to Lance Corporal Moses Okoye while the Best Senior NCO of the Year was adjudged to be Sergeant Ibrahim Abdulmalik.

In addition, the Best Junior Officer of the Year Award was given to Flight Lieutenant Nkemdilim Ofodile, a female officer while Wing Commander Fatai Ganiyu carted away the Best Senior Officer of the Year Award.

The fourth and last category of awards was for special honourees, including Corporal Mureh John, who received the Gallantry Award of Distinguished Eagle Class 2. Other award recipients in the fourth category were Warrant Officer Jacob Omodara and Aircraftman Aliyu MS, both of who received the Special Proficiency Award Class 2.

Furthermore, the following officers received the Special Proficiency Award Class 1: Air Commodore Obainana Imafidor, Group Captain Albert Bot, Wing Commander Ahmadu Haruna, Late Air Commodre Adanu Ochai and Late Wing Commander Stephen Hedima. The wives of Late Air Commodore Ochai and Late Wing Commander Hedima received the posthumous awards to their late husbands, both of who paid the supreme sacrifice while on active service to the nation. Lastly, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Charles Ohwo was recognized as the Best Air Component Commander in the ongoing Operation LAFIYA DOLE in Northeast Nigeria.

The workshop for NAF Commanders of field units commenced immediately after the awards. Resource persons at the workshop included serving and retired senior military officers that are known to be repositories of knowledge in their fields and specialities. The papers presented during the workshop included “Command Responsibility” by retired AVM Gabriel Odesola and “Administration” by retired AVM Ibrahim Kure. Each of the presentations was followed by lengthy and stimulating interactive session to further drive home the lessons learnt. Two other papers, titled “Financial Matters” and “Base Defence” will be presented by AVM Clement Ogbeche and Retired Major General Shehu Abdulkadir respectively on 4 January 2018, when the Workshop will come to an end.

The 2 events of the day were organized in further fulfillment of one of the key drivers of the CAS Vision that seeks to promote the core values of integrity, excellence and service delivery.