CHIEF of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Umar, said the Federal Government is committed to making the Nigerian Armed Forces one of the best in the world by the year 2020.
He made this known in Abuja yesterday at the end of the “Annual 10 kilometer Walk/Jog for physical fitness”, organised by the Nigerian Air Force for its officers.
Umar said the leadership of the nation and the armed forces were doing their best to reposition the services in this respect.
Represented by AVM Gbolahan Adekunle, Chief of Policy and Plans, Umar said it was essential that the Nigerian Armed Forces should key into the nation’s transformation agenda.
Reports say that the exercise took participants from Mogadishu Cantonment Parade Ground through AYA; Yakubu Gowon Road; Niger Barracks and Lungi Barracks Junction.
The participants returned via the same route to the Mogadishu Cantonment Parade Ground, in Abuja.
Umar said that the preparation for the event started in March 2012.
He said in the past most of the representatives of Nigeria in most track and field and other sporting event in the World used to come from the armed forces.
“A large number of them were from the armed forces, especially from the police and the army but today, that has dropped drastically.
“We need to go back to the drawing board and ensure that armed forces begin to represent this nation again in international sport meet.
According to him, exercise is one of the indices that the Air Force uses in assessing the fitness of their personnel.
He, therefore, urged them not to relent in taking time off to exercise at least thrice a week, adding: “you do not have to wait for the Air Force because the great beneficiary of such exercise is a sound mind. ’’
In his remarks, Air Commodore Kabir Musa-Fari, Commander, 106 Nigerian Air Force Camp, Abuja, said: “the exercise was successful because it was a well planned event.”
Musa-Fari said there was a minimum level of fitness to be maintained in the military, saying: “if you are not medically fit, you could be asked to leave the service.
“It is also at the back of our mind that we must keep fit and also to meet other challenges in the course of our duty. ”
One of the participants, Group Capt. Useni Sylvanus, who came first in the officers’ cadre finishing at 47 minutes, attributed his success to constant exercise.