President Muhammadu Buhari says his government has recognised that some of the security challenges confronting Nigeria were imported by foreign elements and has accordingly adopted bilateral and multilateral arrangements to tackle the problem.
Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, stated this yesterday at the graduation of Course 30 of the National Defence College (NDC) in Abuja.
“I want to assure all Nigerians that the government is doing all it can to eliminate or apprehend the criminals or bandits, wherever they are,” he said.
The President said Nigeria and indeed the African region had been facing difficult times with terrorism, adding that the military and other security agencies had been given directives to decisively deal with them.
He said: “Government is also deeply concerned about the activities of bandits and criminals who have reared their ugly heads in some parts of the country.
“This is because the number of violent unprovoked attacks on citizens appear to be on the increase. This is unacceptable.
“Accordingly, we have given strong directive to the military and other security agencies to deal decisively with terrorists, bandits and other enemies of the country.”
Buhari commended the nation’s apex defence institution for its continuous effort towards raising a disciplined, professional and strategic leaders for the armed forces, security agencies as well as Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
He said the college had since its establishment 30 years ago, continued to fulfil its mandate and had grown to be at par with similar colleges across the world
He charged the participants to deploy the knowledge they had acquired in making useful suggestions toward addressing the challenges in their areas of responsibility.
The president assured that the government would remain committed providing needed resources for the security agencies to carry out their assigned tasks.
The Commandant of NDC, Rear Adm. Murtala Bashir, said the college had 102 participants drawn from the military, paramilitary, security and intelligence agencies as well as selected MDAs and participants from 16 allied countries.
Bashir said the participants comprised of 28 from Nigerian Army; 20 from Nigerian Navy; five from Nigerian Air Force; 29 from strategic institutions/MDAs and 20 international participants.
He said the college had trained the finest from the military, security agencies and MDAs both from within and outside the country since inception in 1992, adding that some had distinguished themselves in their careers.
According to him, the mission of NDC is to develop future strategic leaders who are sufficiently equipped with knowledge and skills.
“For participants of course 30, this mission was achieved through the pathway of study in nine modules comprising research methodology and strategic writing, state and social political environments, economy and finance, science and technology, international affairs and regional studies.
“Others are policy strategy and national security, military history and conflict studies, peace supports operations and higher defense management.
“The module were delivered through lectures, seminars, study tours, research papers and studies under a broad theme, ‘A Whole of Society Approach to Enhancing Human Security in Nigeria.’
“The course also involved exercises that stimulated real life scenarios and the review of the National Defence and Security Policies,” he sid.
Bashir stated that the mission of NDC was to develop future strategic leaders who are sufficiently equipped with knowledge and skills.
On the challenges confronting the institution, he lamented the inability of the institution to relocate to its permanent site in Piwoyi in Abuja to which the president assured that the matter would be dealt with.
A foreign participant, Commodore Ashwsni Tikoo of Indian Navy, thanked Nigerian government and the armed forces for giving them the opportunity to be a part of the course and learning experience of a lifetime.
Tikoo said the course had also afforded him the opportunity to make new friends that would help to shape his military career.
He said the scope of the curriculum was vast including economic development, social security, internal security, geostrategic issues among others.
“It has been a great learning experience and particularly for me I would say that my knowledge about the African continent has increased very considerably.
“And obviously, when you get to know so much about this continent, which has 54 countries, rich in resources and beautiful people, it is a great experience.
“I am sure that when I go back to my country with this kind of learning and experience, it is definitely going to enable me to bring in certain changes in my own country with the perspectives and the learnings that I have had here,” Tikoo said.
The graduands cut across the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Finance, Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA).
Others include the Army, Navy, Air Force, DSS, JAMB, FIRS, NEMA, FRSC, NSCDS, Customs, EFCC, ONSA among others.
The countries that participated in the course include Bangladesh, Congo Brazzaville, Benin Republic, Chad, India, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Cote d’ivoire, Mali, Ghana among others.