By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola has warned criminals to steer clear from the state, saying there is no more hiding place for them.
Oyetola who gave the warning on Wednesday while commissioning the newly built 12 One Bedroom Single Officers Quarters, at the 209 Quick Response Group (QRG) Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base, Ipetu-Ijesa said his administration will continue to protect the lives and property of his citizens.
While promising his administration continued support to security agencies in the state, the governor said the administration is poised to raise the bar of security by providing necessary logistics and security architecture that will enable the security operatives to perform their duties efficiently, effectively and diligently.
Oyetola, who solicited the continued support and cooperation of the security agencies, said the state would continue to work in partnership with relevant security agencies and stakeholders to strengthen security and ensure maximum protection of lives and property of the citizenry.
He said the inauguration of the 12 One Bedroom Single Officers Quarters, is a clear demonstration of the interest the Air Force boss has in his officers and men, adding that the attention being given to the welfare of Air Force officers and men is, therefore, a huge contribution to the nation’s military strength and capacity.
“It is on the basis of this realisation that I would like to salute the vision and leadership of the Chief of Air Staff and appreciate his contributions to the security needs of the nation,” the governor said.
He said the state has been working in collaboration with other southwest states to enhance the security architecture in the region.
While commending the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for being supportive to the security agencies in the country, the governor also applauded the leadership of the Nigerian Air Force for joining hands with other security agencies during the emerging security challenges in the state and Nigeria at large.
Oyetola said: “I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the establishment of an Air Force Base in Ipetu Ijesa to promptly respond to emerging security challenges in the south western part of the country and for providing necessary support to sustain the operations of the Base.
“I also understand that very soon, a Regimental Centre Annex to train Special Forces personnel will come on stream here. I would like to thank the Chief of Air Staff for considering Osun for this all important centre.
“I solicit the continued support of the Nigerian Air Force in our resolve to keep the Region and our people safe,” Oyetola said.
On his part, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, commended Governor Oyetola and President Muhammadu Buhari for being supportive to the Force in its quest to provide adequate security in the country.
He said the Force has been enjoying hands of fellowship and prompt support from the state and federal governments, a gesture he described as a motivation and encouragement.
Abubakar who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Air Force Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Napoleon Bali Rinkap, pledged that the Force will re-double its efforts at ensuring the security of lives and property of the citizens.
He said the 209 QRG Ipetu Ijesa was established to serve as a support and training base for jungle awareness training for Special Forces and jungle survival training for NAF pilots.
“Accordingly, the Group will provide the NAF with well-trained forces capable of conducting special operations within the South West region and anywhere in Nigeria.
“It is worthy to note that 209 QRG was established in fulfilment of our roles to ensure the achievement of Nigerian national security imperatives.
“The security environment has been dominated by unconventional threats from non-state actors committing acts of violence against the populace. This has made the Armed Forces of Nigeria to be engaged in conducting several counter – insurgency operations in various parts of the country”, Abubakar added.
Earlier, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations, Air Vice Marshal JMD Gwani, noted that the 209 Quick Response Group is crucial to the successful conduct of NAF operations in the South West as it has assisted in the combined efforts of government to arrest the menace of insecurity in the region.
He said the new facilities would serve as a morale booster for the Airmen and their families.
“It is hoped that this would create an enabling environment for the Airmen and women in their operations. We must reciprocate by showing unflinching loyalty, patriotism and dedication in the attainment of the NAF vision”, he stated.
Those in attendance at the commissioning ceremony include: Former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin; Commander Nigerian Air Force 209 Quick Response Group, Ipetu-Ijesa, Wing Commander D.M Komo; Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Charles Akinola and Head of Service, Dr. Festus Olowogboyega Oyebade.
Others are: Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran and Ajalaye of Ipetu-Ijesa, Oba Adeleke Agunbiade among others.