President Buhari urges military to promote new values

Timothy Choji, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria, at this time, needs a new group of elite, consisting of professionals in the military, who will join in building a new nation based on the high values of integrity, justice and diligence.
 
In a speech delivered on his behalf by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, in Kaduna state, the President said the Armed Forces were probably the most visible symbols of national unity and cohesion in Nigeria.
Addressing the audience made up of top military chiefs including Service Chiefs and new graduates of the College’s Senior Course 38, the President told the military that, “this is why the responsibility for fighting against all forms of ethnic and religious prejudices is yours.”

Continuing, he explained that “one of the most profound dangers to our democracy and freedom lies in the divisive application of our ethnic and religious diversities. As defenders of the nation’s territorial integrity, we must resist and reject ethno-centralism and religious intolerance. These evils threaten our very existence as a sovereign and indivisible nation.”

He said building the new Nigeria involved getting a tribe of men and women of all faiths, tribe and ethnicities, but firmly committed to a country run on high values of integrity hard work, justice and love of country.

“Our nation at this time needs an elite consisting of professionals from the military, businessmen, politicians, religious leaders and all others who believe that a new Nigeria is possible. Nigeria needs men and women from the Armed Forces who are prepared to make the sacrifices and self-constraints that are crucial for the existence of a strong society,” he said.

Specifically addressing the graduands, who were drawn from the Army, Airforce, Navy, Paramilitary and civilians from the Ministry of Defence, the President also observed that fighting boko haram or IS was a profound new experience not only for the military, but all over the world.
 
“It is like what we have never seen before. Our society is more complex and our world is more difficult than ever before. The nature of warfare is also vastly different.
Consequently the officer of today cannot just be soldier, in any event. Being in the military today requires more than just carrying weapons. The officer must be a public intellectual of sorts, a thinker, versatile, dynamic and capable of introspection,” the President stated.

He said the contemporary military warfare especially the influence of technology like drones had thrown up a huge challenge for the military that must develop the right strategies to deal with the situation. 

The President commended the management of the college for pursuing appropriate structured courses for the participants to prepare them for command and staff responsibilities in full scale warfare.
He noted that the graduation ceremony was a testimony to the college’s hard work and determination towards the re-professionalization of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

191 Nigerian officers from the military, paramilitary and civilians including 8 foreign military officers from the African continent, and a South Korean officer graduated from the prestigious military institution.