By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
Retired General Martin Luther Agwai has disclosed that Nigeria is yet to fully exploit the economic, political and diplomatic benefits of its contributions in global peacekeeping and security, considering the immerse human and material she has contributed in most continents especially in Africa.
The Retired General stated this in his remark at the Renaming of the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre Jaji Cantonment to Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre and also graduation ceremony of two-hundred-and-thirty Personnel Nigerian Company II Pre-Deployment Training for induction into United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukuru Buratai in Kaduna, North-East, Nigeria Tuesday.
According to him, knowing that wars between nations have increasingly given ways to wars within nations in African, the re-insurgency of ethnic or religious conflicts, the growth of secessionist movement, insurgency and failed states have increasingly posed major challenges to many African Countries.
Retired General Agwai continue to mention that with the complex nature of the global security conflicts which has also changes over the years, peacekeeping has been increasingly applied to intra-state conflicts and civil wars.
He explained that the Center will help Nigeria develop response to local and international crises continue to evolve in response to new crises and from a continuous reform driven primarily by persistent challenges and an institution where harmonious civil military relations can be built.
By doing so, he said, this will inadvertently remove Nigeria from the edge of global international affairs to the forefront driving global policy on Peace Operation through co-ordination and formulation of a national strategy with the support of all stakeholders.
Retired General Agwai however hoped that the Center will be the flagship in leadership training that cut across all works of life and provide opportunity for upcoming military officers and others to learn first-hand from other world class leaders.
In his speech while commissioning the renaming, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukuru Burata observed that the Nigerian Peacekeeping Centre was created to harness the lessons learnt from Nigeria’s experience in peace support operations over the years.
The Chief of Army Staff reiterated the need to detach the Centre from the control of the Army to reposition it for greater benefits from its foreign partners, saying this is what necessitated the change of name and the constitution of board of governors who will henceforth pilot the affairs of the institution for a period of 4 years.
He mentioned that the Centre is unarguably a strong research base for officers, soldiers and civilians who need vital information on Nigeria’s participation in Peacekeeping Support Operations since inception.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Acting Commandant of Nigeria Army Peacekeeping Centre Brigadier General Fidelis Okwudili Azinta noted that the renaming of the Centre is no doubt a milestone in the life of the institution which has transmuting from training institution to a national and international center for training of leaders, peacemakers, peacekeepers and peace builders.
To the graduates to Liberia, the Acting Commandant said, the contextualized and mission specific training has equipped the troops with knowledge and skills required to respond effectively and professionally to various situations they may encounter in Liberia.
According to the Acting Commandant, he has no doubt that the training will reflect in their performance in the theater of operation but reminded them that acquiring knowledge is a continuous process as they should continue to work hard to improve on their knowledge and skills to be professional in their conduct while in Liberia.