From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Chief Of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, said that the Nigerian Army has renewed its drive at up-scaling its participation in peace support operations.
Gen Yahaya, while noting the myriad of security challenges across the country, said Nigerian army’s continuous participation in peace support operations and contribution to regional and global peace, would further project its military and diplomatic element of national power.
The COAS, made this known at the closing ceremony of the maiden Nigerian Army Peace Support Operations seminar held in Abuja.
Yahya, while noting the myriad of security challenges bedeviling the country, said “this is also considering that their internal security operations could be supported from accruals to Nigeria from the United Nations thereby augmenting government’s support to the Nigerian army”.
Represented by the Chief of Operations (Army), Major General Olufemi Akinjobi, at the occasion, Gen Yahaya, said that the Nigerian army had continued to contribute troops for peace support operations in spite of its commitment to internal security operations in the country.
He said, “While the Nigerian Army has renewed its drive at up-scaling its participation in Peace Support Operations, we are not oblivious of the myriad of security challenges across Nigeria. “Therefore, the Nigerian Army will continue to balance its participation in Peace Support Operations vis-a-vis ongoing Internal Security Operations. This is also considering that our internal security operations could be supported from accruals to Nigeria from the United Nations thereby augmenting the Federal Government of Nigeria’s support to the Nigerian Army.
According to him, “the Nigerian Army’s continuous participation in Peace Support Operations and contribution to regional and global peace will not only project its military and diplomatic element of national power but also enhance its relevance in the comity of nations”.
The Chief of Operations, Major General Akinjobi, in an interview with journalists, said the seminar of such nature was long overdue, adding that Nigeria had a lot of experience in peace support operations.
He said that Nigeria was at one time the third largest troops contributing nation to the UN peace support operations globally, adding that it played leading roles in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
He said the Nigerian army had continued to send troops for peace support operations in spite of its commitment to internal security operations across the country.
According to him, it is based on all these that it is necessary to begin to look ahead into the future into how they can properly do things better.
“Remembering some of the challenges we have had in the past and trying at this time to bring in experts from different fields to guide us and to offer their views.
“We want to see how we can invest all into whatever support policy we will come up with,’’ he said.
Also speaking, a former Chief of Training and Operations (Army), Retired Major General Moses obi, while commending the army leadership for organising the seminar being a major contributor to please support operations, said the seminar had enabled them to share ideas and try to send ideas to appropriate authorities.
Obi, who was one of the resource persons at the seminar said that Nigeria’s major role in stabilising West Africa made the seminar to be important and appropriate.