ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR, AT THE NIGERIAN AIR FORCE DISTINGUISHED FLYING STAR INVESTITURE PARADE ON 11th OCTOBER 2011
1. It gives me great pleasure to be at the Nigerian Air Force Distinguished Flying Star Investiture parade.
2. This event underscores the importance of strong military traditions which foster greater cohesion and espirit-de-corps in our Armed Forces. This sense of purpose and brotherliness is especially crucial now, in view of the global security challenges from which we are clearly not immune.
Yet, as we work to bring about a transformation in our Great Nation, it is imperative that we focus upon the things which bind us together and make us stronger.
3. I must commend the Nigerian Air Force and, indeed, the Armed Forces as a whole for their immense contributions to the maintenance of National Security and the defence of our emerging Democracy. Members of the Armed Forces are currently involved in Internal Security Operations in several parts of our dear Country.
4. I must also note with pride your contributions towards ensuring stability across our great continent and beyond. Your active participation in bringing peace and stability to the West-African Sub-region has been commended globally. I wish to commend you on the professionalism with which you have handled the various situations.
Your courage, dedication to duty and professionalism bear noble testimony to the indomitable spirit of the Nigerian People.
5. I am aware that these accomplishments have not been without great and often painful sacrifices, and for this reason the Nation owes you and your families a debt of gratitude. The Nigerian Air Force plays a uniquely significant role in ensuring the security of our Great Country. I am confident that with the ongoing positioning of the NAF for sustained employment of air power, as evidenced in the establishment of the Mobility Command, the Air Force is destined for even greater achievements as we work to transform Nigeria.
6. No nation can rightly boast of greatness in the absence of a vibrant Armed Forces, bearing in mind that the onerous task of nation building can only be accomplished when the safety and territorial integrity of the nation is assured. There is, therefore, no doubt that building and maintaining a virile and motivated Air Force is essential to ensuring our security and national development.
7. It is for this reason that the Federal Government has continued to make substantial investment in the provision of new platforms and the reactivation of older ones. This is in addition to our commitment to ensure better training and improved welfare packages for the brave men and women of our noble armed forces.
8. This Parade affords us an opportunity to reflect upon the challenges and accomplishments of the Nigerian Air Force, which essentially mirror those of the Nation as a whole. Permit me, at this point to join the Nigerian Air Force in celebrating the leaders, past and present, who have been instrumental in shaping the growth of the Service.
9. My congratulations, therefore, go to the recipients of the Distinguished Flying Star. There is no doubt that the award is in recognition of your contributions to the advancement of the Nigerian Air Force and the security of our Country.
I must, therefore, urge you, whether serving or retired, to continue to contribute towards the advancement of our Great Nation in whatever capacity or opportunity is available to you. I enjoin you all to continue to give your best towards our shared dream of transforming Nigeria.
10. Finally, I encourage all Nigerians to remain steadfast, vigilant and optimistic, bearing in mind that the endeavour of building a Great Nation can never be without challenges. I want to assure you, however, that as we work together and draw upon our collective strengths and the numerous ties that bind us in peace and unity, we shall prevail over the challenges and leave a better country for our children.
8.? Thank you and May the Almighty bless you all.