The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has dissociated itself from the publication in one of the national dailies that the Ministry of Finance led by Mrs. Kemi Adeosun was deliberately starving the NAF of funds to carry out operations in the ongoing counterinsurgency in the northeast.
It said the publication, which was reportedly written by one retired NAF officer, Wing Commander AA. Abubakar, from Minna, Niger State, titled, Boko Haram: Open Letter to Finance Minister, was false and there is no iota of truth in it.
A statement signed by NAF’s spokesman, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, in Abuja, on Sunday indicated that the federal government, through the ministry of finance, has been highly supportive to the NAF through adequate and timely provision of funds, adding that without the provision of funds the NAF could not have recorded its many achievements in the past two years.
Adesanya noted that the letter specifically said that the NAF could not buy aviation fuel and hence, its inability to respond to the Nigerian Army’s request for air support in a recent Boko Haram attack in Sassawa, Yobe State.
According to him, the letter also states that NAF personnel were being owed their monthly allowances, adding that the scenario painted by the author(s) of the malicious letter is far from what obtains in today’s NAF.
The statement reads:”The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to a recent publication in the Nation newspaper on 6 November, 2017, titled “Boko Haram: Open Letter to Finance Minister”, which was reportedly written by one “Wing Commander AA Abubakar” of Minna, Niger State, said to be a retired NAF officer.
“The letter claimed, among other things, that the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun was deliberately starving the NAF of funds.
“Accordingly, the NAF hereby dissociates itself, in unequivocal terms, from the contents of the letter and from the supposed writer.
“Consequently, the NAF has always acknowledged the significant role being played by the Federal Government and its various agencies, including the Ministry of Finance, towards the successful accomplishment of its mission.
“For the records, the NAF has aviation fuel in abundance for the conduct of its air operations and could thus not have failed to respond to any request for air support on account of lack of aviation fuel.”
Adesanya added that the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) had since made it clear that the reports of NAF’s failure to respond to requests for air support in Yobe were a figment of the imagination of enemies of Nigeria, adding that, “personnel of the NAF participating in the counterinsurgency operations are not being owed their monthly allowances.”
“It is important to state that available NAF records do not indicate the existence of any ‘Wing Commander AA Abubakar (rtd),’ the supposed author of the open letter.
“It is therefore clear that the open letter was authored and published by mischief makers who are hell bent on causing distraction and disaffection within government agencies probably with a view to eroding the gains being made in the fight against insurgency.
“The NAF, therefore, continues to assure the general populace of the commitment of its personnel to completely eliminating the scourge of insurgency in Nigeria,” the statement noted.