The new air officer commanding the Tactical Air Command of the Nigerian Air Force, Makurdi, AVM Precious Amadi, has expressed the service’s commitment to peaceful coexistence with its host community in Benue State.
The AOC also pledged to synergize with the Benue State government in its efforts towards combating all forms of security challenges confronting the state.
AVM Amadi made the commitment on Wednesday when he led a delegation of officers of the command to pay a courtesy call on Governor Samuel Ortom in Makurdi.
AVM Amadi said the Nigerian Airforce was committed to peace with the host community, especially with regards to land encroachment.
It would be recalled that an agreement was reached in 2020 providing for the Nigerian Air Force, Makurdi, to cede 850 hectares of land out of the disputed land covering 400 hectares to the Ugondo community.
AVM Amadi told the governor that there has been further encroachment on the land, especially on the runway by the host community.
He then appealed to Governor Ortom to expedite the process for issuance of a certificate of occupancy to NAF TAC for it to continue the construction of a perimetre fence to properly secure the land.
He said he had come to pay homage to the governor as it was customary since assuming posting as commander. He pledged the readiness of the command to peacefully coexist with the host community.
AVM Amadi told the governor that the Tactical Air Command is the fighting arm of the Nigerian Airforce with the main objective to deliver firepower through the air against all adversaries to protect the nation from bandits, terrorists, insurgents and fulfill other security objectives.
“As a security formation, one of our top priorities is to support the Benue State government to confront the current security challenge bedeviling the state and the region in particular,” he said.
Governor Ortom urged the Nigerian Air Force not to renege on the agreement to concede the hectares of land contained in the standing peace agreement brokered by the state government.
On the complaint from the new AOC on further encroachment on the land belonging to the command, Governor Ortom directed the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Solid Minerals to hasten the process for the issuance of certificate of occupancy to NAF.
He said he was ready to sign the certificate of occupancy based on the agreement reached with NAF so that issues at stake could be amicably resolved.
The governor who blamed the ongoing dispute on the ambiguous manner with which lands were allocated by previous governments, expressed readiness that his administration would put the records straight to prevent further altercations between the Airforce and the host community.
According to the governor, leaders of the community have already indicated willingness to abide by the standing agreement for peaceful coexistence.
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