A History Of The Nigerian Defence Academy 1964-2006
There are few researches on the role of military institutions in Nigeria, and therefore, military history is still at infancy in the Nigerian historiography. This research is therefore an attempt to re-construct the history of Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) from 1964-2006. The NDA was established in 1964 and charged with the role of training military officers for the Defence need of independent Nigeria. From its establishment in 1964, the graduates of the NDA were awarded National Certificates of Education (NCE) apart from being commissioned into the officer cadre of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
The examination was prepared and conducted` by the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. In 1985 the academy was upgraded to a degree awarding institution. Apart from the regular cadet, the institution also runs Short Service and Direct Short Service for holders of Degree and Higher National Diploma from Universities and Polytechnics. In 2005 president Olusegun Obasanjo commissioned the post-graduate school which commenced its activities in the 2005/2006 academic session.
The institution also recorded tremendous achievement by producing many prominent military officers in Nigeria who contributed in the maintenance of peace in the country and abroad. Moreover, some of the products of NDA wrote quite a number of text books that are being used in Nigerian tertiary institutions. The contribution of NDA was thus beyond military training but also in the intellectual arena. Despite the achievement of NDA, the institution has been facing numerous problems, Such as favouritism in the recruitment of candidates. This research was carried out through the use of primary and secondary sources.
1.1 Background of the Study
The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) was established on 5th February, 1964 to trains officers for the Armed Forces of Nigeria in response to the defence need of independent Nigeria. Before then, the institution responsible for Military training in Nigeria was known as the Royal Military Forces Training College (RMFTC).1After independence in 1960, the college became known as the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC). The role of the Academy was to provide each officer cadet with knowledge, skills and values necessary to meet the requirements of a military officer through military, academic and character development. In 1964 NMTC was renamed Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA). The NDA is an institution where selected young able-bodied men and women are groomed into well educated, courageous, virile and erudite subalterns. The vision of the NDA is to produce officers with broad-based training in both military and academic subjects designed to serve as a foundation for the future progressive development of officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces.2
The mission of NDA similar to NMTC, is to provide each officer cadet with the knowledge, skills and values necessary to meet the requirements of a military officer through Military, Academic and character development.3 Since its establishment, the NDA has contributed towards maintenance of peace in the country and abroad. This research attempts to examine the history of Nigerian Defence Academy from 1964-2006. The research is divided into five chapters. Chapter one gives the general background of the Nigerian Defence Academy. Chapter two discusses the history of Kaduna where NDA is located area of study. Chapter three focuses on the origin of the Nigerian Defence Academy. Chapter four examines training and operational structures of the Nigerian Defence Academy. Finally chapter five provides summary and conclusions of the study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Up till now, there are few researches on the history of military in Nigeria. Since 1960, when Nigeria attained its independence, it has been contributing in the maintenance of peace in the country. For instance apart from maintaining of unity of Nigeria during the Nigerian Civil War, the Nigerian Military have contributed in conflict resolution in other countries such as Liberia, Congo, and Sierra Leone among others. However, there are limited researches that reveal this achievement. Since 1964, the institution responsible for military training in Nigeria is the Nigerian Defence Academy. Hence, in order to clearly appreciate the achievement of Nigerian Military, it is imperative to first look at the role of military institution such as the Nigerian Defence Academy.
The following questions are therefore, addressed in this study;
- What was the historical origin of the Nigerian Defence Academy?
- What is the impact of the Nigerian Defence Academy?
- What were the major changes that had occurred in the Nigerian Defence Academy 1964-2006?
- What is the relationship between the three different aspects of cadets Army, Navy and Air Force respectively?
- What is the contribution of Nigerian Defence Academy to the development of security in Nigeria?
1.3 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this work is to studying the history of Nigerian Defence Academy from 1964 -2006. The work also intends to achieve the following:
- To trace the historical foundation of Nigerian Defence Academy
- To assess the impact of Nigerian Defence Academy
- To identify the major changes that had occurred in the Nigerian Defence Academy from 1964-2006
- To examine the relationship between the three different aspect of cadets; Army, Navy and Air force respectively
- To analyses the contribution of Nigerian Defence Academy in the provision of security in Nigeria
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study is an attempt to reconstruct the history of Nigerian Defence Academy from 1964-2006.
The significance of the study includes the following:
- The study will help to bring the history of the Nigerian Defence Academy to the lime-light and above all, a contribution to the history of Nigerian military in general.
- The study has brought to the fore a documentary history of the Nigerian Defence Academy by way of investigation into the military activities of the academy.
- The study serves as documentary record for future research by student, scholars, and military activist as well.
1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This research focuses mainly on the history of the Nigerian Defence Academy in the period 1964-2006. This study starts from 1964 because it was the year when the Nigerian Defence Academy was established. The study terminates in 2006 because the year witnessed some significant development in the Nigerian Defence Academy.
1.6 Conceptual Clarification
The major concepts that were defined are; Military, Civil Military Relation and Military Institution.
According to Nwabueze, B.O.,4 in his work entitled, Military Role And Social Justice In Nigeria, Military is seen basically to be connected with subordinate armed force “military could be seen as the members of the armed force who are primarily charge with the security of the state against external aggression, and when call upon to subdue internal crises. Military refers to the armed forces; Army, Air force, and Navy. They are the body of men and women whose sole occupation is protection of societies from the danger of external and internal invasion.5 Military is an organized and a legitimate institution, permitted to monopolized means of violence and to use violence in the interest of the state.6
According Odetola,7 Military is an organised professional group characterised with the responsibility of ensuring national security and defending the nation against external attack. The military is what I might call the organisation for defence of the last resort. It is a lighting machine. Military is an organized exclusive national institution subordinated to political leadership of a country charged primarily with the responsibility of maintaining the country’s integrity and when demand necessary invited to suppress internal strife.8
Military Institution- This is a coercive force set up to protect a country against internal secession and external aggression.9
According Auma-Osolo,10 Civil-Military Relations means the supremacy and guidance of the civil populace over the military. It entails full democratic control of the military as it plays its role as the ultimate guarantor of National Security. Ideally, the military is the servant of the society and it has the monopoly over the means of violence in the interest of its citizens in response to popular will and consent.11
Civil-Military Relations refers to the totality of relations between the military and society which it operates and of which it is necessarily a part of. It comprises all aspects of the role of the military (as a professional, political, social and economic institution) in the entire aspects of national life.12 Civil-Military Relations involves issues of the attitude of the military towards the civilian society, the civilian society’s perceptions of and attitudes to the military and the role of the armed forces in relation to the state.13
1.7 Research Methodology
The data used for this research work was derived from the two main sources- the primary and secondary sources. The first involved oral interviews method with individuals regarding the area of study. Both structured and unstructured questions were used during the interview. The interviews were conducted in English and Hausa languages. The respondents interviewed cut across NDA staff, military officers and retired military personnel. A phone recorder was used in recording responses from individuals in addition to note-taking.. In addition to the interview, the researcher visited Nigerian Army 1 division library, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji Library Kaduna, Ahmad Bello University Library, and Federal University Dutsin-ma Library where several relevant documents were consulted regarding the area of study.
On the secondary sources, although there are few written documents regarding NDA, which one can lay hands on, the researcher was able to make use of the available relevant ones both published and unpublished works. Sources for this work were thus obtained from books, journals, seminar papers, public lectures, thesis, dissertations and projects. These sources were studied and properly analysed.
1.8 Literature Review
The first major work consulted for this research is the work of Eekelen14 entitled “The Parliamentary Dimension of Security Sector Reforms.” According to Ekelen Security Sector Reform recognizes the need to adapt to changes resulting from the present day circumstances. It is a reorientation away from the Cold War structures of the armed and Defence forces to meet the demands of the new security environment. The legacy took the form of a bloated military force that absorbed a large percentage of resources, the absence of experienced civilians to work with the military and Parliaments lacking the mechanism or expertise to exercise any effective oversight role.
The work is very significant for our study, because it provides information on security sector reform. The weakness of the work lies in its limited details in many aspects of military. This was as a result of it ambition to cover all aspect of military institution such as NDA, AFCSC and War College.15 and therefore some of the military institution were mentioned only in passing.
Reforms however in the Defence sector should be an integrated process involving governments, the military and Parliaments. Parliament’s support for the reforms is important because apart from approving budgets, it can also explain the process to the general public. With contemporary threats coming from terrorism, the role of the military has become significant. Parliaments may therefore react to the budget proposals for the defence expenditure compared to the requirements of the civilian sector.16 Reforms in the security sector are necessary for four reasons: Conflict Prevention and stability- an unreformed security sector fails to prevent and even causes violent conflicts, leading to suffering and poverty.
In the work of Fluri and Lunn, 17 Effective reform on the other hand, through effective and efficient democratic control can bring internal and external stability. Again, a no reformed security sector, leading to instability and insecurity does not create a favourable climate for investment. A security sector plagued by corruption, constituting a burden to national economy, does not contribute to sustainable economic development. Similarly, a reformed security sector will have the ability to deal with violence professionally and professionalism in this sense entails dedication and the ability to carry out tasks and orders of superiors and provide security within the context of dynamic and rapidly changing new security environment.
Fluri and Lunn further illustrated how effective reform through effective and efficient democratic system can bring about a stable security system this is what brought about the idea of establishing the Nigerian Defence Academy. Lastly, reforms also enhance democratization by ensuring that the security services subordinate themselves to legitimate political authority.
The legal framework for civilian supremacy over the security sector rests on the values of accountability and transparency.
Although security services are to discharge their function of maintaining law and order, they have to comply with the societal values and democratic standards. Security Sector Reform therefore entails that all security services are to operate within the law and are to be accountable to the democratically legitimate political leaders. 18 in some circumstances the political leader make used of this opportunity against the military and led to the politicization of the military therefore this work have to be used with caution.
Another relevant work that is very imperative to this research is the work of Hanggi.19 entitled “Good Governance of the Security Sector: Its Relevance for Confidence Building”, the author posits that Security Sector Reform is concerned with standards related to the good governance of the security sector, which are politico-military forms of confidence building measures. All around the world, there exist norms and standards which include directly or indirectly, the principles of good governance of the security sector as a confidence building measure. In fact, good governance of the security sector is believed to have a positive impact on International peace and Security.
In the view of Ball and Kayode20 Security sector reform also has an impact on social life because it has impact on the day to day security of women, men and children. This therefore implies that there is a need to transform the institutions, policies and people responsible for the security of communities and individuals.
In some conflict affected areas, the components of the security sector, particularly the military, police, secret services and the intelligence normally have powers above the law. Instead of serving the population, they are used by the state to oppress opposition and thus further militarise the society. If the security sector is to become more transparent and accountable, there is a need for its reforms.
Ball and Kayode21 further emphasized on the need for effective SSR which is further based on the fact that during times of armed conflict and unrest, the actions of the security sector have a direct impact on the lives of men and women. Although military personnel deliberate on security issues, civilians are the first to be affected by the violence and insecurity. People from marginalized and oppressed sectors of the society fear the police and do not consider them as the providers of basic security and protection. Thus secrecy and the all-consuming power wielded by the security forces can lead to human rights violation. In particular, the sexual abuse of women is most common at times of conflict and in states where there exist very powerful security services. It is worth mentioning that during Security Sector Reforms (SSR), all forms of violence against women and their marginalisation from political power are not discussed due to social taboos. As SSR is becoming more legitimised as an important instrument for development, reconstruction and conflict prevention, there is a need to consider gender.
Women can contribute towards the success of SSR through several avenues. In the security forces, women can always bring gender perspectives to any discussion on security issues. Women combatants can participate in aspects of SSR as against the present situation where mostly women are given lower status. In Parliament, female Members of Parliament are in a position to formulate gender friendly policies, as well as play a key role in demanding for accountability and transparency from the security services. They can insist on determining budget policies to ensure that military expenditures do not take away resources from developmental issues such as education, environment, healthcare etc. what this writers are emphasizing on have to be view with caution because women have very little knowledge about security so bringing them into the security reforms will only make things bad
Alemike,22 in his work entitled “Human Resources Development in Security Sector in West Africa,” discussed that there is a need to have a participatory, transparent and accountable security sector that will adequately address the security needs of all including the full and equal participation of women in decision making position and process.
The security needs of men, women, boys and girls are diverse and vary according to several factors. To meet the specific needs of women and girls, such initiatives as integrating domestic violence prevention programme into disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process and ensuring a just legal process for female survivors of sexual violence.
Attracting suitable candidates into the sector has become increasingly difficult. While the incidence of high unemployment rates has assisted the sector in meeting recruitment targets, most recruits enlist due to the absence of any other attractive job to do. Agencies thus recruit employees from the open market where they compete with other employees from the public and private sector. In the past and in several Countries, suitable individuals interested in service within the security sector can be attracted and monitored early in their career. This assists the services in recruiting highly qualified persons into the system, while those unsuitable do not just get there. What this writer talked about is very important while considering recruitment but he has forgotten that military academies like NDA and the likes addresses that issue because they recruit young men and women who have the passion of depending their country and uphold it glory.
Also Babangida,23 in his work entitled “For Their Tomorrow We Gave Our Today” The military is supposed to be composed of professionals based on its exclusive area of competence. It is this exclusivity that makes the military profession distinguishable from other types of professions in the society. For this to happen there must be a regulatory mechanism that determines the nature of recruitment and institutional socialization. Thus, it is generally emphasized that “the military as an institution controls entry into its profession and trains the potential professionals to become experts in the control and management of violence”. The modern military is thus, described as a profession that employs expertise in the use of coercive instruments for a purpose determined by superior authorities who occupy the apex decision-making levels of state power. This is what obtains in those countries with relatively stable civil-military relations be they liberal democratic or authoritarian-based systems.
In addition Finer24 in his work entitled “The Man on Horseback: The Role of the Military in Politics”, identifies four levels of military intervention. The scope of such intervention increases from the first to the fourth. The military could employ subtle means in order to influence policy. It could also engage in blackmail where the government is intimidated to a point of complying with its demands. It could withdraw support for the government with the expectation that a rival group would have a leverage to displace the incumbents from power. Soldiers could supplant the government through a coup d’état. Thus, a coup is merely one kind of intervention. This work is relevance because it shows the strategies military takes to take over power from a civilian government.
Wanyande,24in his book entitled “Democracy and the One Party State: The African Experience” discussed that most of the 20th century was characterised by the preponderance of military coups in many countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Using Africa as a reference point, by the mid-1980s about two-thirds of the countries in the continent were either under military rule or had experienced some form of military intervention at certain periods. This work shows that military body in Africa and other third world nation abandoned their main duty of providing security to the nation and engaged in taking over power from constitutionally and democratically elected government.
In the book of Tyoden25 entitled “The Military and the Prospect for Socialist Construction in the Third World” The role of the military in the development of the countries where they have taken over and ruled has been interpreted and assessed in both positive and negative terms. Soldiers whether in khaki or in mufti have been a supporting pillar of political stability and engineered socio-economic changes in places such as Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia and South Korea. For example, under a right-wing military regime that ruled for almost two decades, Chile witnessed economic transformation and relative socio-political stability despite its poor record on human rights. This situation was the same in Indonesia under General Suharto. In contrast, Uganda under Idi Amin Dada witnessed a roll-back of the relative gains achieved under the preceding rule of Milton Obote. The economic fortunes of Uganda plummeted and foreign relations with its neighbours and Britain, the ex-colonial power deteriorated. In countries like Nigeria or Pakistan, the result has been mixed. Soldiers have played an important role in preserving the corporate existence of these countries; by executing a successful civil war to its logical end in Nigeria’s case (1967-1970) or preventing it’s a stronger neighbour from overrunning it in the case of Pakistan’s conflict with India since 1947. However, military rule has to some degree, been unable to address the major political and economic contradictions inherent in these countries and as such, have been forced to relinquish power to elected civilian governments. In Pakistan, the military whether in or out of government remains an important symbol of national cohesion and this has been enhanced by its monopoly of the country’s nuclear weapons even under periods of civilian rule. This pattern of civil-military relations has the features of a promilitary society, a politicised officer corps that maintains high levels of organisational professionalism.
The motives for military intervention are numerous, and generally, rest on the interests that the military coupists are trying to promote. The role of the army has generally been categorised as being a possible vanguard in the struggle for social justice, a reactionary force or merely an apolitical tool under the whims and caprices of civil authority. From a Marxian class perspective, the military is romanticised as a possible vanguard of socio-political change in alliance with revolutionary socialist forces.
Here the writer talked about the professionalism of military and patriotism that shows that the military personnel are good citizens of a country ant they acquired those qualities during their training session both in academies as well as camps
This chapter discussed the problems that initiated the research. It was explained that the history of NDA, up till today is not well researched and recorded despite the contribution of the institution in Nigeria. In the next chapter we are going to see the history of Kaduna where NDA is located.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
This research project is the study of Nigerian defence academy from 1964-2006. The findings of the work shows that, the NDA was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria, on 5th February 1964 to train officers for the Armed Forces of Nigeria in response to the defence need of independent Nigeria. It is important to note that before then, the institution responsible for Military training in Nigeria was known as the Royal Military Forces Training College (RMFTC).After independence in 1960, the college became known as the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC). The role of the college was to provide each officer cadet with knowledge, skills and values necessary to meet the requirements of a military officer through military, academic and character development. In 1964 NMTC was renamed Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).
The NDA is an institution where selected young able-bodied men and women are groomed into well educated, courageous, virile and erudite subalterns. The vision of the NDA is to produce officers with broad-based training in both military and academic subjects this is designed to serve as a foundation for the future progressive development of officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces.The mission of NDA similar to NMTC, is to provide each officer cadet with the knowledge, skills and values necessary to meet the requirements of a military officer through Military, Academic and character development. Since establishment the NDA has contributed towards maintenance of peace in the country and abroad.
Kaduna town where NDA was established, was created as a colonial headquarters and a military garrison of British colonialism in Northern Nigeria in 1917. The first capital was Lokoja, followed by Jebba, and then, Zungeru. The colonialist spent a brief moment of thirteen years, amongst these three various colonial headquarters, Lokoja, Jebba and Zungeru. It finally stopped its transitory movement in 1917, with the establishment of its headquarters in Kaduna. Generally, the factors that favored, the choice of Kaduna include: Relief and drainage, soil, vegetation, favourable and availability of water and favourable climate.
The Nigerian Defence Academy trains cadets in three different aspects; Army, Naval and Air Force respectively.
The selection criteria and admission for the different course are prerogative of respective services. Annually candidates between the age of 17-21 years from all the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory are enrolled into the Academy for a regular course training. Furthermore NDA also offers opportunities to friendly nations for the training of the cadets but such request must go through the Ministry of Defence Abuja. As of 2006, about 600 gentlemen officers have been trained from friendly countries such as Ghana, Liberia, etc. The Admission of cadets into the Nigerian Defence Academy is strictly on merit. The Nigerian Defence Academy enrolls cadets to the three wings of the Academy which include the Army, Navy and the Air Force. The body responsible for the military training is the DMT, under the DMT there is the training team, which composed of the Army, Navy and Air Force personnel assisted by the army engineering training team. The engineering team trains cadets on basic military engineering and harmonize an effective training for cadets. The cadets are taught and given instructions on the handling and skillful use of all types of small arms and infantry by the weapon training wing. Besides the training cadets undergo various outdoor exercises in different location across the nation these are normally conducted by three service wings (Army, Navy, Air Force) in line with the academy calendar of events and this exercise is known as Camping.
The main aim of this research was to trace the historical origin of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) from 1964-2006. The NDA was established in 1964 as the main body responsible for the training of cadets for the Defence need of independent Nigeria. Prior to its establishment the institution responsible for the training of Nigerian army was Nigerian Military training college (NMTC).
In this study we have identify the impact of the NDA on Nigeria most especially in the security sector. Also the NDA had play a significant role in the intellectual arena by giving academic training to individuals like Abdurrahaman Bello Dambazau a product of the institution has a written a number of books in the security sector which are widely been used in various Nigerian Universities, more especially in Criminology Departments.
Despite the achievement of NDA, the institution has been facing numerous problems. Firstly there are problems in the administration of the institution. Sometimes, the region or state where the incumbent presidents come from is favoured much more than other region or state as it happened during the administration of Abacha, Obasanjo, Yar’adua and Jonathan.
During Abacha’s regime, the commandant of NDA was from his region and even his state Kano. Also during Obasanjo’s civilian administration, the commandant was from his region south west. Similarly, during Yar’dua and Jonathan the commandants were from northern and southern Nigeria respectively.
This therefore, affects the implementation of quota system in the recruitment of the institution. Most attendants in NDA gained admission as a result of connection with either senior military officers or influential politicians.
It is observed that the institution has policies of expelling students who offended its rules and regulations. Sometimes, students are expelled in the third, fourth or even in the fifth year of study. As a result of this, the expelled students engaged in different act of social vices including arm robbery and other forms of militant activities because they already received military training including the use of sophisticated weapons.
It is therefore recommended that the institution should revise the policies of expulsion looking at the risk pose by expelled student to the security of the country.
This research which studied the history of NDA, including its method of training, achievements and problems recommend that, there is need to carry further research on other military institutions such as Armed Forces Staff College (AFSC) Jaji, Nigerian Defence College Abuja, Nigerian Air Force base Kaduna, Maritime Academy Oro among others.
This will educate the people and lawmakers about the role of these institutions so as to provide measures for their future prospects and general improvement of security of Nigeria.
A History Of The Nigerian Defence Academy 1964-2006
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