By Our Reporter
Former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika (rtd.), has said that he was able to tackle insecurity, especially the Boko Haram terrorists during his tenure by increasing the strength of the Nigerian Army in the span of three years.
The ex-army chief said with the strategy employed, the problem of insecurity was rapidly detected, which led to the prevention of a major problem that would have increased the challenges of insecurity that the country is currently being confronted with.
Ihejirika stated this at the weekend in Abuja at a Reunion and Gala Night of 18 Regular Course of the Nigerian Army at the weekend in Abuja.
“We were able to identify the nature of and complexity of the problem, we went ahead to quickly increased the strength of the army by 25 percent in the span of three years”, he said.
He added, “Without that, it would have been a major issue because of several commitment both internally and externally when Nigerian Army was involved in foreign operations.”
Speaking further on his major achievement during his tenure, Ihejirika said the Nigerian Army Language Institute (NALI) was established at Ovim in Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia State saying it was aimed at facilitating the integration of the Nigerian Army with other neighboring countries.
“The idea was to give Nigerian Army the capacity to collaborate with other countries. Nigerian being a nation surrounded by francophone countries and with time, other languages will be taught”, he explained.
He added that he also established the institute to help Nigerian soldiers on peace keeping mission to fluently communicate after observing the poor nature of communication between the Nigerian soldiers and their colleagues from neighbouring non-English-speaking countries.
The former COAS said the Nigerian Army as part of his mandate, has set different languages as parts of the criteria for junior officers to be promoted.
He said, “with time, other Languages of interest will be taught but it is important to note that the army has since gone further to make different languages part of the requirements for the promotion of junior officers.”