By Bitrus Osagie
The 109 Combat Reconnaissance Group of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Gombe State has organised its maiden social-cultural activities in the state.
The event took place at the NAF headquarters in Lawanti community in Akko Local Government Area of Gombe State.
In his opening remarks, Commander of the 109 CRG, Wing Commander Maxine Mokelu said the event which is tagged “2023 Base Socio-cultural Activities (BASA)” was organised to celebrate the socio-cultural diversity of the Armed Forces.
Mokelu said the event also marked a significant milestone as it not only showcased the cultural heritage but brought together the diverse tapestry of cultures and traditions that defined Nigerians.
“So, today’s gathering holds immense significance as it provides us with a unique opportunity to showcase the depth and richness of our cultural diversity.
“Through various artistic expressions, performances, and exhibitions, we aim to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of our shared heritage while embracing the uniqueness of each cultural facet represented within our midst here in Gombe State.
“The BASA brings officers, soldiers and their families together to celebrate and interact with a view to fostering peace and unity as well as enhancing espirit-de-corps amongst personnel as well as with other military, security and agencies of government, including the local communities,” he said.
The wind commander said the event provided an opportunity for NAF personnel to further engage with host community while reaffirming their commitment to unity and solidarity in their service to the nation.
Mokelu said the approval by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar to host the BASA event across the country showed the commitment of the Chief of Air Staff to the welfare of his personnel and for that Mokelu expressed his appreciation to the NAF boss.
The commander of the 109 CRG also commended Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, all security agencies and the host community for their support especially in honouring the maiden event.
Gov. Yahaya in his remarks, commended NAF and all security agencies for their sacrifices for the peace and unity of the country.
Yahaya who represented by Lt.-Col. Abdullahi Bello (retired), the Commissioner of internal security and home affairs said that security agencies in the country had shown professionalism and capacity in handling the security threats which he said had become more enormous, complex and dynamic.
“In that regard, I must acknowledge the courage, competence and doggedness of our Armed Forces and the Nigerian Air Force in particular and other security agencies in their bid to rid the country of insurgency, terrorism, armed banditry and other emerging criminal threats.
“Although at the moment, we are enjoying relative peace here in Gombe State especially in comparison to other parts of the country.
“The persisting threats to security with respect to kidnapping, communal clashes and other related criminalities are still a major burden to our collective stability for good economic growth, peace and security.
“In view of your much required commitment and noble response to the national duty of confronting these security challenges, the time that ought to be devoted to your families and social engagements have been greatly reduced or often times, even denied.
“Let me use this opportunity to commend other security agencies for their invaluable contributions and working in synergy for the overall peace and security in the State.
“I salute you all for the courage determination, and urge you not to relent,” the governor said.
Malam Bello Bello, the District Head of Lawanti, the host community said NAF had been good to members of his community and he urged them to continue to engage with members of the community in the interest of peace.
Highlights of the event include cultural display and inter-agency game.