Nigeria’s apex military institution, the National Defence College (NDC), Abuja, will next week turn out 131 officers, including 11 foreigners, so far the highest number of graduates since it began operations with 30 participants 21 years ago (1992).
The 11 foreigners are from Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Ghana, Niger, Togo, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Brazil.
The remaining 120 participants, all Nigerians, are from the Army (50), Navy (35), Air Force (24), two each from the Nigerian Police and Department of State Security and another seven from strategic federal establishments.
The NDC Commandant, Rear Admiral Thomas Jonah Lokoson, told journalists in Abuja Thursday that the College would expand the intake of foreign participants in its next Course (22) to 18.
He said ‘They will come from African countries, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and in the the 2014 Course (23), a participant is expected from the United States of America.
Admiral Lokoson said that the foreign participants are “a means of strengthening the cordial bilateral relations that already exist between Nigeria and each of the participating countries.”
He added that participants are usually tutored extensively on the constitutional role of the military under civilian rule and the virtues of military subordination to civil authority.
“Graduates are expected to remain resolutely focused on improving professionalism in their respective Services and never to be allowed to be used as instruments of disservice and disloyalty to our nation’s democracy.”