Given the nature of contemporary warfare and the changing roles of militaries across the world, the Armed Forces of Nigeria must evolve with speed and urgency in dealing with emerging threats and challenges of nation-building especially asymmetric warfare, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Osinbajo spoke at the combined Nigeria Defense Academy Passing Out Parade of the cadets of the 64 Regular Course of the Army, Navy and Air Force, the 65 Regular Course of the Navy and Air Force, and the Short Service Course 44 of the Army, in Kaduna where he represented President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.
He said: “the world has changed a great deal, today we speak of non-State Actors and of asymmetric warfare, and are confronted by enemies whose identities are as nebulous as their motivations.’’
According to him, “this swift evolution in suicide bombings is a perfect illustration of the nature of the threats that nations face today – unpredictable, asymmetric, constantly adapting to changing conditions, driven by a compulsive need to inflict maximum damage with minimal effort.’’
Osinbajo added that the entirety of the military’s mode of operation and training modules would require reviews “especially with evolving rules of engagement in asymmetric warfare situations’’.
The Vice President further stressed that the military’s changing roles transcends defence of territories as solving society’s other socio-economic issues has been a challenge other militaries have been engaged in.
According to him, “just as important as these issues around conflict are, the issues around how the military can in the process of innovating or thinking through use science and technology to add real value to the society is important’’.
He said “generally, the relationship between the military and scientific innovation are intertwined with both known to have historically shaped and influenced each other.’’
Prof. Osinbajo urged the military in Nigeria “to collaborate more extensively with the private sector, for research and innovation,’’ stressing that “all around the country technology hubs are springing up that are attracting our Nigeria’s brightest talent, and breaking new technological ground. I am convinced that the military should make its presence felt in this area.’’
He commended the management of the NDA for its efforts in adapting the school’s curriculum and programmes to contemporary realities.
For the military’s relationship with civil authority, Prof. Osinbajo commended the Armed Forces for keeping faith with the current democratic dispensation for the past eighteen years, and noted that “the subordination of the military to civil authority has been a cherished age-long practice that has promoted military professionalism in all parts of the world.’’
He commended the governments of Liberia, Togo, Sierra Leone, Niger, Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Burkina Faso and Chad for sustaining the spirit of true African brotherhood and cooperation, and sending students to the institution for training.
In another development, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo hailed the election of Archbishop Musa Panti Filibus as the new President of the Lutheran World Federation, describing the feat as not only important to the nation but important to the black race.
The Vice President who was at the grand reception in Yola to commemorate the Archbishop’s election on Saturday said the elevation of Filibus was an attestation to his character and leadership qualities, stressing that “character plays important role in identifying one in the crowd.’’
According to him, “It is no mean thing to be elected to head a great body such as Lutheran World Federation and it is true indeed that to do so one obviously must have accepted attributes and characteristics that make one particularly favoured by such a large number of distinguished people across the world”.
While in Yola, the Vice President also paid a courtesy visit to the Lamido Adamawa, His Royal Highness, Mohammadu Aliyu Bakindo Mustapha in his palace, and thanked the traditional ruler for maintaining peace in his domain.