As part of its counter-insurgency fight in the North-east, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is set to establish a Forward Operational Base, (FOB) in Gombe.
This was disclosed by the leader of the NAF delegation to Gombe to inspect facilities on the ground to be used for the Base, Air Vice Marshal Idi Lubo.
AVM Lubo said that the choice of Gombe as a NAF FOB was informed by its strategic location and availability of a suitable airport.
He said that when established, the FOB will boost security and ensure stability in the North-east, adding that the NAF FOB will facilitate the country’s overall efforts in addressing the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east in general and enhance security in Gombe state in particular.
Lubo said that going through the field in Borno State, he understood that the people of the area are left behind in terms of physical and human capital development, saying that there is a strong correlation between under development and conflict of whatever sort.
Responding, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya announced the allocation of a 230 hectares of land near Gombe Airport along the Gombe-Bauchi road for the establishment of the Nigerian Airforce Forward Operational Base to facilitate swifter response in its counter insurgency operations in the North-east.
Yahaya said that he has also approved a space at the Gombe Airport for the smooth take off of a full-fledged base that will enhance the NAF’s response capability in combating insurgency and other security threats.
The Governor said that the establishment of the NAF FOB in Gombe State, being the centre of the troubled North-east will boost security in the State and stability in the region as a whole.
He said; “You all know that we existed as one in the North Eastern days and we share boundaries with all the five other states in the region – Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi and Taraba states – so this centrality places us at an advantage”.
Yahaya however said that such an advantage comes with added responsibility of having to host Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the neighbouring states due to the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Governor said his administration will continue to run an open door policy and a relationship that is complimentary in nature.
Highlight of the visit was the presentation of the title document of the 230 hectares of land allocated by the Governor.