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Governor Siminalayi Fubara (middle) flanked by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Ngozi Odu and Air Marshal Hassan Bala Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff during a visit to Government House, Port Harcourt on Wednesday

Fight economic sabotage, Fubara charges Nigerian Air Force  

…Assures work on Airforce runway, Officers’ accommodation

Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has sought the support of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the fight against economic sabotage, criminal damage of pipelines and theft through illegal bunkering of petroleum products.

Governor Fubara gave the charge when he received on a courtesy visit the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Bala Abubakar at Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

Sir Fubara noted the dire situation in which the national economy was immersed with Nigerians facing difficult times in their attempt to cope with the challenges and said the Nigerian Air Force cannot leave the fight against economic saboteurs to the Navy or the government alone.

He sued for an effective synergy and collaboration among all the security agencies so that they can work with the State government in identifying, chasing and arresting those criminal elements on land, sea and air who sabotage the national economy and ensure that they are prosecuted.

“I want to tell you, the entire Air Force, that we are having a difficult time in this country, so try as much as you can to see what you can do, we are ready to work with you to reduce economic sabotage. Illegal bunkering is a big issue and it is something not to leave in the hands of the Navy or the Army, but every body needs to work together.

“Those things we can’t see while on ground, you can access from aerial view. When we work together, I believe nothing is impossible to conquer. I appeal to you to order the Commander in charge of this base to work with us because we intend to start a new fighting arrangement against illegal bunkering activities.”

Governor Fubara, in response to demands from the Chief of Air Staff, assured that the State Commissioner for Special Projects will be directed to do assessment of what is left to be done on the Runway and the two blocks of buildings as accommodations for Air Force officers.

In his speech, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Bala Abubakar said he was in the State to inspect facilities at 115 Special Operations Group and also interact with the Air Force personnel.

He commended Governor Fubara for sustaining the relationship between the State government and the Air Force and for prioritising issues of education and youth empowerment that will reduce security challenges.

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