The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, has commended the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN), for turning out highly trained commanders, who he said have good understanding of operational art and requisite skills for the effective application of land power.
He noted that the college has continued to play a vital role since its inception three years ago saying, “our vision has paid a high level of dividend.” He lauded officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army engaged in various theatres of operation for rising to the security challenges in the country.
He spoke at the Graduation Lecture of Course 4/2020, AWCN, Abuja. Represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP), Army, Lt-Gen Lamidi Adeosun, Buratai noted that prevailing cases on insecurity have continued to succumb to the professionalism and capability of the Nigerian Army, which is benefitting from the various capacity advancement and training programmes initiated under his leadership:
“Despite the prevailing cases of insecurity in several parts of the country, I am proud to say this, the Nigerian Army has continued to rise admirably in tackling all security challenges plaguing the nation, as can be seen in the decimation of terrorists in the North East and bandits and kidnapping in the North West and North Central zones of the country.
“Graduates of the Army War College have added value to Nigeria Army war fighting capabilities. This explains why I have focussed a lot of attention in upgrading the facilities and environment of the college to required standard.”
Guest Lecturer and Country Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in Nigeria, Mr Mohammed Yahya, warned African countries to beware of the rise and increase in violent extremism, regretting that in 2020 alone, 3,181 Africans were killed as a result of violent extremism:
“The use of force alone cannot solve the problem. African countries should consider injecting additional strategies to tackle violent extremism. Nigeria has to lead the way. Nigeria needs to be ahead of the curve of fighting extremism.”
Meanwhile, Buratai commissioned the college’s office extension building at the college premises in Abuja. The building comprises offices, Central Auditorium with 450 seating capacity, a lecture hall and a lounge with 180 and 120 seating capacity respectively.
He said the college was conceived to address the observed gaps in the professional military education of Army’s personnel at operational level. He commended the commandant of the college, Major-General Solomon Udounwa, for living up-to the expectations of the college and urged him to keep it up.
The commandant expressed gratitude to the army chief for supporting the college, especially in the area of infrastructural development. AWCN was established in 2017 to bridge the gap between the tactical and strategic level training by producing well trained, educated and inspired operational level leaders for the Nigerian Army.
Army to recruit 18,000 to combat insecurity
The Nigerian Army said it has concluded arrangements to recruit 18,000 soldiers in 2021. It, however, said that only 5,000 would be admitted at a time owing to capacity constraints just as it revealed that the first batch would commence training in January 2021.
Commandant of the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, Kaduna State, stated this when the Senate Committee on Army, led by Mohammed Ali Ndume visited the depot.
Represented by Colonel Ismail Oloyede he said: “The army wants to recruit 18,000 soldiers next year. The facility here can only take about 5,000 per time. We are starting training next January. That is 2021.
“We will adhere to the principles of federal character as raised by members of the committee. The issues raised by the Senate about balancing are duly noted. Every part of the country will be represented.”
Ndume admitted that the challenges facing the armed forces were enormous, and that the security agencies were overstretched. He said though the country was faced with financial challenges, the Senate would make every attempt to give attention to issues affecting the army.
He urged the army to engage members of the National Assembly during the recruitment to ensure that every part of the country was carried along:
“The challenges are enormous and daunting. We have herdsmen attacks and other insecurity issues in every part of the country. We are in a budget period.
“Even though we are faced with financial challenges, we will make every attempt and give attention to the issues.
“It is important to always work with the representatives of the people to create balancing. There should be fair representation in recruitment into the army.
“It is important to ensure fairness and justice. We must have at least one or more from every local government into the army during any recruitment.”
Buratai solicits FG’s support for overseas training
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, has solicited the support of the Ministry of Defence to enable Nigerian Army personnel undergo training overseas.
He made the call when he received the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Babangida Husseini, at the Army Headquarters, Abuja. He said the training would go a long way in strengthening the capacity of the officers.
He listed the areas of the training on operational capacity building, force sustainment/intelligence and analysis among others. He stressed the importance of training and retraining of personnel especially at this time when the nation was battling insecurity, saying such training would better equip personnel with the necessary knowledge, skills, tactics to deal with the situations as they happen.
Husseini called for a better synergy between the ministry and the army and engage and constructive engagements. He said plans have reached an advanced stage to reposition the ministry by putting the right policy framework in place.
He assured the COAS of the ministry’s cooperation to provide necessary support for officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army, to carry out constitutional mandates of defending and protecting the territorial integrity of the nation.