The National Defence College (NDC) recently held a Roundtable on Foreign Policy and National Security. The event was specifically design to highlight the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon and the security implication to Nigeria. The Anglophone regions of Cameroon have been engulfed in struggles for self-determination from the government of Cameroon since October 2016. A total of about 50 participants were drawn from Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the Roundtable at the NDC. The objectives of the Roundtable with the theme ‘’ Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon’’ were to review the trends in Nigeria- Cameroon relations and the dynamics of the Anglophone crisis, identifying its implication to Nigeria’s national security and interest and drawing lessons for Nigeria from the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. Other objectives include, identifying roles for MDAs, and proffering policy options for Nigeria’s response to the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon.
The Commandant NDC while delivering his remarks during the Roundtable, emphasized that the event was specifically dedicated to understanding the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon with the initiative designed to aggregate the thought process from MDA’s on occurrences in the international arena, that have implications for Nigeria’s national security. Rear Admiral Osinowo urged participants during the Roundtable to interrogate issues arising from the influx of refugees from Cameroon including the challenge of managing the growing number of refugees which has risen tremendously within the past few weeks. He reiterated that Nigeria and Cameroon are troops contributing countries to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) of the Lake Chad Basin Commission engaged in the fight against the Boko Haram in the NorthEast. Additionally, he said, the Navies of both countries are engaged in Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS to enhance maritime awareness in their respective maritime domains and also partners in strengthening security in the Gulf of Guinea. The Commandant further said that shared international borders have proved a critical factor that defines the thrust of bilateral Relations between Nigeria and Cameroon. The Commandant reiterated that timely measures could be taken to abate infiltration of aliens into the country.
A total of 3 technical Sessions were held to discourse the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. In the First Technical Session, Ambassador (Dr) Godknows Igali, former Consul General of Nigeria Consulate in Buea SouthWest Cameroon, dealt intensively on Historical Antecedent of the Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon focused on the period from 1961 to the outbreak of the present crisis in 2016 and drew lessons for Nigeria. Ambassador Igali commended the Commandant NDC Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo and the Provost Centre for Strategic Research and Studies (CSRS) NDC, Ambassador (Dr) Chijioke Wigwe for their foresight in bringing up the discourse on Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon at a timely period, especially now that the country is faced with the challenge of insecurity. Consequently, Dr Ena-Emeka Okereke, Head Department of Area and Regional Studies, (CSRS) NDC delivered the topic entitled ‘’Nigeria-Cameroon Relations in the wake of the Anglophone Crisis: Dynamics, Threats and Opportunities’’. Also, interactive session was held and constructive views were made to address the issue of the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon. The Session was chaired by Dr Mohammed Ahmad mni, Director, National Boundary Commission. Similarly, technical reports to address the issue of the Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon from MDAs were collated before a communiqué was drawn.
The Commandant, National Defence College Nigeria, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo reiterated the fact that quality assurance remain fundamental in improving any system or any modern society. The Commandant stated this while giving his remarks when Mr Victor Akpan the Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of Institute of Quality Assurance of Nigeria paid a courtesy call on the Commandant.
Rear Admiral Osinowo observed that the quality of education or any other service rendered to the society by any given organization is mostly bordered on attitude of individuals. He then stated that the Institute is therefore having a huge responsibility to make the desirable impact. “However, I want to identify with you in this effort,” he added.
Moreover, the Commandant disclosed that effectiveness is paramount in the conduct of all military activities and that its equipment and the process of sourcing them bordered on quality and standard whether in the Army, Navy or Air Force. He explained that there is what is being referred to as Military Spec, under which he stated that the Military ensure that any of its equipment is of a required specification, standard and quality. In addition he explained that such equipment tend to cost more than those produced for commercial purposes.
As he wished the Institute a prospective deliberation with the College Management, he then informed that NDC is also a research based institution that focuses on strategic issues. “Therefore, we shall see what aspect of our activities your Institute can add value to and then collaborate with you in that regards,” Rear Admiral Osinowo said.
Earlier in his address, Mr Victor Akpan stated that the reason behind their visit to the College was to interact, discuss and give a presentation on quality about the vital role that quality plays to make life safe and prosperous. In his words, “indeed, it is a profit opportunity that the Institute and National Defence College may very soon partner to drive awareness Campaign across the Country on quality for promotion of peace, stable and prosperous Nigeria for all”. More so, the Registrar/CEO of the Institute applauded the Commandant’s coverage in view of the importance he attached to quality in many aspects of his career and working life as military personnel across the board.
Furthermore, he said importing knowledge and developing expertise and skills of selected senior military and civil staff in proffering policy recommendations on specific national and international issues that border on national security is a great and most difficult task that demands the use of sophisticated strategies, tools, techniques as well as, Knowledge and Skills. Mr Akpan then defined quality as a simple approach and catalyst to counter all forms of crimes, insecurity, terrorism and many other social vibes. “We have the template and capacity to turn around any decaying and inhabitable community into an extra-ordinary modern, safe, secured and peaceful society,” he stated.
The National Defence College in collaboration with the Government of Germany and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is scheduled to deliver the Senior Mission Leaders Course (SMLC). The Course will hold from 4 – 15 December 2017 at the Abdulsalam Abubakar Building. It is aimed at providing Peace Support Operation (PSO) leadership training for senior military, police and civilian mission leaders. The Course is intended to prepare the senior officers for possible deployment to UN, AU and ECOWAS PSO missions in the continent and beyond.