Barely 2 months after the establishment and groundbreaking ceremony of the 203 Combat Reconnaissance Group (203 CRG) Gombe, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has commenced a 2-day Medical Outreach for its host communities in the Akko-Gona Emirate of Gombe State. The free medical services, which commenced today, 22 October 2020, is an initiative of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, aimed at enhancing good civil-military relations between the NAF and its host communities and also a show of gratitude for their hospitality to the Service. Free healthcare services that would be provided during the Medical Outreach include health education and counseling, dental screening, visual acuity checks and provision of prescription eyeglasses, basic laboratory screening as well as provision of free medications and insecticide-treated mosquito nets, amongst others.
Speaking during the flag-off Ceremony, the Special Guest of Honour (SGOH), the Executive Governor of Gombe State, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr Manassah Daniel Jatau, appreciated the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his support towards enhancing the operational effectiveness and welfare of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, in spite of current economic realities. He noted that the conduct of the Medical Outreach less than two months after the ground breaking ceremony of 203 CRG in the State, was evidence of NAF’s commitment to not only enhancing security in the State but also touching the lives and winning the hearts and minds of its host communities. He urged members of the host communities to avail themselves of the opportunity, while pleading for their continued cooperation for the success not only of the outreach but also for peaceful, mutually-beneficial relationship with the Service. While assuring the NAF of the continued support of Gombe State Government, the SGOH expressed delight that over 3,000 persons would benefit from the qualitative medical services that would be provided during the outreach.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Special Operations Command (SOC), Air Vice Marshal Charles Ohwo, stated that the NAF, under the able leadership of the CAS, had continued to prioritize the provision of healthcare and other humanitarian services to its host communities and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) across the country. He noted that the 2-Day Medical Outreach was being conducted in consonance with this commitment in order to address the healthcare needs of over 3,000 members of the host communities of the 203 CRG, who ordinarily might not be able to afford such qualitative services. This, he said, was part of the current NAF Administration’s policy thrust of giving back to its host communities.
Responding on behalf of the beneficiaries, who trooped out in their large numbers, Bello Hassan, Village Head of Jalingo-Akko, thanked the NAF for the gesture, which he described as timely considering the economic hardship occasioned by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Other beneficiaries equally expressed their profound appreciation to the CAS for the commendable initiative.
The flag-off ceremony was witnessed by the Emir of Gona, Alhaji Umar Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, Lawanti District Head, Alhaji Lamido Abdulsalam, as well as Heads of Districts and Villages in Akko-Gona Emirate, amongst other dignitaries.
Director of Public Relations & Information
Nigerian Air Force
22 October 2020