TEXT OF SPEECH PRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENT INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTY ORGANIZATIONS
(DR MICHEAL SPENCER) DURING THE PEACE ADVOCACY TOUR TO THE NIGERIAN ARMY “OPERATION SAFE HAVEN” JOS HEADQUARTERS.
FOCUS : THE ROLE OF NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES IN HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT/TRAINING FOR THE NIGERIAN ARMED FORCES PERSONNEL:
“BENUE STATE UNIVERSITY IN PERSPECTIVE.”
The commandant Operations Safe Haven Jos,
The representative of the department of state security component,
The representative of the Nigerian police,
Other service security components,
The technical advisor on security to the National security Advisor, gentlemen of the press, distinguished ladies and gentlemen.
Let me preface this address with a brief overview of the concerns that prompted our organization to embark on this peace advocacy tour to the Nigerian army. Of course, we would all agree that the stability and development of every nation is only guaranteed when there is peace in the society. This peace can only be achieved through consistency of our security agencies towards implementation of set goals and objectives. This implementation can only be made possible with the development of adequate human resources available through adequately trained personnel for optimal service delivery.
The Nigerian Armed Forces has proven overtime to be effective in the regard of physical combat training and this has been acknowledged by the international community over the years. It is therefore imperative for the security establishment to beam her search light intellectual development and training for personnel in order to consolidate on the combat training for effective and maximal service delivery.
You will recall that in recent years, the Amnesty International organization has been raising issues of abuse of human rights by the Armed Forces in the discharge of their duties. Of course various investigations, including a presidential panel have proven otherwise, it is still imperative to foster a partnership with a credible institution of higher learning in Nigeria to tap from their sources of intellectual reservoir for the purposes of training and retraining of personnel of the Armed Forces. This partnership would be to complement the efforts of the Nigerian army resource center which has so far achieved much in that regard.
Consequent on the above premise and in order for this noble idea to be achieved with excellence, it is important for the Nigerian army to identify credible Nigerian universities for this partnership on training of the Armed Forces personnel especially in areas of capacity building, development of administrative skills in line with current trends and international best practices.
You will agree with me that all over the world, universities are the centers of research for intellectual work and provides the best environment and opportunities for mental and intellectual conversations and capacity building for individuals, government agencies and corporate organisations .
It is based on this premise and of course in the endless search for excellence that our organization , has recommended the Benue State University makurdi as a pioneer institution for such partnerships in Nigeria. ladies and gentlemen, the choice of the Benue State University is informed via a variety of positive indices, factors and variables that places the institution as the best State University in the country in terms of general students academic performance ratio and in terms of staff exposure and adherence to current trends in teaching and international best practices.
In recommending the Benue State University, cognisance was taken of the fact that, the University community warehouses a Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution which is fundamental to the core values and objectives of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The Ratio of international publications by staff of the University on critical areas of research has also attested to the degree of excellence in the university. Indeed, the institution has a defined history of excellence over the last two decades. However, the current management of the University under the leadership of Prof Moses Msugh Kembe has not only improved on the existing standard but has also continued to inspire other universities in the country in terms of students and staff academic excellence and massive infrastructural expansion .
This, of course has been confirmed recently by the National Universities commission when the University was chosen to draft the roadmap for the development of Nigerian universities in the decades ahead .
Sir, it is in this regard, that our organization has recommended to the Nigerian army , the Benue State University for a partnership on training and retraining of personnel for capacity building and foster healthy intellectual conversations to enhance maximum service delivery of the Armed Forces.
This recommendation has become imperative in order to breach the gap that would otherwise exist in the absence of an informed choice of a partnering institution.
While we appreciate the opportunity you have given us to carry out advocacy tour around the country in partnership with other human rights groups, civil society and mass media, it is our hope that the security agencies tighten up their belts for the challenges that confronts us today as a nation . We are hopeful, that through proper training and retraining of personnel of the Armed Forces, positive results will be achieved in no distant future for the entire development of our nation and more importantly for peace and stability in the country.
We have also chosen this occasion to present a certificate of credence to the Nigerian army your command “Operation Safe Haven “jos for your immense contributions to peace and stability in the last three years on the plateau.
We are however heartbroken with the recent killings in some parts of the country particularly plateau state, but we are hopeful that the military and our security agencies will live up to their responsibility as always.
Thank you very much and best regards.
Dr Micheal Spencer.
President : International Federation of Civil Rights and Liberty Organizations.
United Kingdom .
Ms S. Ova.
For : kids In Need Society International