The Minister of Defence who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, stated that the maiden Defence Retreat was part of the deliberate efforts by the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) geared towards addressing insecurity in the country. He maintained that the Retreat with the theme “Shaping the Armed Forces of Nigeria for Current and Future Security Challenges,” was anchored on the strong desire of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the Service Chiefs to reposition the Armed Forces for optimum performance.
This, according to him, is in line with the Government’s aspiration to continue to make needed investments to ensure that the Service is an highly modernized force. He added that the ongoing efforts by Government towards acquisition of armored vehicles, military aircraft and naval vessel including training were intended to increase military equipment holding needed to prosecute the war as well as enhance capacity building and defence cooperation with foreign partners in various countries. Maj Gen Magashi further pointed out that technology plays significant role in combating the multifaceted asymmetric threats, disclosing that recent deployment of Nigerian Navy FALCON EYE as well as strategic unmanned aerial systems by the Nigerian Army and Air Force were recording huge inroads in the areas of cyber and forensic security.
The Minister particularly urged the participants at the Retreat to carefully examine various statutory documents and policies guiding the establishment and deployment of the Armed Forces so as to align them to the prevailing and future security realities. The Executive Governor of Delta, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa in his remarks, said the Retreat provided him the opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the unwavering support of the AFN towards the maintenance of peace and security in the state. According to the Governor, his administration had enjoyed peace which brought about the implementation of policies and programmes in the areas of entrepreneurship, infrastructural, health and educational development. Notably, the Delta State Chief executive urged the AFN to use the opportunity offered by the Defence Retreat in reviewing its operations by perceiving new trends, evaluating information and strategy to combat emerging security challenges.
Gen Irabor remarked that the Armed Forces of Nigeria National Military Strategy 2022 which was launched at the occasion by the Honourable Minister of Defence was developed to provide a platform for joint doctrines for the three arms of service to operate seamlessly and effectively. He also reiterated that the AFN had continued to evolve towards strengthening its potentials in order to suppress the prevailing security challenges. The Defence Chief further disclosed that the National Military Strategy document would served as a purview for the Army, Navy and Air Force in terms of administration, training, operations and logistics among other aspects of military activities for optimal performance. The CDS also acknowledged the improved security situation across the country, noting that it will continue to get better.