By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) on Friday graduated 65 operational level senior officers.
These officers were drawn from the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force and other security agencies from its Course 4.
Other agencies that participated include the Nigeria Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
55 officers of the Nigerian Army comprising 47 Colonels and eight Lieutenant Colonels as well as two commanders, two Wing Commanders each from Navy and Air Force participated.
NSCDC and Nigeria Police had one participant each while FRSC and EFCC had two participants each in the eight months’ intensive course.
The Minister of Defence, Retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, said the training, being extended to mid-level officers of other participating security agencies, was expected to foster seamless operation in a volatile and complex operating environment.
He said the training had equipped the participants with requisite knowledge for them to operate optimally in their various places of assignment.
According to him, as operational level commanders, I am sure that the training you have received has equipped you with the requisite knowledge, sense of dedication and service.
He challenged the participants to be more professional with a high level of competence in the discharge of their duties especially in addressing the current security challenges bedevilling the country.
“As you are all aware, our dear country is going through a very challenging time, in terms of internal security necessitating the demand for deployment of our armed forces to perform various roles with Nigerian army being in the forefront in dealing with the threats.
“I must at this point enjoin the military officers and public servants to continue to support the government by being loyal, law-abiding and respectful to international humanitarian laws at all times.
“Your conduct must reflect the huge investment the government has made in you with the experience you have acquired in your career,” he said.
The minister, however, assured Nigerians of the government’s commitment to providing the necessary resources and equipment for the armed forces to perform their duties.
The Commandant, Army College, Maj.-Gen. Solomon Udounwa, said the course 4 was inaugurated on April 6 amid the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic and ran online until July 4 when the participants were called to assemble.
Udounwa said the outbreak of the pandemic prevented the allied participants from friendly countries from participating as well as foreign resource persons who were meant to join the course.
He said that in spite of the challenges, 65 participants were able to enrol and completed the course.
According to him, the AWCN is conceptualised to bridge the training gap between the tactical and strategic level training for operational level officers of the Nigerian army.
“To this end, the war course curriculum recognises the dynamics of our ever-changing operating environment with particular emphasis to the Nigerian geopolitical landscape.
“It is believed that this curriculum has adequately prepared the participants for the challenges of conducting operations in a fast-changing world.’’
He said the college was committed to utilising its full potential by ensuring the improvement of the welfare of personnel and training facilities.
The winner of Best Participant Award, Col. Baba Buhari, said it was a pleasant experience for him to participate in the course and come out the best.
Buhari said the training would help him in the area of tactical command, adding that he was glad to have participated in the course.
He said the training would help them to cover the existing gap that had existed between the tactical and strategic training they had received.