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 National Defence College Nigeria during the Inauguration of participants of Course 26 recently hosted His Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda. The Commandant of the highest military institution in Nigeria and Sub-Sahara Africa, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo remarked that as an international and strategic institution, the College was committed to integrating the factors that impacted on regional security and development with a view to proffer credible strategies towards addressing them, hence the choice of President Museveni as the guest lecturer on the topic “Sub-Regional Corporation and the stability of member states: Economic Community of East African States in perspective”.
The President of the Republic of Uganda while delivering the lecture at the National Defence College,reiterated that “In the light of the trajectory of experiences of African countries viz-a-viz the present happenings in Nigeria, he cautioned against politics of identity not only in Nigeria but other African Countries, saying those playing politics of identity are doing a disservice to their countries, and to Africa”.
The President added that “Nigerians should stop playing politics of identity, saying I am Fulani or Yoruba by tribe. No it should be primarily politics of interest based on where your prosperity comes from”. He equally emphasized in his lecture that every member of his ethnic group in Uganda has cow and milk but they cannot achieve prosperity by selling these products to themselves, therefore need to look beyond their ethnic group to achieve prosperity. Museveni concluded by saying that for development and growth to take shape in African countries, Africans must embrace one another and work closely with each other in all areas of human endeavours to optimize its potentials and opportunities.
The Commandant National Defence College, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo described President Museveni as “a nationalist per excellence who revitalized Uganda by providing political stability, a growing economy and improved infrastructure”.
The Ugandan leader was accompanied by the Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister, Ugandan Ambassador to Nigeria and other high profile dignitaries of his political Cabinet.