By Yahaya Isah
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on Saturday performed the foundation laying ceremony of a unit of the Nigerian Air Force in Gusau, Zamfara.
The new unit, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports, is named 207 Quick Response Group (QRG) established about two months ago and it will be under the control of Special Operations Command with its headquarters in Bauchi.
Dan-Ali said on the occasion that the establishment of the unit was intended to consolidate the presence of Nigeria Air Force in the zone in a bid to combat security challenges.
Strategically, he said, the unit would also help to consolidate on the gains so far recorded in the fight against insurgency in the area.
“The establishment of a quick response group in Gusau is part of efforts aimed at consolidating the current gains in the fight against insurgency and other forms of crime in the nation.
“It is on the premise of this that the scope of operations and expansion of the Nigerian Armed Forces are being considered in order not to leave any gap in the security architecture of Nigeria,” said the defence minister in a statement signed by the ministry’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Capt. Ayodele Famuyiwa.
In his remarks, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed that men and officers from Special Forces would be deployed to the unit.
This, Abubakar said, would enable NAF to provide timely and efficient response to meet national security challenges in the North-West region.
“Once fully activated, the Unit will ensure the containment of ethno-religious crisis, terrorism, cattle rustling, armed banditry and other acts of violence.”
Also speaking, Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, lauded the initiative of the Federal Government in establishing a unit of the Air Force in the state.
Yari noted that the unit would go a long way in complementing the existing military and para-military outfits in the state.