On Wednesday, the Nigerian Army decided to start its three-day capacity building workshop on Protocol and Liaison Duties, a programme which was geared toward enhancing the capabilities of officers in the protocol and liaison operations, as well as military diplomacy. The workshop, themed “Enhancing the Nigerian Army Protocol and Liaison Capacity for Efficient Service Delivery”, was said to have been organized by the Army Headquarters’ Department of Special Services and programme.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, whist speaking at the commencement of the event, noted that the workshop was established out of the need for a more effective coordination of the army liaison, special and ceremonial events as well as the other programmes, all in line with best practices. He disclosed that establishing the Directorate of Protocol in the department was an evident illustration of their desire to promote international best practices and regulations in handling diplomatic protocols, precedence and etiquette.
Military-to-military bilateral contact to improve optimal performance.
COAS further revealed that thus far, the department had been able to identify and enact laudable initiatives focused on helping the army reposition its protocol and liaison duties to enhance optimal performance in support of their operational objectives. He stated that the initiative to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other creditable institutions for undertaking special courses to build personnel capacity was a good move. Lt-Gen. Yahaya said this initiative would enhance the force’s capacity to carry out its duties efficiently and professionally during domestic and international engagements.
He explained that an increase in the military-to-military bilateral contact and engagement with global allies would increase the call for a more coordinated understanding of protocol functions in support for strategic engagements. The COAS further noted that the present security status quo was dynamic and characterized complexities and uncertainties which call for an increased liaison with stakeholders at the different levels. This, he explained, called for immense training and capacity development for the facilitation of various levels of engagement with internal and external stakeholders.
Army promises to continually fight insurgency and other armed groups.
The workshop was thus noted as a scheme to develop the capabilities of army personnel for conducting protocol duties in furtherance to the strategies of the army and objectives of operation. The Lt-General thus promised that the Nigerian army would continually act professionally in building all aspects of their fighting power to indicate its readiness for fulfillment of its constitutional duties to defend the country. He lauded the competence shown by the personnel during the Presidential and Gubernatorial elections and pledged a continuity at providing the right leadership for the troops.
Lt-Gen. Yahaya also promised to further sustain commitment toward acquiring more platforms and equipment to ensure that the fight against insurgency and other armed groups that have ravaged the security status quo in the country were brought to an end. He thus encouraged the personnel to continue being professionals in their conduct, as well as portraying the Nigerian Army in a good light. Also, the Chief of Special Services and Programmes, Major General Emeka Onumajuru revealed that the army had increased its interface with internal and external stakeholders, in a bid to curb the national and sun-regional security challenges that had ravaged Nigeria.
Protocol to facilitate better interaction between officers in the army.
Amb. Oluwole Coker, a retired diplomat and the keynote speaker at the event, whilst backing the need for capacity building of military personnel, stated that military diplomacy was one of the most important diplomatic relations aspect of every country. He indicated that it was only necessary for military officers involved in the internal activities of the force to be the most knowledgeable of the protocol and liaison responsibilities. Amb. Akin Oyeteru, a speaker at the event, also said that this protocol would enhance the facilitation of smooth interaction amongst the personnel.