The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, has today, 29 September 2018, paid a condolence visit to the family of late Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) Mohammed Bello Baba-Ari, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) pilot who died yesterday as a result of an air mishap. The CAS, who was received by the deceased’s father, Alhaji Abu Baba-Ari, lauded the sterling virtues of the late senior officer, stating that he was an exceptional officer who excelled in virtually every area of his career. Air Marshal Abubakar described late Baba-Ari as an intelligent, articulate, hardworking, resourceful and dedicated officer who was well liked and respected by his peers, subordinates and superiors alike. He stated that Baba-Ari had distinguished himself as an outstanding combat pilot who had made tangible contributions in the counter terrorism operations in the North East. He urged the family to take solace in the fact that their son was a hero, who had made the supreme sacrifice in service to the nation. He prayed that God would continue to comfort the entire family. Prayers were also offered for the peaceful repose of the deceased NAF pilot’s soul.
The CAS was accompanied on the condolence visit by a team comprising all 10 Branch Heads from NAF Headquarters as well as the Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command and Commander 101 Air Defence Group, where late San Ldr Baba-Ari previously served as acting Commander. The CAS also later undertook a follow up visit to the Defence Intelligence Agency Medical Centre to check on the 2 surviving pilots, who are recuperating extremely well.
DESERT HERALD leanrt that the late Bello is an indigene of Yobe State from Fika Local Government Council. His father Habu Baba-Ari is a retired civil servant and a former staff of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE. Retired Air Vice Marshal Alkali Mamu who is from the same state and local government with the deceased Squadron Leader is the first trained Nigerian Airforce pilot that rose to the position of AVM in Yobe State. The late officer is seen by his colleagues as a potential officer that will one day occupy higher positions and emulate his elder retired officers like AVM Mamu.