BUSINESS

CALLING ON THE FGN TO RETHINK THE DOWNGRADING OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY UNIVERSITY BIU

 

“._The Nigerian Army University Biu, (NAUB) in Borno State was established as a means to explore a non-kenetic approach in the service operations against insurgency”…Lagbaja, Lt-Gen._

The philosophy that guided the establishment of the NAUB was aptly captured by the above statement made by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Ge T. Lagbaja during the maiden graduation of about 417 students of the University in 2023. The assertion by the COAS underscores the difference between a formal military academy like the NDA and a conventional University with a military bend.

It recognises the fact that a “military” exists in a larger society that calls for a “strategic” relationship as a bulwark towards sustainable peace and stability. Thus, while the Academy produces combatants along with requisite hardware, the associate University deals with critical non-kenetic matters of “interdisciplinary academic field, centered on the study of peace and conflict strategies and often devoting special attention to the relationship between military history, international politics, geostrategy, international diplomacy, international economics and military power”, among others. That’s why in the USA all the major arms of military have both specialised academies and Universities in tow.

The famous ones being the US Military Academy at West Point and The US Army University (online), West Virginia. China has more than half a dozen of them under a “policy of leveraging the civilian sector to maximise Military power (known as ‘Military-civilian fusion’)”. India established one in Haryana in 2013. Pakistan and indeed many nations concerned with sustainable national security, operate the two systems concurrently. It’s therefore strange the the current Administration would consider diminishing this global best practice.

The strategic location of NAUB, provides government the ample opportunities to even undertake studies as regards the often prenial frosty relationship between Nigeria as an English speaking country with its three French speaking neighbours of Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republics.

The trio share boarders with Borno State, the host state of NAUB. Cross border crimes and illicit weapons have largely fuelled the insurgency in the North East, compounded by dearth of empirical and/or actionable intelligence information from communities in the region.

An Army University could play a decisive role in such cases. The swash of land from Biu, Southern Borno to Cameroon via Garkida, Gombi and Mubi to the East and also through Askira/Uba, Chibok, Gwoza into far north Cameroon enroute Chad had no specialised security-biased tertiary institution like the NAUB. Furthermore, at the time the institution was established, it filled a geopolitical void in Borno State.

Despite the existence of many tertiary institutions in the state such as the Unimaid, the Teaching Hospital, a Polytechnic, College of Agriculture, College of Health Technology, for political reasons the state government didn’t deem it fit to site the Borno State University in the South, where citizens have been yearning for more educational opportunities.

The people’s frustration with this inequitable development was addressed by the arrival of the NAUB. The University has thus, since been seen as a balancing act. The NAUB which is now underway threat has a fundamental role to play in terms of stability in the state, the region and even internationally as a Central Africa security study center.

While calling on Government to consider the NAUB strategic context and save the institution on its own merit, the Borno State Governor Zulum, his Deputy Kadafur, Senator Ndume, Hon. Betara, Haske, Jaha, Balami should impress upon the Federal Government to let NAUB be. They should deem it Honourable to lay the bare facts once more before the government.

The nation stands to gain more in the long run more than the short term resources they want to save. There is no bad education but there could be bad decisions. Let the latter be avoided.

*By A. G. Abubakar,*

[email protected]_

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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