By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has challenged operational level commanders of the armed forces to demonstrate intelligence, integrity and character in the conduct of their missions.
Lagbaja gave the charge at the Graduation Dinner and Awards Night for participants of Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) Course 7/2023, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The COAS was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (Army), Maj.-Gen. Abdulsalam Ibrahim, at the event.
He said that strategic leaders had an understanding of the intricacies of the environment, adding that it required the ability to craft and communicate a vision, demands astute leadership and selfless commitment to mission and subordinates.
According him, it requires that they demonstrate both competence, character and consistency in every action taken in order to earn the trust and confidence of their subordinates.
“Most importantly, it requires that you take on the development and mentorship of the next generation of young leaders.
“Therefore, I urge you to be men of intelligence, integrity and also gentlemen of character as you go back to the field.
“Distinguished graduating participants as you prepare to leave the college, I am sure you are aware that the nation still faces various security challenges.
“The challenges facing the nation includes terrorism, armed banditry, vandalism, kidnapping, herders and farmers conflict, cultism and secessionist aggitation amongst others.
“These asymmetric security challenges which have impacted heavily on our collective well-being have greatly posted a considerate threats to our national cohesion,” he said.
The COAS said that a lot of progress had been made in ongoing military operations in both the North East, North West and other theatres with large number of terrorists surrendering in the northeast and the gradual return of calm in other parts of the country.
He commended the troops in all theatres of operations who, he said, had exhibited unparalleled determination to decisively deal with the security challenges across the country.
He said their loyalty, commitment and doggedness in the various theatres of operation deserved every commendation and support from all Nigerians.
According to him, the federal government, is ever committed to supporting the armed forces in the effort to develop the right set of skills and knowledge of its personnel to be better prepared to tackle security threats that confronts us all.
“Although there will be uncertainty, but one thing is sure that the nation will overcome its challenges partly because of you as you join your compatriots in the field, put in your best and make the nation proud,” he added.
The Commandant, AWCN, Maj.-Gen. Ishaya Maina, said the purpose of having a dinner along with the award night was to further engender a sense of professionalism in the college and celebrate with participants after the rigorous academic session.
Maina said the event also provided a unique opportunity for the college to honor and publicly recognise deserving recipients.
He said that the recipients outstanding dedication and sacrifice had enabled them to set high standard for the college that had been acknowledged locally and internationally.
He expressed confidence that the participants were well prepared to help develop options for overcoming the myriad of issues facing the nation, say0ing the college had provided them with valuable tools to tackle contemporary challenges and implementable practical options.
“We expect that you will knowledgeably take up your positions and play critical role in the evolution of 21st century military thinking required to meet these challenges.
It should not come to you as a surprise if you find yourself returning to one operational theatre or another.
“The COAS sir, I feel proud to tell you that the packages that the participants have undergone has made them operational ready and battle ready to be deployed into any operational field as they leave the college.
“I encourage you to understand the system appreciate the huge investment gone into your teaining and the value that your predecessors have added to their respective services.
“Therefore, there will be high demand for excellence, knowledge, ideas, options, quality service among others from you,” he said.
The commandant encouraged them to proudly stand on the solid foundation provider at the college and make their professional marks.
He irged them to always strive for excellence and not tolerate or encourage mediocrity, as well as be compassionate and apply empathy to their subordinates.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the awards of excellence of research papers were presented to deserving participants who distinguished themselves during the period of study as well as some directing staffs for excellence service to the college. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
edited by Sadiya Hamza