Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has inaugurated a five man Board of Trustees of the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre in Jaji, Kaduna State.
He said the aim was to promote professionalism in peacekeeping missions.
Buratai disclosed on Thursday that the Peacekeeping centre was established to harness the lessons learnt from Nigeria’s experiences in peace support operations over the years and build the capacity of the Principal Staff Officers.
He said the decision was underscored by the need to conform to global trend, reposition the centre to better support Nigeria’s growing efforts at global peace, as well as create the right conditions for the centre to collaborate more effectively with partners globally.
According to him, the Board of Trustees will act on behalf of Army Headquarters to pilot the affairs of the centre for an initial period of four years.
He said: “The enormous responsibilities of transforming the centre to an international institution and galvanising partners support for this purpose, necessitates that eminent personalities with internationally recognised reputation are appointed as members of the board.”
He further explained that due consideration was given to their experience, reputation and connection with the UN and other relevant organisations.
He said: “After due consultations, the centre proposed a 5-member BoT to be headed by Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd).
“Other members include: Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari, Halima Ahmed (ECOWAS), Maj. Gen. O T Ethan (rtd), Commandant MLAILPKC, Maj. Gen. Abubakar Tarfa and the Director Peacekeeping Operation as the secretary.”
Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Commandant of the centre, Maj-Gen. Abubakar Tarfa, said its responsibility is to provide quality training for troops earmarked for Peace support operations and individual members of the Armed Forces, police, paramilitary and selected civilians for possible United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS engagements.
Tarfa said the centre had prepared the military for contemporary multidimensional peacekeeping environment which had become more dynamic and complex.
He said: “The center was renamed Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and peacekeeping Centre to reposition it for greater benefits from its foreign partners.
“The centre had trained over 87, 000 personnel with requisite support of the army headquarters.”
In his remarks, the BoT Chairman, Gen Martin Luther Agwai (rtd.), commended the foresight of the COAS for inaugurating the board with people of repute.
Agwai who promised that the board would keep to the terms of reference, said the working relationship between the centre and the partners would be sustained.