The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed additional Special Forces to Lafia in Nasarawa State to boost security in the North central state.
Nasarawa state like its neighbour, Benue state is facing security challenges occasioned by armed bandits and ethnic militias in recent times.
The deployment of the SF followed the earlier deployment of a NAF Mi-35P Helicopter Gunship to conduct operations in the area and to mark the formal activation of the 22 Quick Response Wing (22 QRW) in Lafia, Nasarawa state capital
The objective of the deployment is to hasten the restoration of peace and security to the North Central Zone.
Address the troops during the deployment, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the deployment was aimed at enhancing the existing security architecture in the area.
Represented by the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command (AOC SOC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Charles Ohwo, the air chief noted that the 22 QRW was established in 2018 with the objective of bringing security closer to the people by curbing the activities of bandits, kidnappers, cattle rustlers and other criminal elements in Nasarawa State and its environs, “working in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies.”
Air Marshal Abubakar said the Unit could not fully commence operations at that time due to some logistics and manpower constraints, which, he said, had recently been overcome in two ways.
He said first was the recent graduation of additional 94 SF personnel at the NAF Regiment Training Centre (RTC) in Bauchi, while the second was the support provided by the Nasarawa State Government, which he said paved way for the deployment of the SF elements and their equipment.
The air chief charged the SF to continue to uphold the NAF’s core values of “Integrity, ‘Service before Self and ‘Excellence”, as they carry out their assigned tasks.
The Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engineer Abdulahi Sule, who was present to receive the troops, expressed appreciation for the swift response by the NAF to deploy SF to the State. He said it would help to bringing acts of criminality in the State to an end.