Abuja – Former President Ibrahim Babangida on Tuesday said the nation’s democracy faced no danger from the military due to the officers’ training and exposure to the tenets of democracy.
Babangida said this in Abuja at the National Defence College (NDC) Graduation Lecture of Course 20/20th Anniversary Celebration.
The former military leader in a paper entitled: “The Creation of National Defence College: 20 Years After, ’’ noted that the college’s curriculum had exposed participants to the tenets of democracy right from its inception in 1992.
He said that the college had inculcated among military and paramilitary personnel, core values and ethics that supported democratic rule.
“I can say without equivocation that our democracy faces no danger from the military. This is because the curriculum of this college has exposed participants to the tenets of democracy from its inception.
“Therefore, long before Nigeria returned to democratic rule, military officers who passed through this college were prepared for life of service under civilian leadership and control.
“Thus, by the time international partners were falling over themselves to give lessons in civil-military relations within the democratic context, most senior officers in the armed forces had already learnt this at the college,’’ Babangida said.
According to him, the college has raised a critical mass of senior officers who are committed to democracy and that itself facilitates national development.
The former president, who said his administration built temporary site for the college in 1992, stressed the need to build a permanent site to ensure that the college became a world-class institution.
He stressed the need for the college to have first class facilities, human resources and management systems and processes to enable it to fulfil its mandate.
Mrs Olusola Obada, the Minister of State for Defence, urged the security agencies to be proactive in combating security challenges in the country.
Obada tasked the participants to use skills and knowledge acquired at the college to contain terrorism, kidnapping, human trafficking and other crimes.
In his welcome address, Rear Adm. Thomas Lokoson, the Commandant of NDC, said the college’s graduation lecture was to expose the graduating officers to new horizons of imagination, creativity and service in the interest of the country.
130 participants graduated from NDC Course 20 some participants came from Republics of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger and Sierra Leone. (NAN)