The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, on Friday charged the armed forces to remain apolitical in the discharge of their duties ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Ibas made the call during the graduation of 174 Junior Officers Course 85 at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji in Kaduna.
He said: “Your graduation from the college and subsequent resumption at your various units coincides with a period of increasing anxiety and tension over the 2019 elections.
“You must always allow your conscience and training here to guide your actions; at all times remain apolitical in order to surmount the challenges.
“Always bear in mind the evolving impact of technology and globalization as well as diversity that invalidate ostensibly thought out contingencies.
“Evidently, nothing is hidden in today’s world, you must therefore, be transparent and fair in your dealings with society, particularly as it concerns internal security and security of the electoral process.”
The CNS said the lessons the officers acquired from the course would be demanded even more as the country was presently facing diverse internal security challenges, particularly the protracted Boko-haram insurgency and the resurging herdsmen farmers conflict.
Ibas said: “Your conduct has to be in accordance with the highest professional standard in terms of integrity, excellence, compliance with military laws and rules of engagement in force.
“Including respect to the rule of law and human rights codes.”
Earlier the Commandant, of AFCSC, AVM, Lawal Shittu-Alao, said the Junior Course was aimed at developing the command, analytical and communication skills of the students.
Shittu-Alao said the course was to equip them to efficiently operate as Grade 3 Staff Officers during single service, combined or joint and multi-agency operation.
Shittu-Alao said the college in fulfillment of its mission, strives to keep pace with developments in the defence and security environments by tailoring its training curriculum to address threats from the global, regional and domestic environments.
He said: “In view of the current security situation in the country and its attendant asymmetric nature, the Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency package in the junior course has been a focal area of instruction and field exercises.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 174 participants comprising 90 Nigerian Army, 41 Nigerian Navy and 29 Nigerian Air Force officers graduated from the college.
Five non-military students from the Nigerian Customs Service and Nigerian Defence Academy and international officers from the Republics of Benin, Cameroun, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Niger, Zambia and Zimbabwe were also on the course.