The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has warned criminals and thugs to stay away from election processes.
Yahaya gave the warning at the inauguration of the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) Course 7/2023 and Inaugural Lecture of the college on Friday in Abuja.
He assured Nigerians of the loyalty of officers and soldiers of the Nigerian army to the President, Commander-in-Chief and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to protect its integrity.
“As we move towards the 2023 general elections, I want to assure the nation of the commitment of the Nigerian army along with the other services and our stakeholders, of our preparedness to provide a conducive environment for a free, fair and credible election.
“Criminals, thugs, hooligans and miscreants are advised in their own interest, not to interfere with the elections as the law abiding citizens and good people of Nigeria go to the polls to freely exercise their constitutional right to vote,” he said.
Yahaya said the college had been able to bridge the training gap in the Nigerian army, urging participants to remain focussed with a view to maximising the benefits of the rich course content of the college.
He expressed confidence that the participant would have been well groomed into the elite league as critical thinkers who would strive to identify challenges and provide plausible strategies and solutions.
“As new challenges continue to emerge in our dear nation in the face of concerted efforts to tackle them, I believe that the knowledge gained in the college will equip you with the requisite expertise to plan operations.
“The course will also enhance understanding and synergy between the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in the conduct of operations.
“This actually keys into my vision for Nigeria, which is to have the professional Nigerian army ready to accomplish assigned missions within a joint environment in defence of Nigeria.
“To this end, it is my desire to sustain the current drive in confronting the current hydra-headed security challenges while improving personnel training welfare and professionalism in order to achieve the desired end state,” he added.
The former Chief of Army Staff, retired Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, said the Nigerian army had evolved overtime, adding that it had continued to contribute to the nation’s development.
Ihejirika, who delivered the inaugural lecture titled, “the Role of the Nigerian Army in National Development,” said the army and the military in general had been part of economic and political development of Nigeria.
He said the war college course was designed to develop the ability of the officers to think and come up with solutions to the intractable security challenges seeking for solutions.
He challenged the participants to develop ideas and strategies that would help provide solutions to the national security questions.
The Commandant of AWCN, Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Alabi, challenged the participants to assert themselves cognitively to add value to the solutions to the many problems of Nigeria.
Alabi said the course was designed to develop individual and collective cognitive capabilities towards a better understanding of the issues arising from a valid or certain complex, ambiguous and distorted environment.
He said the curriculum sought to emphasise the application of critical thinking skills with the intent of broadening the way the participants think, saying the content of AWCN was rich, and comparable to that of the best war college in the world.
“You will also need to sharpen your intellect, analytical skills and perceptual capabilities to enable you to effectively examine and proffer solutions to security issues.
“I am confident that this course will be academically rewarding for you the participants, beginning with the well package inaugural lecture today on the role of Nigerian army in national development,” he said.
The course 7/2023 has 73 participants comprising 62 from Nigerian army, two each from the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force as well as seven foreign participants from Benin, Cameroon, Liberia, Morocco, Niger and Gambia.
There are also participants from the Nigeria Police and other security agencies who would be participating in modules on inter-agency cooperation among others.
The course is expected to run for 33 weeks. (NAN)