By Augustine Ehikioya
The Nigeria’s Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai (rtd), has harped on the need for good military leadership style as part of strategy to achieve national security.
He made the remark when he delivered a lecture on Thursday at an Infantry annual leadership lecture series and biennial reunion held at the Infantry Corps Centre, Jaji Military Cantonment.
The theme of the lecture monitored by Security Watch Africa (SWA) was “Command and Leadership in the Nigerian Army: My style and experience.”
According to him, effective leadership was an essential skill that shaped organizational culture and affected outcomes, as well as performance of units, formation or establishments.
The former Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), said that regardless of the quality of training, equipment and resources, optimal performance still largely depended on the style of leadership at various levels.
He said “The contemporary security environment is volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous and the current operating environment in Nigeria is not different.
“We are now confronted with multi-dimensional complexities and challenges that require focused military leadership as part of an all-encompassing strategy for ensuring national security,” he added.
Strategic military leadership, he said, required in-depth knowledge of political, economic, informational, and military elements of national power, as well as their interrelationships.
“Cooperative learning, mentoring, case studies, role playing and simulations are also key and geared towards producing leaders who know intuitively how to think and make high-quality informed decisions.”
Buratai urged leaders of the Nigerian Army to develop themselves sufficiently and prepare adequately in order to function effectively and shape outcomes at both the operational and strategic levels.
He said “The need to train and prepare the future leaders of the Nigerian Army to take certain decisions as they increasingly carry out complex missions in a considerably broader sphere of influence is very crucial.
“This will necessitate changes in the focus and methods of training to incorporate innovative instructional approaches centred on analytical and critical thinking,” he stressed.
Speaking earlier, the Commander, Infantry Corps, Major General Victor Ezugwu, said the biennial reunion was introduced in 2012 while the leadership lectures series was established in 2019, primarily to celebrate the Infantry Corps.
According to him, the events were formally included in the Nigerian Army (NA) forecast of events by the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. -Gen. Tukur Buratai, for institutionalising mentorship and career development of younger Infantry officers.
He said “In terms of preponderance, the Infantry Corps accounts for over 65 per cent of the personnel of the NA and out of a total of 21 indigenous COAS that commanded the NA since independence, the Infantry had produced 16.
“Also, with the last three and the incumbent COAS coming from the Infantry Corps, it is now becoming a norm that the Infantry Corps may permanently command the NA,” he noted.