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Indian military seeks to strengthen ties with Nigerian Army

By Sumaila Ogbaje

A delegation of Indian Defence Scoping has expressed the readiness of the Indian Armed Forces to strengthen defence ties with the Nigerian Army in furtherance of the existing relationship between India and Nigeria.

The leader of the delegation, retired Lt.-Gen. Vinod Khandare, made the call when he led the team on courtesy visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, on Thursday in Abuja.

Khandare said them members of the delegation comprised representatives from the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as National Security Council Secretariat and Indian ministries of defence and external affairs.

He said that both Indian and Nigerian armies had maintained cordial relationship in the area of training of officers and their defence colleges over a long time.

Khandare said visit was borne out of the desire to see how the trajectory for cooperation between the two countries could be taken further ahead.

He said that the direction of the relationship had to be enhanced towards capacity enhancement capability development in a direction that both the armies would benefit from each other.

“We have many spheres and domain that we need to cooperate because the future of warfare is changing very rapidly.

“While we may all agree that we are masters of conventional warfare but simultaneously we are also engaged in sub-conventional and both India and Nigeria are faced with similar challenges.

“The domain of our warfare are expanding now with technology also and I think we all need to incorporate technology seamlessly.

“These technologies, wherever they were discovered in the world have to be adopted fast because we are moving you be direction of kinetic which we are already doing, and we are also moving into non-kinetic,” he said.

Khandare said that the military had to look at cyberspace, special forces, and realise that technology would enable them and empowers them to deliver faster, better and accurate.

He said if Indian and Nigerian armies could also work together in the area of medical security, adding that Nigerian army would achieve more in many spheres.

“Beyond the military cooperation, there are think tanks within the army and within the armed forces that is yet another place where we can also collaborate,” he said.

Responding, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Yahaya, said that India and Nigeria had been cooperating in the area of training.

He said that Nigerian Army could also explore other areas like medical, saying that a number of wounded Nigerian troops were currently receiving medical attention in India for certain degree of injuries.

According to him, Nigerian army will also consider sending army medical personnel to India for training.

He commended the delegation for the visit, saying the visit had demonstrated the commitment of both countries to collaborate further.

NAN

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