Acting President Osinbajo urges military to adapt to changing times

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

Acting President Yemi Osinbanjo has asked the military to adapt to the realities of changing times, saying that the “nature of the battle today has changed dramatically.”

Professor Osinbajo stated this on Friday at the graduation ceremony of the Course 25 of the National Defence College, Abuja.

He said: “Today, we are faced with challenges of a vastly different character and complexion from even a decade ago.  The nature of the battle today—and I use the term in both the military and sociological sense—has changed dramatically.  The implications of the changes are important because armed forces personnel at your level represent not just fighting forces but also a crucial component of the intellectual elite of our nation.”

The acting president said announcements by some countries setting deadline for the replacement of vehicles powered by fossil fuel by electric models, the designing of driverless cars and artificial intelligence had created challenges with far-reaching implications for the modern society.

“We have no choice other than to adjust our realities to them,” he said.

He said the asymmetric method adopted by the boko haram insurgents in Nigeria in recent times, even after they had been degraded, implied that the approach in the fight against them must be different.

He said: “Our thinking must be different, our strategizing must be different, what we are writing must be different, the way we are approaching these threats must be entirely different.  The battle has certainly changed.”

Professor Osinbajo spoke of the use of the internet to manipulate elections, even in countries like the United States, and the use of fake news on the internet to change the perception of people.

 The acting president challenged the military to design new methods and strategies to tackle the challenges posed in modern society.

He said: “Let me throw this challenge to you, senior military officers and the elite of our armed forces and those of the countries represented here.  If militants and terrorist groups and internet hackers are constantly reinventing themselves, taking advantage of emerging technologies and reinventing the very nature of battle in the 21 Century, legitimate armed forces have no excuse whatsoever in not being at the cutting edge of all forms of technological warfare.”

Speaking earlier, the Commandant of the NDC, Rear Admiral Ilesanmi Alade said the NDC had continued to impart knowledge, develop expertise and skills of selected senior military and civilian officers.

All the 133 participants in the NDC Course 25, inaugurated on September 5,  2016 successfully completed the course.

They included 123 Nigerians and 10 international participants.