France, Nigeria  Strengthen Ties, Tackle Insurgency in N’East, Lake Chad

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

A delegation of the French military, yesterday, met with Nigeria’s top military brass to explore ways of strengthening ties in order to contain the challenge of insecurity in the North-east and Lake Chad basin.

The meeting was also convened  to seek ways of exploring options of capacitating the military establishment.

This comes as the National Defence College (NDC), yesterday, commenced a one-week course on defence and security management for middle cadre officers in the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

The course is designed to dissect the national defence policy and national security strategy with a view to understanding their impact in dealing with the security problems confronting the nation.

Nigeria is collaborating with neighbouring French speaking countries under the auspices of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) where France has considerable influence.

Speaking at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, Director, International Relations and Strategy of the French Navy, Vice Admiral Christopher Lucas, said military partnership between the two countries, had become imperative in view of the security challenges confronting the nation especially, in the North-east and Lake Chad.

“The partnership between France and Nigeria is necessary. We commend the efforts Nigeria’s security forces in the fight against insecurity. The focus of the meeting will be how the countries can work together to tackle security challenges. I hope the meeting will deepen our relations,” he said.

Earlier, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, who was represented by  the Director, Plans, Defence Headquarters, Maj Gen Usman Yusuf, thanked the French delegation for coming for the talks. 

He also thanked the French Military Attachee to Nigeria, Col Bujan, for his efforts in the last four months to ensure the meeting held.

Meanwhile, the National Defence College (NDC), yesterday, commenced a one-week  course on defence and  security management for middle cadre officers in the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies.

The course, which was organised by the college’s Centre for Strategic Research and Studies (CSRS) had more than 50 participants drawn from the military as well as intelligence and security agencies.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Principal Research Fellow and Acting Provost of the Centre, Mrs Julie Sanda, said the course was designed to bring together different security agencies to brainstorm on issues of national security.

In his remarks, Head, Department of Defence and Security (CSRS),

Dr Adams Abdullahi, said the course was last held in 2012, adding that the resuscitation was in view of the current security situation in the country.

Abdullahi said the  Commandant, Nigerian Defence College (NDC), Rear Admiral Murtala Bashir, deemed it fit to rejuvenate the course and also review the curriculum to meet  contemporary defence and security dynamics in the globe.

In his submission,  the Resource Person and Professor of  Political Science and International Relations, Prof. Istifanus Zabadi, who delivered a paper titled, ‘’Security and Strategic Context’’ said there was need for concerted efforts in handling national security.

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