'Exclusive Reliance on the Military May Not be Advisable, Causes of Armed Conflict Must be Addressed' - Lt General Lagbaja


.... Inaugurates COAS Annual Lecture Series in Abuja

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja has advised that exclusive reliance on the military may not be advisable, there is a need to address the issues that often create tension within the state and usually degenerate into armed conflict and insurrection. "Attending early to this issue will leave grievance in the board and prevent Imbroglio from developing into a major conflict."

At the inauguration of the Maiden Edition of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS)’s Annual Lecture Series at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC), Abuja, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, lecture on “THE ROLE OF THE MILITARY IN THE PROTECTION OF NIGERIA’s NATIONAL INTEREST AND SECURITY.” 

 The Maiden Edition of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS)’s Annual Lecture Series held today, 4th April 2024 was chaired by a renowned banker philanthropist and member of the  Board of Trustees of the Centre, Mr Fola Adeola.

The COAS pointed out that the military as an institution of the state plays a crucial role in the performance of the state towards its citizens. This particular responsibility which is captured within the military circle as A to Civil authority, although not pronounced in the developed world as its undertaking as the last result domestically in cases of massive emergence or foreign countries is a major consideration in developing countries like Nigeria.

He noted that since the end of the Cold War, intra-state conflicts have been on the ascendancy due to the activities of non-state actors, especially violent entities like a law to resistance army in Uganda and Al-Shabab in Somalia, Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province ISWAP in Nigeria creating a volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous environment. 

These developments according to Lt General Lagbaja have led to the Military in Nigeria being deployed in virtually all the 36 states of the federation including the FCT. It is against this backdrop that his paper seeks to highlight the nature and extent of the military's role in the protection of national security and the people of Nigeria as well as National interest.

The COAS listed out the aims of his presentation, which is to examine the role of the military in the protection of Nigeria's national interest and security to espouse some way forward.

He opined that the military while addressing defense economics must frame capability requirements and push them to a political master to sort for the funding. Training For Adaptation. He explained that policies are accepted without reservation and strategies to achieve the objectives are developed. 

 Thus, the Armed Forces of Nigeria Doctrine has a defence at the joint operations level and service level and is reviewed periodically taking into consideration lessons learnt.  He revealed that the military has challenged itself to develop holistic requirements given the level of engagement using appropriate tools of defence economics.

"This will assist in focusing the government on the armed forces of Nigeria's requirement in spaces face of prioritization. The AFN has entrenched unity of command thereby highlighting the message and treatment of issues with minimal discrepancies. The operational and tactical level commanders are being challenged to innovatively and transparently manage the inadequate resources placed under their command, with emphasis on integrity, honour and performance. 

He said the military must continue to train and retrain consistently, updating and resourcing. He affirmed that on their part as professional soldiers, they will adapt to the involving nature of the battleground by establishing innovative procedures strategies, and tactics for effective engagement in their operations.

Lt General Lagbaja concluded his lecture by saying, that it is clear that national security is fused with national interest as a country we seek a secure state as part of their national interest. It is therefore in seeking to secure and protect the country that the military is inadvertently engaged in the protection of the interest of the country which dictates the defence policy. The AFN has played and still plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the national interest and security of the nation. The national interest rooted in the fundamental desire for survival and security remains a paramount consideration. 

In his goodwill message, Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, reassured participants that President Bola Tinubu is passionate about the development of security in Nigeria. He said, President Tinubu will definitely do his best to work on those challenges mentioned at the seminar.

Also in his goodwill message, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe GCON, who is also a member of NARC BOT, thanked the COAS for the wide-ranging coverage of the lecture both from academic, and professional point perspectives. He said he is particularly happy that the COAS avoided defining terms from a narrow perspective. 


In his remarks, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Retired Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase lamented lack of funds for the recruitment of officers into the Nigeria  Police Force. He sympathized with the military on the ill-fated incident that occurred in Okuama, Delta State, noting that the situation whereby soldiers were deployed in communities across the country is not supposed to be the situation as the Police in charge of Internal security are supposed to step in into some of the issues where Nigerian Army is dealing with now.

On the creation of state police, Dr Arase commended and congratulated the COAS for urging stakeholders to be careful when considering state policing.

On his part, the DG Voice of Nigeria VON, Mallam Jibrin Ndace, urged the Nigerian Army and other security agencies to be very deliberate, consistent and intentional in telling their own story and in winning the hearts and minds of the citizens and this will only be achieved when there is continuous engagement with the public media organisation and Youth because the battle space has changed.

 Earlier the DG, of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Major General Wahab (Rtd) in his welcome remarks stressed that the Maiden Edition of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS)’s Annual Lecture Series is meant to look at national issues  reason the stakeholders decided to start with the Chairman Board of Trustees BOT that is the COAS to look at THE ROLE OF THE MILITARY IN THE PROTECTION OF NIGERIA’s NATIONAL INTEREST AND SECURITY.” He promised that the subsequent seminar would be open for interactive sessions.

He thanked all stakeholders who attended the maiden edition of the Maiden Edition of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS)’s Annual Lecture Series. 

Present at the historic event were the Honourable Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe GCON, who is also a member of NARC BOT, representatives of Service Chiefs, representative of Lt Gen F Yahaya (rtd) former COAS, Chairman, Police Service Commission, Reps of the heads of Security Agencies, DGs of various Federal agencies, PSOs from Defence and Service Headquarters, senior military officers, both serving and retired, as well as representatives from private sector, amongst others. 

By SpyeTV News

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