Kaduna — The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, has charged the armed forces to remain apolitical in the discharge of their duties as the nation prepares to hold general elections in 2019.
Ibas made the call during the graduation ceremony of 174 junior officers of Course 85 at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji in Kaduna. He urged the graduands to always respect the military laws, the rules of law and human rights codes.
"Your graduation from this college and subsequent resumption at your various units coincides with a period of increasing anxiety and tension over the 2019 elections."You must always allow your conscience and training here to guide your actions and at all times remain apolitical in order to surmount the challenges. Always bear in mind the evolving impact of technology and globalization on the global societies on scales and diversity that invalidate ostensibly thought out contingencies.
"Evidently, nothing is hidden in today's world, you must, therefore, be transparent and fair in your dealings with society, particularly as it concerns internal security and security of the electoral process," he said.He told the new military officers that the sense of judgment they acquired from the course would be demanded even more as the country faced diverse internal security challenges, particularly the protracted Boko-Haram insurgency and the resurging herdsmen-farmers conflict.
Air Vice Marshall Lawal Shittu Alao, the commandant of the college, said the graduating students comprised 90 Nigerian Army, 41 Nigerian Navy and 29 Nigerian Air Force officers."There are also 5 non-military students from the Nigerian Customs Service and Nigerian Defence Academy. It might also interest the special guest of honour to know that there are 9 international officers from the Republics of Benin, Cameroun, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Niger, Zambia and Zimbabwe on the course."
The commandant said the junior course was aimed at developing the analytical and communication skills of the students in order to equip them to efficiently operate as grade 3 staff officers during single service, combined or joint and multi-agency operation.
"Accordingly, the college, in fulfilment of its mission, strives to keep pace with developments in the defence and security environments by tailoring its training curriculum to address threats from the global, regional and domestic environments."To this end, and in view of the current security situation in the country and its attendant asymmetric nature, the counter terrorism and counter insurgency (CTCOIN) package in the junior course has been a focal area of instruction and field exercises of the course," AVM Alao said.