The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, has assured the nation of the dedication of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to ensure that the nation is secured and see to it that the present threat to Nigeria nationhood is ward off.

Abubakar, who was in Maiduguri on Friday to celebrate Sallah with men and officers of the Nigerian Air Force involved in the ongoing counter-insurgency war in the North-east and to commission a multi-purpose hall named after a distinguished former air officer, late Air Vice Marshall Ekpenyong Edem, said: “We are going to keep working just like the president directed and we are going to ensure that not only in the North-east but that all part of the country is secured.”

He said: “I am here in Maiduguri to convey the president’s appreciation to the men fighting here. He asked the service chiefs to convey this information to our constituencies, and my constituency here is the Air Force and that we should work much harder.”

He added that: “Nigeria is endowed in term of resources and all that is required is for all Nigerians to put in their best in ensuring that the country moves forward as a united entity.

“We are very excited with the progress they are making here. There is no doubt so much has changed from 2014 till now. Those of you in Maiduguri, I know can attest to that. The situation has changed.”

On AVM Edem, who was immortalised by the Nigerian Air Force with the naming of the hall after him, Abubakar said: “He was a very hardworking and diligent Nigeria that has contributed to the progress of Nigeria. Some of us had the opportunity to serve with him and I can tell you he did a lot to add value to what we have on ground now.”

He noted that the idea to immortalise the highly rated deceased officer was to “send message to young officers that when you work hard, even when you are not around people will recognise your contributions, and that was exactly what we did”.

The wife of the deceased, Mrs. Bernadette Edem, said it was a great honour to the family and Cross River State for her late husband to be honoured by NAF in far away Maiduguri.

She advised every wife of military officers to always be supportive of their husband and keep the home front running since their husbands cannot always be around.

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