By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
President Muhammadu Buhari has advised officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces to explore more scientific ways of dealing with current security challenges in the country.
The President who gave the advice on Saturday at the combined passing out parade of Regular set 64 and 65 as well as Course 44 of the Short Service, Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA Kaduna urged the military to keep faith with democracy
President Buhari represented at the occasion by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo told the military to rededicate themselves to their oath to the nation, keep Faith with democracy and help sustain it.
He said, “Let me of course also commend the management of the NDA for your efforts so far in adapting your curriculum and programmes to contemporary realities.
“I have been told of the recent paradigm shift in the Academy’s training calendar, such that Naval and Air Force cadets now spend only four years in the Academy and then move to their respective bases, in place of the old system that saw them spend all five years in the Academy.
“By allowing them to spend their final year within their respective bases is a clear indication of the commitment to producing better trained and better prepared Naval and Air Force graduates,” he said.
He described NDA as a hub for innovation and called on its management to sustain the culture in collaboration with the private sector.
He said: “Let me say that I am pleased to note that the NDA has itself been positioning itself as a hub for innovation. I am already aware of inventions such as an Automated Pop-Up Target System, a Multi-Purpose Combat Mobile Robot, and a Perimeter Surveillance Robot, which the NDA has showcased at various science and technology exhibitions in the recent past.
“This is laudable and I urge you to sustain the culture. I would also like to urge you to collaborate more extensively with the private sector, for research and innovation.
“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.”
While urging them to explore more scientific ways of dealing with current security challenges, he commended the Nigerian military for disseminating the Boko Haram terrorists group that was hitherto a problem in the North-East zone of the country.
He said, “The world has changed a great deal in the time since today’s graduating classes enrolled into the NDA. The threats that confront us a nation and as a planet have evolved and continue to evolve. It feels like yesterday when the earliest high-profile Boko Haram suicide bombings happened in Nigeria.
“if I recall correctly the bombing of the Police Headquarters in Abuja was the first major incident to hit the national consciousness. It was a surreal moment, something that no one associated with Nigeria. And again very quickly we started to see a trend of female suicide bombers.
“This swift evolution in suicide bombings is a perfect illustration of the nature of the threats that nations face today. This is therefore the question we ought to be asking ourselves: are our Armed Forces evolving with a similar speed and urgency?”
689 cadets graduated at the event, which was attended by Service Chiefs, Governors and traditional rulers among others.
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