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Wars, coups, counter-coups stalled my academic pursuits as military officer, says Buhari

By The Citizen
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President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday recalled with nostalgia his days in the Nigerian Army, saying that they were characterized by war, coups and counter-coups.

He said that as a young military officer, there was no time for academic pursuits.

He therefore commended the leadership of the present Nigerian military for the intellectual transformation of the officer corps.

The president who spoke at a ceremony for the decoration of two senior officers, Air- Vice Marshal Sadiq Ismaila Kaita, the Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) and Colonel Mohammed Lawal Abubakar, his Aide-De-Camp (ADC), working closely with him at the State House said that modern armies required superiority of intellect and imagination to achieve victory in warfare.

He expressed happiness that newly-promoted officers had acquired a 'dazzling array of university degrees'

The president however, urged all officers to ensuree the translation of academic achievements to performance in the field and other places of assignment.

'I am happy with the intellectual approach of the military. In our time, there was no time for academic pursuit. It was all about war, coups and counter-coups,' he noted.

President Buhari said in times of peace and stability, military officers should use such opportunity to pursue their intellectual transformation which should go side-by-side with hardware transformation of modern armies.

The President urged officers to read History, irrespective of their academic backgrounds, describing it as an important pre-requisite for strategic learning and success in the military.

He emphasized that the good quality of the officer corps of the Nigerian Military called for good performance.

President Buhari congratulated both officers on their various achievements in their services and urged them to always be mindful of the welfare of those placed under their command.

Both Air Vice-Marshal Kaita and Colonel Abubakar have, prior to their current assignments, served the country in peace-keeping missions abroad and are married with families.