As part of an effort to curtail the persistent and unwarranted human rights abuses by personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN)
, the hierarchy of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), has put a mechanism in place to checkmate and curtail the unnecessary human rights abuses by its own personnel.
It also explained the new office, which is tasked with the responsibility of addressing complaints by NAF personnel, will also serve as an independent instrument that will provide an objective and compassionate channel for seeking redress.
Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet in a statement said that “To enable those outside the Nigerian Air Force
(NAF) have the opportunity to channel their complaints and grievances against the Service or its personnel, the Chief of the Air Staff has given the go-ahead for the establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman”.
He further disclosed that in approving the establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, took cognizance of the need to provide an avenue for those outside the Service as well as NAF serving personnel to ventilate their grievances against the Service for immediate resolution.
He said: “This is because the CAS strongly believes that putting in place appropriate mechanisms for redress would ensure harmonious relationship and substantially reduce chances of disaffection, improve trust and confidence with the civil populace. Such a mechanism is also aimed at increasing motivation and promoting personnel loyalty among NAF serving personnel. It should also be added that since the establishment of the NAF, its personnel has relied mostly on the provisions of the Executive Regulations in channeling their complaints about redress while in some cases, complaints were referred first to immediate superiors even when such complaints are against such superior officers. Also, many persons outside the Service have over time found it difficult to channel their complaints and grievances to the Service due to the absence of a distinct channel. The new Office of the Ombudsman, thus, provides an avenue to address these issues”.
He recalled that in July 2021, Air Marshal Amao approved the establishment of the Directorate of Veteran Affairs in a bid to stimulate better welfare packages for NAF veterans and their families.
The Directorate he added is, among other responsibilities, charged with interfacing with similar structures in sister Services towards harnessing necessary benefits for NAF retirees under existing Federal Government programs for veterans.
NAF Spokesperson concluded that these efforts which are in tandem with Air Marshal Amao’s vision, ‘To enhance and sustain critical airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of national security imperatives,’ are ultimately aimed at restructuring and reorganizing the NAF for better service delivery.