President Goodluck Jonathan, dressed up in the uniform of a Marshal of the Nigerian Air Force, inspects rocket pods fabricated locally by the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology at the Air Expo 2012
VOICE OF NIGERIA/NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA
(with additional reporting by “THE GUARDIAN” Newspapers)
3 August, 2013
President Goodluck Jonathan has urged
members of the Armed Forces to discover new approaches and greater
sophistication to tackle the security
challenges facing the country. Jonathan made the call at the graduation ceremony of participants of Course 21 of the National Defence College (NDC), Abuja.
Represented by the Senate President,
David Mark, the president said it was
evident that national and regional
security in the 21st century was
determined by forces that were
operating within and beyond national borders. He added that adversaries in the past were easier to identify and confronted in open hostilities.
The president said: “Today, the enemy is usually unseen, hiding behind human
shields and despicable ideologies and
deploying cyber offensives, in addition
to lethal conventional and
unconventional armaments. Confronting these new threats require new thinking, new approaches and greater sophistication in equipment and capabilities.
“Our Armed Forces must be agile and
proactive, by enhancing their
capabilities to identify and disrupt
before execution, the plans and
machinations of these faceless enemies,
including their sources of funding,arsenal, training bases and recruitment
efforts,’’ he stated. Adding that the Armed Forces must remain eternally vigilant “to reduce our vulnerability as they constantly review their strategies.’’
The president assured the military that
government would continue to implement measures to reposition the
forces to ensure that they were properly
equipped to carry out their constitutional mandate and other responsibilities on behalf of the nation.
Jonathan says that in spite of the
challenges confronting the nation, the
current administration is determined to
reform the economy and the society “so that people can live a better life. The covenant we have with our people
is to deliver a greater Nigeria that we
believe in. We are committed to this and we must deliver it to the coming generations. I congratulate the graduating officers of Course 21 and from what I have heard so far, you all have demonstrated the spirit of handwork and commitment during your time at the college. You all have also been found to deserve the new prestigious status of the Fellow of the National Defence College (FDC).’’
Standard of discipline
The Commandant of NDC, Rear Admiral
Thomas Lokoson, had said that the 131 graduating participants were
inaugurated on Sept. 10, last year.Lokoson said the participants had been
prepared to take up leadership positions
in their various places of work. He added that the participants were privileged to have studied in an environment known for its high standard of discipline, moral value and excellence in academics.
“We expect that you will continue to
live up to these high standards as you
are leaving the National Defence College
with various experiences. “I urge you to apply these experiences positively and always give good account of yourselves at all times, knowing that where you are coming from is known for its high standard and commitment to excellence,’’ Jonathan said.
President Jonathan “commended the military for conducting itself in an exemplary manner, thereby sustaining the country’s democracy in the last 14
years. He applauded how, at various
times, under the umbrella of sub- regional, regional and world bodies,they have defended democracy in other
countries, and lived up to expectations,
upholding the record of Nigeria in peace
keeping operations since independence. This he said exhibits “heightened
professionalism, patriotism and unalloyed loyalty to the nation.”
The Course 21 intake consists of 131 participants with 50 in the Nigerian Army, 35 in the Nigerian Navy, 24 in the Nigerian Air Force as well as two each from Nigeria Police and Department of State Security.Others are one participant each from the ministries of Defence, Finance , Foreign Affairs, Federal Road Safety Commission, National Defence College, Nigeria Prisons Service and the National Intelligence Agency.
11 international participants from Benin Republic, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Central Africa Republic, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Niger Republic, Sierra Leone and Togo also took part in the course.
The best overall participant, Navy Capt.
Seth Amoama from Ghana, said the
course had widened their horizon and they had learnt a lot that would better
equip them with responsibility at both
operational and strategic level. Amoama said being the best graduating student meant there was transparency in
assessing the participants.
The Senate President while
commending the best overall student,
Captain S. Amoama of Ghana Navy, who
clinched three awards including the
President’s prize for Best Graduating
Student, Mark said it clearly “shows the integrity of the institution for a foreign
participant to emerge all round best. It shows that if one works hard, he would be rewarded as appropriate.”
Of the 131 that graduated, including a Brazilian,who is the first South American to have participated in the course since inception in 1992, one participant failed to meet the minimum qualification standard required to graduate with his mates.
Mark said: “It is unacceptable and the
Head of Service would take it seriously
and act, because if you come to this
course and you cannot make the
minimum requirement, you have no
business remaining in service, whether you are civilian or uniformed, because
many civilians have passed this course
very well in the past, among them two