By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshall Isiaka Oladayo Amao, has announced the naming of the recently commissioned Ultrafit Gymnasium Centre at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Yola after former Chief of Air Staff, late Air Marshall Nsikak Eduok.
AVM Isiaka, who announced this during the burial of former Chief of Air Staff in Akwa Ibom on Saturday, said that immortalizing him, was a mark of honour to the late Air Marshall, and in appreciation for his contributions to the Nigerian Air Force in pursuit of national security.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force, Government and people of Akwa Ibom State, church, socio-cultural groups including Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio and other sectors across Nigeria during the event took turns to pour out heart wrenching encomiums as the late Air Marshall Eduok was laid to rest.
Led by Air Vice Marshall Amao, Eduok who was 12th Chief of Air Staff, was described as man of valour, whose integrity and unprecedented strive impacted significantly on the development of the Nigerian Air Force.
Amao, who also acknowledged the departed hero as one of the best hands in the Air Force, said the deceased committed service, experience and outstanding leadership qualities changed the landscape of the service.
At the funeral service tqgged “Collossus Goes Home”, held at Ibom Hall Grounds, Uyo,
conducted by the United Evangelical Church, Mbak Ekpe, Ibesikpo Asutan local government area of the state, Amao recalled that it was the late Eduok who procured an Helicopter which enhanced the capability and operational efficiency of the Nigerian Air Force, as 12th Chief of Air Staff.
His words; “He was a mentor to so many of us, both serving and retired. As the 12th Chief of Air Staff, he contributed significantly to the development of the Nigerian Air Force and impacted on the Air Force. He was my personal mentor. His astuteness, and dedication during his sojourn on Earth made significant and considerableastuten our lives and Nigerian Air Force as a whole.
“While serving as Chief of Air Staff, late Air Marshall Nsikak Eduok brought his operational and administrative experiences to bear in stirring the affairs of the Nigerian Air Force. He was renowned as the first COAS to procure an Helicopter which enhanced the capability and operational efficiency of NAF.
“Even in retirement, the late former Chief of Air Staff continued to make invaluable contributions to the development of the service with significant input in the restructuring of the NAF to make it more effective in dealing with the contemporary security challenges facing the country”
In his message of condolence, the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel described the late Eduok as one of the Ambassadors who epitomised the Akwa Ibom virtues of duty, honesty, transperncy, integrity and love for the country in the cause of his illustrious career in the Nigeria Airforce.
“Nigeria has lost a gem, Airforce has lost a Colossus, Akwa Ibom State has lost a Statesman. I want to believe the Church has lost a fighter, Ibibio Nation has lost a Great Son, the Family has lost a Husband, a Father and Grand Father. “I stand here today, filled with a big sense of loss and grief, on behalf of the government and good people of Akwa Ibom State to bid farewell to a quintessential Nigerian, Patriot, Trail blazer and Epitome of Courage and Bravery, a decorated Airforce Officer and above all, a Husband, a Father and a devout Christian. Earlier in his sermon, the Director, Chaplaincy Protestant church, NAF, Group Capt, Dogo Gani reminded Christians to always learn to carry out God’s purpose, while still alive through honest and selfless service to humanity.
He appreciated God that the deceased lived a life worthy of celebration and emulation, as evident in his selfless sacrifice to humanity and in the service of God.
“Everyone of us has a generation to serve, and limited time to serve. No matter how highly placed you are, one day you will go down the grave. Sadly, selfishness and self centeredness, pride and arrogance has become the bane of our society today,” he said.