Noah Ebije, Kaduna.
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended Nigerian Armed Forces for their resolute and quick response in fighting Boko Haram insurgency in North East of the country.
Speaking on Thursday at the graduation ceremony of Senior Course 40 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna, President Buhari noted that over the years, the Armed Forces had provided the appropriate response to numerous security challenges facing the country.
He said the graduation of Senior Course 40 of the College was a landmark event in the careers of the 182 graduands, including 11 international officers from various African countries.
“Having said that, it is pretty obvious that our dear nation is having its fair share of security challenges. However, it is important to reiterate that capacity building remains the bedrock of combat ready, effective and efficient military. Incidentally, our Tri-service training institutions, especially the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji, have been playing critical roles in this regard.
“These institutions as well as the single-Service training institutions must continue to be provided with the requisite support to enable them to discharge their obligations.
“To this end, the Federal Government will continue to give priority to the training and welfare of officers and men of our Armed Forces.
“This is not only because we salute their courage and sacrifice for the safety and stability of our country but because the Armed Forces of Nigeria have continued to be the bastion of our unity.
“Over the years, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have provided the appropriate response to the numerous security challenges facing our country.
“Their response to Boko Haram insurgency, militancy, kidnapping, activities of separatists and armed militias amongst others have been very commendable.
“The Nigerian Armed Forces has also committed huge resources towards stability of the West African sub-region and world peace in general. Our efforts in Liberia and Sierra Leone which stabilised the West African sub-region readily come to mind.
“More recently, our Armed Forces have also contributed to the peace in The Gambia, Mali and South Sudan. It therefore goes without saying that a force that is extensively committed to the maintenance of local, national, regional and world peace needs to be adequately prepared to confront security challenges as they emerge.
“This reality underscores the critical place of capacity building in our armed forces and the roles of training institutions.
“In this regard, a lot is expected of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji being the institution that trains middle level officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
“Over the years, the College has lived up to its responsibilities and has tried to keep pace with international best practices and dynamic security challenges.
“I therefore congratulate the Commandant and his team for keeping the flag flying. I have been briefed about the efforts you have been making to ensure the curriculum of the College is relevant to prevailing security challenges. That is what is expected of an institution like this.
“I am also aware of your efforts to improve on the infrastructure and training facilities of the College to provide enabling environment for teaching and learning. I am impressed and urge you not to rest on your achievements so far.
“It is my pleasure to visit the Armed Forces Command and Staff College. Not because of its unique place as a Tri-service institution for the training of our officers but because it provides me an opportunity to interact with the entire College community and most especially the students who are the future leaders of our Armed Forces.
“The graduation of Senior Course 40 of the College today is a landmark event in the careers of the 182 graduands.
“I am delighted to observe that amongst the graduating students are 11 international officers from various African countries, I am quite appreciative of you all and hope you enjoyed our hospitality during your stay here in our country.
“You would have observed that despite our diversity and challenges, Nigeria is still one of the most enjoyable places in the world.
“The significance and importance of joint training of members of the armed forces of friendly and allied countries cannot be over-emphasized and Senior Course 40 is not an exception.
“The Course would have afforded you the chance to break barriers and build bridges of friendship amongst yourselves as individuals.
“It would have also afforded you the rare opportunity of appreciating each other’s lifestyle, culture and doctrines.
“This unique understanding and bond is expected to come handy in forging closer co-operation when occasions demand that you are deployed together in multinational operations.
“As the world shrinks into a global village with advancement in technology, nations cannot afford but work closely with each other in pursuit of their national interests.
“Even at the level of individuals or groups, the barriers have been broken. This has also brought in its wake an increase in international trade, commerce as well as security cooperation.
“The numerous security challenges facing the world today are trans-border in nature, involving actors in different sub-regions and regions. The West African sub-region and indeed the African continent are not immune to the negative impacts of globalisation.
“To effectively combat the prevalent security threats demands that African countries continue to work together at all levels including operational and tactical levels.
“I am sure you are aware of the collaboration of the armed forces of Nigeria, Cameroun, Niger Republic and Chad in a multinational operation to combat Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin region.
“The synergy of the forces in operating together must have boosted an understanding of the doctrines of the cooperating forces which in turn would have been made possible through joint training and exercises.
“These efforts suggest to me that the resources allocated to the College are judiciously used. I have to add that the efforts of the Governing Board as well as that of the Commandant and his team reflect what we expect of every Nigerian irrespective of their position.
“The CHANGE we desire in Nigeria actually starts with us as individuals. In Nigeria, there is the tendency to lay the blame for the state of affairs in the country on the doorsteps of the leaders alone.
“Yes, leaders have a major role to play in providing direction and the enabling environment. However, the citizens role also is vital in our attaining meaningful transformation of any society.
“May I assure you of this Administration’s effort to return our country on the path of peace and prosperity. At the inception of this administration, I made 3 key promises to Nigerians.
“First is to address the various security challenges facing our country, second, to reposition our economy and third to fight the serious challenge of corruption which had eaten so deep into the very fabric that sustain our nation.
“On the issue of security, we recognise that security challenges abound in all countries of the world including Nigeria. I am certain, with the consistent efforts of our security agencies, these challenges shall be considerably mitigated and minimised.
“Let me call on the graduating officers to realize that the nation has made a lot of investment into your training. Likewise the nation is expecting the best from you in terms of commitment to your duties and fatherland.
“The highest standards of competence and professionalism is expected of you considering the level of training you have received through this course.
“Go out there and make your honest contributions to the discharge of the constitutional responsibilities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and be good ambassadors of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College,” the President stated.