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Unconventional forces: Tinubu seeks change in military practice

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said Nigeria and the neighbouring countries in the Lake Chad region must display courage in reforming their military doctrine and…

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said Nigeria and the neighbouring countries in the Lake Chad region must display courage in reforming their military doctrine and practices.

He said this on Friday in Kaduna while speaking at the graduation ceremony of Senior Course 45 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji.

The President said the change in tactics had become necessary because the countries in the region were battling a “mobile and elusive irregular force” that disregards established rules of warfare.

President Tinubu, in a statement by his spokesman, Dele Alake, said the adversaries facing countries in the sub-region were not conventional armies engaging in traditional battlefield warfare.

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The President, who encouraged African countries to work together against common threats, saluted the multinational efforts of Nigeria, Cameroon, the Niger Republic, and Chad to bring peace to the Lake Chad region.

He reinforced his message that the collaboration should serve as a commendable example to be emulated and improved on wherever necessary.

”We must also be brave enough to reform military doctrine and practice. We do not face a conventional army on the traditional field of battle. No, we contend against mobile, elusive irregular forces that disdain the normal rules of warfare.

”We must adjust accordingly to subdue the menace. This shall require a change in mindset, in strategy, in tactics in equipment and in gear.

Tinubu, who spelt out his National Security Objective, said it would focus on ensuring security, justice, and democratic prosperity through state power.

The President, who acknowledged the commitment of the immediate-past government in enhancing the combat readiness of the Nigerian Armed Forces, pledged to “pick up the pace,” by providing the necessary support to the military.

”As Commander-in-Chief, I have given myself the following charge: to deploy the entire machinery of state power to ensure security of our people and property in a just and democratic society.

”Under my predecessor, the Armed Forces worked tirelessly toward necessary reforms to enhance combat effectiveness and operational capability. We must now pick up the pace,” he said.
President Tinubu, who described the role of the armed forces in combatting Africa’s greatest challenge of violence and exploitation as crucial, urged them to defend the continent from geopolitical changes and resource competition.

”We live in a moment of flux. Geopolitical change is afoot. Old alliances and assumptions are being tested as new ones are being shaped. Trade and global economic activity are fast, yet fragile and easily disrupted by war, weather or pandemic.

”Underlying it all is the often unspoken but urgent competition for precious resources. Water, food, gold, oil and other items have all been placed in contest.

Addressing the graduating students from Asia and Africa, the President said their presence in Nigeria was a testimony that national security was not solely achieved through muscle and might, but also in building friendships and alliances based on cooperation, justice, good governance and mutual respect.

”Notwithstanding the demands of your training, I hope you have enjoyed our customary Nigerian friendliness as well because Nigeria is one of the most hospitable countries you can find. We have opened our arms like friends and brothers to you.

”To the graduating students from Nigeria’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies, you have warranted the confidence of your respective organizations.

”The knowledge gained here will prove invaluable in our mission to harmonize all aspects of government policy and programs toward the twin goals of national security and national prosperity,” he said.

The President also commended the College’s efforts in curricula improvement and facility upgrade, encouraging the graduates to stand brave and unwavering in their constitutional responsibilities as defenders of the nation.
”I leave you with a charge much like the one I gave myself. Your nation has invested much in your training.
”Much faith has been placed upon your broad shoulders. Our collective safety rests in your hands.
”Your graduation today is a call to greater duty for the nation you love. May you stand brave and unwavering in the discharge of your constitutional responsibilities and may you always do honour to the sterling name of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College,” President Tinubu beseeched the graduands.

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