The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has stressed the importance of effective intelligence gathering and sharing between security agencies and the general populace in driving successful military operations.
Lagbaje said this at the graduation of the participants of the Strategic Management and Policy Studies Course 5/2022 of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) on Friday in Abuja.
He said that the civil populace had always made contribution to any war and crisis management effort.
The COAS added that the cooperation from the larger Nigerian society, especially those that lived in the front line communities, where banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and other violent crimes had taken place was required.
According to him, receiving this information from them will give the military the leverage to act and combat the violence.
“Intelligence is the driver of every military operation but the military has its own sources, and these sources are far-flung, sometimes even into the rural areas.
“So, we require the support of all to combat the security challenges confronting our country,” he said.
Lagbaja said the idea behind the course came from the Nigerian army’s desire to develop further, its human capacity, which was born out of the need to fill a noticeable gap in the echelon of senior officers of the service.
He added that the objectives of the course were designed to enhance participants knowledge, skills and competencies to enable them to better formulate, implement and evaluate policies and manage human and material resources in the army and any other organisation.
According to him, the quest to enhance human capacity of the Nigerian army’s top echelon and extend the same to our sister services and other like minded security agencies is in tandem with global trends.
He said that capacity development was crucial for any organisation with a vision for growth or aspiration to impact the ever dynamic contemporary environment positively.
“I am happy to note that even though the idea of this course was initiated some years before I became the Chief of Army Staff.
”It aligns perfectly with my command philosophy which is “To Transform the Nigerian Army into a Well-Trained, Equipped and Highly Motivated Force Towards Achieving our Constitutional Responsibilities in a Joint Environment,” he said.
The COAS said the programme was designed to stimulate the minds of the participants to the realities of the ever highly dynamic contemporary environment.
He said the course would help reduce the gap between theoretical concepts and robust field experiences they had gained over the years.
“I want to believe you have been exposed to the current strategic management and policy formulations method that effectively harness and optimise available human and material resources to achieve organisational objectives efficiently.
“Simply put, this programme has given you the tool for adaptation and thinking out-of-the-box,” he added.
The former Chief of Army Staff and member of Board of Trustees of NARC, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahaman Dambazau, said that interagency collaboration was extremely important in any operation.
Dambazau said there was need to look at security challenges and address them from multiple dimensions, adding that each expert must bring something to the table based on knowledge and experience.
He said the security sector was designed in such a way that no security agency could effectively and efficiently deal with security challenges without the collaboration of other members of the sector.
The Director-General, NARC, retired Maj.-Gen. Garba Wahab, commended the participating services and agencies for the successful completion of the 11 months course being the fifth edition.
Wahab said the programme was designed to at government policy and build the capacity to solve the nation’s problems as well as look at security from a non-kinetic angle, looking at issue of poverty and youth engagement.
He said participants undertook both local and world study tours to be able to make impact, engage people and reach those who are susceptible to violence.
According to him, one of the things the centre is emphasising is to have a changing perspective as to what they can do to make decision better and for them to be able to find solutions to the nation’s problem than waiting from people from outside.
Our correspondent reports that the course had 31 participants in the rank of Brigadier General and above from the army and equivalent from other security agencies and MDAs.
The participants were awarded Master Degree in Strategic Studies from Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).