…. As Umar assumes leadership of NAF
By Kingsley Omonobi
ABUJA—The new chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin and the new Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Umar, yesterday took over command of the DHQ and NAF HQ with both senior officers pledging to improve on the capability of the armed forces as well as sustain the achievements of their predecessors.
This is just as the Acting Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim also assumed office yesterday with a pledge to put in place, a police force that will be all-inclusive, accessible, have respect for human rights, while the rule of law shall be paramount saying, “We shall insist on the virtues of discipline, orderliness, loyalty and courtesy which are the hallmarks of a modern Police organization.”
Immediate past Inspector General of Police, Ogbonna Onovo also yesterday bid farewell to the force even as he disclosed that all the former members of his management team, the six Deputy Inspectors General of Police, some of whom served as DIG way back to the Tafa Balogun era, have retired with him.
Speaking at the Defence headquarters, Petinrin said “This is the second time in two years that I will be involved in the handing and taking over an office from Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike. I always take over from him; recalling that he also took over from Dike as Chief of Air Staff.
“However, let me thank the outgoing CDS for the work he has done and the high level of standard he has set here. I assure him we will improve on the armed forces so that if he happens to come around or pass by, he will see that we have improved from where he stopped”.
Dike in his response said, “I consider myself the luckiest individual that has served the Nigerian Armed forces because after all these years and to be leaving without blemish is no mean feat. I thank Mr. President and all Nigerians for the opportunity and privileged given me to serve.”
“Air Marshal Petinrin is someone I have known for many years. We flew planes way back in Kano and Makurdi years back and I can vouch for his capability. It is no coincidence that I am handing over to him for the second time since 2008. I call on the officers and men of the Defence headquarters to therefore give him all the support to succeed.”
On his part, chief of Air staff, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Umar said while taking over from Petinrin that, “I wish to pledge my total and unalloyed loyalty and dedication to Mr. President and the government of Nigeria for this appointment is indeed a big honour to me, members of my family and the Nigeria Airforce for which I am extremely grateful”.
“I also hereby wish to affirm my unwavering commitment to lead the Nigerian Air Force in support of democracy and I call on all officers, airmen and airwomen of the Nigeria Air Force to do the same.”
“I also wish to pledge my loyalty to the minister of defence, Prince Adetokumbo Kayode and the minister of State, Alhaji Murtala Yar’adua. I wish to assure both of them of my subordination and that of the Nigeria Air Force to work under their able leadership and also work with all staff of the ministry of defence.”
The new police boss Ringim who addressed officers and the rank and file at the force headquarters shortly after he took over from his predecessor, Ogbonna Onovo, said, he was under no illusion that task ahead will be easy. He said “We are all witnesses to recent developments in our dear nation, where our mandate is being threatened by violent crimes like kidnapping and armed robbery.”
“We have recorded religious and ethnic uprisings which challenge our collective existence as one indivisible country. In the days ahead, the Political contest will commence in earnest to prepare grounds for the 2011 general elections. All these tough challenges will test our resilience and resourcefulness as law enforcement officers. But I am confident that with commitment and determination on our part, we shall arrive victorious.”