President Muhammadu Buhari has decorated the first set of Nigerian Army Pilots trained by the Nigerian Army Aviation School to fly warplanes.
The 10 young pilots had undergone a two-year intensive training and completed their primary flying training at the International Helicopter Flying School (IHFS) Enugu. They include:
- Capt. Ekemini Collins
- Capt. Banwo Olufemi Muyideen
- Capt. Kenechukwu Amauche Ofodile
- Capt. Jamil Umar Ibelu
- Capt. Oluwakayode Stephen Arifo
- Capt. Elvis Orokaro Akpere
- Capt. Yohanna Atang Haruna
- Capt. Faisal Magaji Shehu
- Lt. Peter Kajako
- Lt. Uddin Joseph Oluwasegun
The pilots were decorated at the opening ceremony of the Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference 2017 tagged ‘Re-appraising the Nigerian Army’s Operational Efficiency in Containing Contemporary National Security Challenges,’ held at World Lilies Event Place, Apata, Ibadan, Oyo state capital.
The initiative to train pilots is in accordance with the vision of the current leadership of the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Lieutenant General TY Buratai in transforming and enhancing its operations and efficiency of its personnel.
Performing the commissioning, President Buhari who was represented by General Gabriel Olorunnisakin said the decoration of the young pilots would further strengthen the operation of the Nigerian Army in securing its territory.
The President commended the feat achieved by the Nigerian Army saying it was evident that the nation’s Armed Forces have moved to the next level.
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“The nation appreciates the enormous sacrifices of our gallant officers and men prayed for the repose of the souls of our soldiers whom we have lost in the course of enthroning sustainable peace in the country,” Buhari said.
He implored Nigerian leaders at all levels to embrace the wind of change blowing across the country, as he appreciated the professional conduct of the officers and prodded them to continue the patronage of Nigeria’s local products and services.
In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai said the commencement of the training of aviation corps for the Army was an initiative conceived in accordance with the vision of the current leadership of the Nigerian Army in transforming and enhancing its operations and efficiency of its personnel.
Gen. Buratai stressed that the essence of the Aviation Corps is to enhance the fighting capabilities of troops, especially for its counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast and across the country.
According to the COAS, the Nigerian Army was tailored to materialize, using its own platforms and re-positioned to double its achievements in the year 2018.
He pledged that the Nigerian Army will not relent in the training of its personnel for efficient service delivery and be open to reforms that would continue to position the institution for maximum performance.
Gen. Buratai also promised that the Nigerian Army would continue to ensure the sustenance of democratic governance in Nigeria and defend the country’s territorial integrity.
Another highlight of the event was the unveiling of some books on the stewardship of Gen. Buratai, published in his honour.