The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai has said that the Nigerian Army operations are intelligence driven and the ability of troops to adequately and professionally respond to these security challenges depends largely on reliable intelligence which is partly on the contingent ability to communicate with the local populace.
He revealed this during the graduation ceremony of Indigenous Languages Proficiency Course 7\19 on Friday January 31st, 2020 at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) Conference Hall C, Abuja.
Speaking while declaring the Course closed, the (COAS), who was represented by the Chief of Administration Army, (COA) Maj Gen MS Yusuf expressed that, the Indigenous Languages Proficiency Course is an initiative of Lieutenant General TY Buratai to make officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army (NA) proficient in two indigenous languages other than their mothers’ dialects.
He further, stressed that the cardinal objectives of the Language Course was to position the NA personnel based on exigencies of security challenges confronting the NA and the emphasis was heightened by the plethora of threats, necessitating the empowerment of officers and soldiers to communicate in indigenous languages for easy penetration and accessibility in operational areas.
He noted that an annual online language re-certification test has been institutionalized by the Centre and this is imperative to regulate troops’ ability to stay in tune with the languages they have learnt. In addition, he admonished the graduands to see the certification as a learning process, so that overtime, they would progressively improve on it. He enjoined them to continuously re-certify themselves adequately, because failure to re-certify will result in de-certification and loss of benefits derived from the language proficiency.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division Nigerian Army, Maj Gen F Yahaya in a brief remark, expressed his profound gratitude to the COAS for his exemplary leadership. He urged the graduands not relent, but to continue to practice in order not forget the languages they have learnt in a short time. The highpoints of the event were the presentation of playlets by the groups in the three indigenous languages in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba and the presentation certificates to the graduands.
By LCpl Augustine Nwoba