The erstwhile Commandant, National Defence College Nigeria, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo has affirm that the National Defence College Nigeria remains critical in influencing policies and decisions at both the grand-strategic and military strategic levels. The recent past Commandant gave the assertion while delivering his valedictory speech during the pulling out and farewell parade organized by the College in his honour at the College’s premises recently, following the retirement of the Admiral from Nigerian Navy after thirty five years of meritorious service.
During the ceremony, Rear Admiral Osinowo enjoined the College community to continue to acknowledge the strategic influence that the dynamics of technology, demography and environment will continue to have on the security and development of nations and on the efficacy of governance. In addition, he stated that “in the foreseeable future, the fate and relative progress of nations will be largely determined by the quality of their respective “whole-of-nation attitude” to the dynamics triad of technology, demography and environment”.
Incidentally, the erstwhile Commandant observed that his disengagement from the service coincided with the relinquishing of his appointment as the 16th Commandant of the College. In view of this, he stated that as the highest military training institution in Nigeria and the West African, it has been a great privilege for him to be part of the growing intellectual and international stature of the National Defence College Nigeria that has resulted in the record participation of 17 countries in the current on-going Course of the College.
He therefore seized the opportunity to acknowledge the dedication and tenacity of the Academic, Administrative and Research Staff of the College in sustaining the growing quality of output of the Institution. In specific terms, Rear Admiral Osinowo observed some remarkable efforts within the past twenty months of his command in the College to include among others; the activation of strategic work plan for the Centre for Strategic Research & Studies of the College, consummation of a new Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Ibadan to expand joint post-graduate programs up to Doctorate Degree level, introduction of Foreign Policies Roundtable as well as establishment of a new training partnership with the United States National Defence University.
Furthermore, he expressed his confident in the intellectual and administrative capability of the new Commandant of the College, Rear Admiral Mackson Kadiri, and charged all the staff of the College to support the new Commandant effectively in the discharge of the College mandate and responsibilities to relevant governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. “On this note, on behalf of my family and I, thank you all for honouring with your presence today as I bid farewell to the Armed Forces and the College,” he finally stated.
Since the 11 September 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, the scourge of terrorism has spread rapidly across the globe with bombings of Bali, Madrid and London in 2002, 2004 and 2005 respectively thereby presenting new security challenges for the world. The Force Commander Multinational Joint Task Force, Major General Chikezie Ude made this remark when he delivered a lecture titled “Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin: Perspective of the Multinational Joint Task Force.” to participants of course 27 National Defence College Nigeria. He reiterated that the emerging threats posed by the menace of terrorism led to the evolution of counter terrorism strategies at global and regional levels. He however, emphasized that as countries in other continents of the world strengthened their counter terrorism measures, vulnerable states in Africa with weak institutions and under governed spaces where insurgency thrived, became attractive sanctuaries that facilitate recruitment, training and funding for terrorist groups with global networks in transnational organized crimes.
General Ude analyzed that the Lake Chad Basin falls within the Sahel belts and spreads beyond any single Regional Economic Community in Africa to accommodate countries in West, Central and North Africa. He added that the Lake Chad transcends the geographical boundaries of Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon which are littoral states to the Lake Chad to accommodate countries which do not share contiguous border or access to the Lake Chad such as Central African Republic and Libya. Relatively, the Joint Task Force Commander said that the primary mandate of the Lake Chad Basin Commission is to ensure equitable and sustainable management of the Lake Chad while preserving the ecosystem and promoting Sub-Regional integration, peace and security.
In another development, the Joint Task Force Commander identified two important aspects of counter terrorism. He analyzed the first as preventive measures to make citizens safer from terrorist threats through screening, monitoring, surveillance and random patrols by bomb-sniffing dogs among others. He added that the second aspect of counter terrorism is the active response which involves the neutralization of terrorist facilities, military actions amongst others. General Ude reiterated that military operations conducted by the Multinational Joint Task Force have reduced Boko Haram’s nuisance capacity as several villages formerly occupied by Boko Haram have been liberated and secured.
The Commandant National Defence College, Rear Admiral Mackson Kadiri used the opportunity to commend the Multinational Joint Task Force Commander for being an hero of the nation in the discharge of the constitutional mandate of securing the territorial integrity of the country, Nigeria. He reiterated that the scourge of terrorism in the Lake Chad Basin has resulted in far reaching consequences for security and development of the sub region. He added that core among these is the accompanying humanitarian consequences associated with deaths, human displacements and destruction of critical infrastructure. The Commandant concluded that importantly is the government’s effort in intensifying the counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in the Lake Chad Basin which has greatly reduced attacks in the North East.
The Former Head of State Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (GCFR) recently poured encomium to the National Defence College Nigeria on the occasion of the Public Presentation and Launch of the Book titled, Iconic Soldier and Peacemaker: A biography of General Martin Luther Agwai. The Public Book Presentation took place at the National Defence College Main Auditorium. General Abubakar advised the College to sustain the novel feat of the leadership series publication which will promote values required of leaders.
The Book was culminated from the findings from research efforts embarked upon by the College that there are significant gaps in the fundamentals of leadership. The Commandant National Defence College, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo said, apparently the novel effort of the College to contribute to the society and the world over in closing the intellectual gaps in the leadership space is worthy of commendation. The commandant asserted that the National Defence College board in December 2017 approved the activation of the Strategic Leadership Research Series. He added that the series was conceived to produce biographies, memoirs and monographs to document the experiences of selected serving or retired military and civilian personalities in strategic leadership position with a view to drawing lessons for posterity. The Commandant assured the mammoth crowd that attended the Book Presentation that the College will continue to publish the leadership series by considering another prominent personality that has distinguished him or herself in the society.
The Public Presentation and Launch of the Book titled Iconic soldier and Peacemaker was first in the Leadership series in the College. The occasioned was graced by personalities from all walks of life.