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Governor Emmanuel Seeks Airforce Presence, As Combat Games Ends In Uyo
Ndifreke Akpan (Govt House)
The third edition of the Nigerian Airforce Inter-Command Combat Sports Competition tagged, Uyo 2018 has ended with a call for the establishment of an air-force operational base in Akwa Ibom State.
The week long event at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo was declared closed by Governor Udom Emmanuel who stated the willingness of his Government to partner the Nigerian Airforce to establish its presence in the state.
Governor Emmanuel announced that Government had already secured land for the Airforce to establish an Air Operational Base in Akwa Ibom State and explained to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the efforts he was making to achieve that purpose.
“When you see me struggling to even do a taxi way that can also serve as a second runway at Ibom International Airport in case of any emergency, it is because of your promise that you will give me an Air Operational Base here”.
The State Chief Executive commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the release of resources used to enhance professionalism within the Armed Forces describing it as a good development.
He expressed appreciation to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar for the choice of Akwa Ibom as the venue for the NAF Competition and noted that it was a great honour and show of brotherhood.
Mr Emmanuel further commended the Chief of Air Staff for creating a workable and pragmatic vision for the Nigerian Airforce explaining that the key element in his leadership approach is to reposition NAF into a highly professional and discipline force through capacity building initiative.
This, according to the Governor, is for effective, efficient and timely employment of Air Power in response to Nigeria’s National Security imperatives.
The Governor further stated, “I am convinced that the first and the last key drivers of his vision which are human capacity development through robust and result oriented training for enhanced professional performance as well as focused on comradeship, regimentation and inter-service cooperation is the reason for this sports competition.”
Governor Emmanuel who presented Trophies and Medals to the overall winner, Ground Training Command with six gold and three bronze medals, applauded the team and other participants for being part of the week long event.
He also extended words of appreciation to the Armed Forces and other Para-Military Agencies for collaborating with the state to ensure effective security but encouraged them to do more.
The Governor however observed with dismay the non-availability of any project executed by the Federal Government in Akwa Ibom State being the number one oil producer in the country and enjoined the contingents to take out time and ground the state to see what his administration was struggling to do.
He stated that the State Government was building infrastructure, economy and the people and emphasized that the primary responsibility of any government was the social contract of protecting lives and property; an aspect taken as a sacred responsibility with very serious approach by his administration.
The third edition of the NAF Sports Competition saw Team Logistics Command emerged second while Team Tactical Air Command secured the third place.
At the event, the state Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, retired also presented Medals to the winners.
Sister agencies who took part in the invitational combat relay also went home with Medals as the Nigerian Army took first in that category followed by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp and the Nigerian Police on the third position.
Combat boxing, swimming, obstacles crossing, taekwando, relay race, tug of war and marksmanship were some of the events competed for during the 2018 NAF fiesta.
Cultural display, match past by the seven contingents and 4 × 400M combat relay were some of the highlights at the closing ceremony.
Senators, serving and retired military officers, Commissioners and Special Advisers, other top politicians and many other prominent citizens joined the Governor as he declared the competition closed.