Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said that he was embarrassed that the army did not foresee the attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy.
“Nigerian Defence Academy is not a place where we could think that we should fortify to such a level that liberty that is required to be able to emplace the level of leadership learning and skills will be lost,” he said during a programme – RadioNow’s Urgent Conversations – aired on Channels Television on Friday.
“But that, of course, is a lesson we have factored, and it does not in any way dampen the preparedness of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to what it should. And it does not in any way speak to our weakness and our inability to defend the nation”.
The academy was attacked by bandits in August, resulting in the abduction of one officer and the death of two others.
The bandits, who came in a vehicle, were said to have passed through the security gate into the academy, disguised in military uniforms, after which they proceeded to the officers’ quarters.
On arrival, they began shooting sporadically and in the process, killed two officers (a Major and a Squadron Leader), and later on, took another Major away through the nearby bush inside the academy.
The sound of the gunfire, however, alerted the troops of the NDA Quick Response Team, who arrived at the scene, but were unable to rescue the kidnapped officer as the bandits were already gone with the victim
The Nigerian Air Force has commenced training for officer cadets on counter-terrorism ahead of their graduation from the Nigerian Defence Academy, (NDA), Kaduna, North-west Nigeria in September 2016.
The training is part of efforts by the Federal Government to expose the future officers to conventional ways of fighting Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast.
Addressing the Cadets of 63 Regular Course on Tuesday during their training at the Ground Training Centre of the Nigerian Air Force Base Kaduna, the Air Secretary, Air Vice Marshal Christian Chukwu, said that the present security challenges facing Nigeria called for effective training of young officers in the art of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations both within and outside the nation.
He stressed that the Nigerian Air Force was prepared to support the Federal Government in fighting terrorism and other related crimes to a standstill through effective training of the cadets and other ranks.
On his part, the Commandant, Ground Training Centre, Air Commodore Abdulganiyu Olabisi, said that the cadets were subjected to rigorous academic and physical training to develop their endurance level, and also received different lectures on the mode of operation of terrorists as well as techniques to countering terrorism.
The sole aim of the course, according to the Commandant of Ground Training Centre, was to equip the cadets with tactics and techniques of countering terrorism that has become a threat to the nation’s security.
After watching their training session, the Air Secretary, who expressed satisfaction with their level of performance, urged the cadets to take the remaining exercise very seriously, as it would guide them in their future military careers.
The Nigerian Air Force has been a major facilitator and force multiplier in the fight against terrorism in the country through effective training of its personnel, as well as personnel of sister security services.
Over the years, Cadet officers from the Nigerian Defence Academy paid more attention on academic activities, with little physical training, but the advent of the Boko Haram insurgency necessitated the introduction of counter-terrorism and insurgency courses in the curriculum of the institution in order to expose the future officers to modern ways of handling the challenge.
The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) says it is investigating a video that has gone viral on the internet showing some military cadets beating a young man for allegedly complimenting a female cadet.
A statement issued on Thursday by the academy’s spokesman, Musa Yahaya, said that preliminary investigation into the matter has confirmed that the incident occurred somewhere in Lagos in 2014 while the cadets were on break.
The statement noted that the NDA, being a responsible institution that is saddled with the task of producing the nation’s future military leaders would not in anyway, tolerate such unruly and flagrant mistreatment of Nigerians.
It further explained that the current leadership of the academy would ensure that the matter is thoroughly investigated and disciplinary loopholes addressed.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has assured Nigerians that the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s north-east will come to an end soon.
General Buratai, who was represented by the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command of the Nigerian Army (TRADOC), Major General Bolaji Koleoso, said this in Minna, Niger State capital during a week-long seminar.
Attempts To Raise Their Heads
The seminar with the theme “Mindful Leadership and Emotional Intelligence Towards Ending Insurgency,” was part of measures to empower the military to fight terrorists.
He believed that the recent attacks by the insurgents in parts of the disturbed region would soon go into extinction.
The Army Chief said that the deadly bomb explosions by the extremists in Adamawa and Kano states last week were attempts by the terrorist group to raise their heads, even as they flee.
General Koleoso also disclosed that the surveillance mounted against the insurgents by the Nigerian Armed Forces was already yielding positive results and neutralising the terrorists’ grips on the troubled states.
“Insurgency is now a global phenomenon. If the deadly attacks in Paris recently can happen, then it means there is no nation who can beat its chest and say that insurgency cannot happen in its shores.
“I think what happens from now on is that we are going to have international cooperation towards ensuring that men and economic activities and what have you are secured,” Koleoso said.
The Army boss’ representative further revealed that the Army Headquarters was presently collaborating with the British Military Advisory Team to train officers on leadership.
He said after the training, they would be placed at the front line while others would also go through the same training.
“It is a training the trainer course,” he said.
Koleoso noted that leadership was being taught at every level in the Nigerian Army, right from the Nigerian Defence Academy, saying that the five-day seminar was a test case in the series of seminars to be held quarterly in all the Nigerian Army formations across.
“It has been five days we assembled for the seminar on November 15 and now, November 21. A lot of grounds has been covered, they have been taught on how technology and data becomes non-negotiable tool in leadership at their own levels.
“They have also had class presentations and they have been able to watch films relating to the theme about a submarine at sea and they have benefited a lot. They have been very grateful to the Chief of Army Staff for giving them the opportunity to attend the course and in the Nigerian Army, it is always a continuous training.
“As we are having this seminar in Minna about leadership training for captains and majors, the TRADOC is actually to oversee training and doctrine development evaluation and re-evaluation,” Koleoso said.
Suspected members of the Boko Haram sect had in a suicide mission, detonated explosive devices that killed at least 11 people at the popular farm centre GSM Market in Kano State.
Elder statesman and Danmasanin Kano, Maitama Sule, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to emulate the founding fathers of Nigerian politics if he must move the country forward.
Mr Sule was speaking in Kaduna after being conferred with the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the Nigerian Defence Academy.
He decried insecurity, corruption and immorality, blaming it on lack of leadership and called on Nigerians to cooperate with the President to clean the rot.
Dr Sule said: “People take cues from the leaders and if the leaders are bad, the country would remain the same”.
He said his prayers had remained a demand that God would grant Nigeria, leaders who would not loot the country’s treasury.
“I keep praying that we may have good leaders. Leaders not rulers. May God grant that we may have rulers who have the fear of God.
“Leaders will accept in public what they have accepted in secret. Leaders will not steal. Leaders are not corrupt, leaders will look at the common men with the eyes of compatriot not with the eyes of privilege few, leaders who know they will one day, stand before God’s account not those who will want to perpetuate their stay in office,” he said.
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has tasked the newly commissioned officers to join hands with the Federal Government in the ongoing transformation in the Nigerian military, which he said was borne out of the emerging security challenges confronting the nation.
Buhari made this declaration while addressing graduating military cadets during their passing out parade from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna State on Saturday.
While congratulating the graduating cadets on their enlistment as military officers, the President charged them to exhibit high sense of professionalism, which the NDA is known for, in the course of their military career, warning that the government would not tolerate any act of indiscipline from them.
He urged them to be prepared to play their roles as junior military officers in tackling the prevailing security challenges confronting the nation.
The President also gave assurances of the Federal Government’s commitment to improving the welfare of military officers who lay down their lives for the security of the nation.
President Buhari, who was also the Reviewing Officer of the parade, said that the government is determined to confront current challenges and long term plans for the development of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
A total of 399 Cadets of 62 Regular Course comprising of the Army, Navy, Air Force and another Short Service Army Cadet 43, were commissioned as officers.
The newly commissioned officers were exposed to rigorous training in basic military subjects and outdoor training exercises.
President Buhari commended the NDA for churning out highly disciplined military officers, who have contributed immensely to the security of the nation since its establishment in 1964.
A Retired Wing Commander from Kaduna State, Danladi Kwasu, has accused the authorities of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) of murdering his son, who was until his death an officer cadet in the Academy.
The retired Air Force Officer, accused the NDA officials of pushing his 19 year old son, El-Shadai Kwasu, with academy number NDA/10037, deliberately into a 100 metre-deep lake and drowning him during a training exercise on April 30, 2015.
A letter from the management of the NDA showed that the deceased died from cardiopulmonary arrest after he was drowned inside a river while undergoing a routine watermanship training exercise at Kangimi Dam in Kaduna State.
Mr Kwasu, who is devastated by the sudden death of his son, wants an explanation from the NDA on what could have led to his son’s death among the 500 officer cadets that took part in the swimming exercise.
According to him, his son died out of negligence by the Academy’s instructors who took him to the river.
He also alleged that about 20 officer cadets had been killed in similar circumstances over the years with the NDA authorities doing nothing to change the situation, although the NDA authorities declined making an official comment on the allegation.
Channels Television obtained a letter written by the NDA Commandant, Major General Mohammed Idris, conveying the news of the late El-Shadai’s death to his parents.
In the letter dated April 30, 2015, titled ‘Notice of Casualty: NDA/10037 Cadet El-Shadai Kwasu’, the Commandant said that the late Officer Cadet died as a result of cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to drowning while undergoing watermanship training during one of their routine exercises called Exercise Camp Highland at Kangimi Dam in Kaduna State.
The Commandant’s letter also informed the deceased parents to authorize a postmortem on the corpse before burial and also requested that the academy would bear the burial cost. This was said to have been rejected by the father who took his son’s death as an act of God.
However, with Kwasu’s insistence on knowing what actually killed his son, sources at the NDA have accused him of blackmail.
The Defence Academy wonders why Kwasu, a retired military officer who knows all military doctrines and had during his son’s admission into the Academy, signed the parents/guardian consent form, which includes not to claim any compensation or relief for any injury or death in the course of his son’s training, suddenly made a U-turn to challenge his son’s death.
President Goodluck Jonathan has tasked newly commissioned officers to join hands with the Federal Government on the ongoing transformation in the Nigerian military, which he said was borne out of the emerging security challenges confronting the nation.
While addressing graduating military cadets during their combined passing out parade from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna, North West Nigeria on Saturday, President Jonathan gave assurances of the Federal Government’s commitment to improving the welfare of serving and retired military officers who laid down their lives for the security of the nation.
President Jonathan, who was also the reviewing officer at the ceremony, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the academy, said that the Government would soon come up with a programme to honour fallen military personnel.
While highlighting the prominent role of the military in the security of the nation, he commended the NDA for churning out highly disciplined military officers who have contributed immensely to the security of the nation since its establishment in 1964.
He charged the newly commissioned officers to exhibit high sense of professionalism, which NDA is known for, in the course of their military career, warning that the government would not tolerate any act of indiscipline from them.
While noting that the Nigerian military ranks amongst the best in the world, he urged the graduating officers to also contribute their quota in the fight against insurgency in the North-East and other security challenges in other parts of the country.
A total of 114 Cadets of 61 Regular Course comprising of the Army, Navy and Airforce and another 213 Short Service Army Cadets of Course 42 were commissioned as officers. Out of them, 20 are from Liberia and Central African Republic.
The curriculum of their course includes fitness training, rigorous training in basic military subjects and outdoor training exercises. In line with the current security challenges, the cadets of the 61 regular course also underwent special training on counter-terrorism.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the event, the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, expressed hope that Nigeria would soon crush the Boko Haram insurgents.
Highlight of the parade was the replacement of the academy’s old regimental colours with new ones, and the presentation of same to the reviewing officer, as well as presentation of awards of merit to deserving cadets.
The Nigerian Army has trained a total number of 51 officer cadets on counter terrorism ahead of their graduation from the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, Kaduna, North West Nigeria.
This is part of efforts by the Federal Government to curb the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-Eastern part of the country.
Addressing the Army Cadets of 61 Regular Course at the end of their training from the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji on Saturday, the Commandant of the NDA and Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, Major-General Mohammed Idris, said that the present security challenges facing the country called for effective training of young officers in the art of counter terrorism. “This has prompted the Academy to expose graduating Army cadets to various aspects of counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations both within and outside the country,” General Idris said.
He added that the NDA was prepared to support the Federal Government in fighting terrorists and other subversive elements to a standstill through effective training of the cadets.
On his part, the Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Major-General Tukur Buratai, said that the cadets were subjected to rigorous physical fitness training to develop their endurance level, and also received different lectures on the mode of operation of terrorists, as well as techniques to countering terrorism.
The Nigerian Army School of Infantry has been a major facilitator and force multiplier in the fight against terrorism in the country through effective training of Army personnel, as well as personnel of sister security services and the Nigeria Police.
Some of the training packages include raid on enemy camps, escort of VIPs, search techniques at road blocks and check points, rescue missions and identification and awareness of improvised explosive devices among others.
The sole aim of these unscheduled courses, according to the Army authorities, is to equip the troops with tactics and techniques of countering terrorism that has become a threat to the nation’s security.
Cadet Officers from the Nigerian Defence Academy over the years concentrated more on academic activities, with little physical trainings, but the advent of the Boko Haram insurgency in the country, necessitated the introduction of counter terrorism and insurgency courses in the curriculum of the institution, in order to expose them to modern ways of handling the challenge.
A total of 39 cadets with Basic Airborne Training from the Nigerian Army School of Infantry in Jaji, Kaduna State, have been tasked on fight against terrorism and security challenges in the north.
At the graduation ceremony of the cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), a Commandant of the NDA, Major General Emeka Onwuamaegbu expressed satisfaction with the performance of the cadets.
The cadets were on six-weeks Basic Airborne Training Course 3/13.
They were graduated having completed five jumps from airborne platform, in preparation for their passing out from NDA next year.
Major General Onwuamaegbu explained that as a result of the security challenges in Nigeria, the NDA had to introduce courses like Counter Terrorism and counter Insurgency training in the curriculum of the institution.
The training, he said, included field exercises, peace support operations and airborne operation.
The Commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Major-General Tukur Buratai represented by the Acting Deputy Commandant, Colonel Sanni Audu, said 39 cadets had successfully completed the cadet Basic Airborne Course in jump school and attained the minimum five mandatory jumps from an airborne platform and were thus qualified to be decorated with the coveted Nigerian Army Paratroopers Wing.
He said the training at the jump school was designed to achieve vigorous physical conditioning to produce physically-fit and skilled elite troops, tailored towards mental alertness, discipline, self-confidence, bravery, team spirit and high sense of loyalty.
This set of cadets, have had the opportunity to be trained for six weeks to cover Special Forces operations.
A total of 55 volunteers of the 61st regular course NDA reported for the course on October 3, 2013. They all made the screening and commenced training on October 7, 2013.
As part of efforts to face the terrorism challenges facing the country, the Nigerian Army has organized a training competition in weapon handling, combat swimming, map reading and physical fitness.
The 3-day training competition which involves 165 warrant officers and senior non-commissioned officers from five divisions is also aimed at transforming the army into a force, better able to meet contemporary challenges.
According to the General Officer Commanding, 2 division Ibadan, General Abubakar Jibrin, the training competition will afford the soldiers the opportunity of preparing to face current challenges facing the country, especially terrorism.
The officers will take part in arms handling, map reading, courage and stamina building to further equip them as agents of the Federal Government and motivate them on the need to defend the nation’s territorial integrity.
The annual training competition is taking place at the Sobi Cantonment Ilorin, of the 22 Armoured Brigade.
In a congratulatory message to all Nigerian Women as they celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day , President Goodluck Jonathan has reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring that gender barriers are broken in the country.
Speaking in line with this year’s theme, “A Promise is a Promise: Time For Action To End Violence Against Women” which was chosen by the United Nations, President Jonathan stated that he had already taken steps to empower Nigerian women.
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President, Reuben Abati, the President revealed that he had already acted on his promise to break gender barriers citing women in key positions approved by his administration, citing the appointment of the first female Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar.
He also cited the female ministers in “very important ministries” such as Finance, Petroleum, Communications Technology, Education, Water Resources, Housing, Environment, Power, Defence and the Federal Capital Territory.
He also noted his authorizing the admission of women to the Nigerian Defence Academy and their commissioning as combatants in the Armed Forces.
“The President assures Nigerian women that he is determined to take their empowerment a step forward by working to ensure that they also get better representation in elective offices in future” the statement read.
He also pledged the federal government’s full support for “COMMIT”– the new United Nations initiative which calls on leaders worldwide to take a stand to end violence against women and girls.
The International Women’s Day is slated for every 8th of March.