By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – THE Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has charged senior personnel of the service to justify the money being paid to them from tax payers by putting in their best in securing the country.
He also told officers that promotion in the service was not a right, but a privilege given to selected deserving officers to enable them undertake higher responsibilities.
Abubakar said even as their duties and tasks were tedious, crucial and demanding, they were being expected to be more thorough, prudent and selfless in their delivery.
Speaking Friday,while decorating the newly promoted senior personnel of the Air Force, at the Air Force Headquarters in Abuja, Abubakar insisted that they must at all times be guided by their social contract with the Nigerian people.
“You must at all times be guided by your social contract with the Nigerian people. Because the Nigerian tax payers will pay more for your salaries and allowances, they will in turn expect you to reciprocate by working harder to ensure that our communities are stable, safe and secured, “he said.
According to him,” while it is a good thing to be elevated to an air rank or have more stars and bars on our shoulders, it is more fulfilling to say in retrospect that “l have done this much.”
” It is only then that you will be convinced that you have added value to our noble profession and by extension, our dear nation.
“It is popular saying that “to whom much is given, much more is expected. ” These words aptly capture the essence of responsibility associated with promotion, “he stressed.
While reminding the newly promoted officers that” promotion comes from God”, he, however, said” God does not like indolent people all the time.
“Indeed, because promotion comes with responsibility, the service will require you to justify your elevation by showing commitment to your responsibilities and upholding the core value of excellence in service that defines the Nigerian Air Force.
“While your duties and tasks will be more tedious, crucial and demanding, you will be expected to be more thorough, prudent and selfless in your delivery.
“I therefore urge you to give your utmost in your new ranks and by extension, begin to work for the next level of elevation,” he further added.
He told the promoted officers that their elevation to their new ranks was not only premised on their past performance, but also on their potential for the future.
“I therefore, congratulate you on attaining this feat, but must importantly commend your families who stood by you and nudged you even when it seemed difficult to do so.
He spoke further to them:”You must also at all times be guided by our social contract with the Nigerian people.
“Because the Nigerian tax payers will pay more for your salaries and allowances, they will in turn expect you to reciprocate by working harder to ensure that our communities are stable, safe and secured.
” Coming at a time when we are faced with daunting security challenges, nothing is more crucial to us than earning public trust.
“Your elevation to your new ranks therefore, is also an indication of the trust the nation has in you to find an enduring solution to the nation ’3 security challenges.”
The Chief of Air Staff said “service has over the years invested a lot in capacity building, reactivation and maintenance of its aircraft fleet, as well as welfare and infrastructural development initiatives for better performance.”
” While these efforts have yielded substantial results in terms of improved security conditions, it is imperative to mention that our exploits so far could not have been possible without the support of the President,
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Nigerian Air Force is indeed grateful to Mr President and remains loyal and committed to Mr President’s vision of a secure and prosperous nation,” he said.
He insisted that they must all rededicate themselves to the service of “our nation and brace up for the challenges ahead for “in the race to add value to our society and secure our communities, there is no finishing line. ”
” As you step into the next level, it is instructive for you to be guided by the words of Admiral Richard E Byrd which states “few men during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them,” he further charged them.
The event saw 50 senior personnel of the service promoted last week to various higher ranks decorated with their new ranks.
In all, 22 senior personnel in the rank of Air Commodores including the late pilot, Air Commodore Gabriel Ochayi, who died three months ago when the helicopter he was flying crashed in Kaduna, were decorated with the new ranks of Air Vice Marshal.
Also, 28 others who were in the rank of Group Captain,were decorated with their newly promoted rank of Air Commodore.
The synosure of all eyes at the colourful event was the window of late pilot, Gabriel Ochayi,who appeared on behalf of the deceased.