OPENING REMARKS BY THE CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF LIEUTENANT GENERAL TY BURATAI (N/7630) NAM GSS psc(+) ndc (BD) BA(Hons) MA MPhil PhD Porf-at-Large (IUO) AT AHQ TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP ON 18 JUNE 2019
1. I am pleased to welcome you all to this Transformational Leadership Workshop for the NA personnel in Abuja Zone. Some persons may wonder what makes this leadership workshop different from other leadership trainings or programmes that the NA has conducted in the past. We all know that leadership is core to military professionalism; hence all military professional courses include aspects of military leadership skills acquisition. Military leadership skills equip personnel with the capacity to control and care for members of their group from the lowest tactical to the highest operational level (Sect-DHQ). The NA even conducts special military leadership programmes when necessary to complement what is provided in the routine courses. A recent example is the junior leadership seminar conducted by TRADOC in Apr 2019. All such programmes, however, are mainly designed to build capacities that enhance the intellectual and physical components of a fighting force: the ‘How’ we fight and the ‘what’ we fight with.
2. But you will all agree with me that a professional NA also needs to build up and sustain its moral component: the ‘why’ we fight. This is because one general effect of modernization, globalization and ICT in the last few decades have seen a decline in nationalistic enthusiasm. Transformational leadership programmes are solely designed to imbue in leaders, the consciousness and respect for the unique value of their nation and institutions through which they render service to their nation: the NA in our own case). This is done without undermining the imperatives of international cooperation or general inter-dependency of humans. The AHQ DATI Transformational Leadership Workshop is clearly and explicitly designed to teach/preach transformational leadership values to the next generation of NA leaders (officers and soldiers). It would also establish a platform for subsequent mentoring of participants after the workshop, hence the theme has been aptly chosen as “lead, follow or get out of the way”.
3. It is worthy to note that the NA has had good success over the years in the grooming of military leaders. This is evident in the many successes that the NA has achieved in our operations and the high performance of our personnel (both officers/soldiers) in international/multinational operations or other military duties. And this is the reason why I have always ensured that the promotion of NA personnel is essentially based on professional considerations only. But we all know that professional capacity is not a sufficient condition to succeed in a task; willingness to perform the task is equally necessary.
4. It is unfortunate, but the truth is that almost every setback the NA has had in our operations in recent times can be traced to insufficient willingness to perform assigned tasks: or simply insufficient commitment to a common national/military course by those at the frontlines. Many of those on whom the responsibility for physical actions against the adversary squarely falls are yet to fully take ownership of our common national or Service cause. I, therefore, believe that the transformational leadership workshops will again remind and clarify to participants what our President and Commander in Chief meant by: “This generation and indeed, future generations of Nigerians have no other country but Nigeria, we must remain here and salvage it together.” The president’s exhortation, though about 35 years old, is still relevant today given as we see in some cases that apathy has even increased amongst the younger generations.
5. Finally, let me note that the calibre, capacities and proven commitment (to the NA and/or the Nigerian nation) of the resource persons selected to drive this workshop is an attestation to its high importance. I urge every participant to put the highest level of seriousness to achieve the full objectives of this workshop and ensure that the precious time and efforts of this calibre of resource persons are not wasted. On this note, I declare the AHQ Transformational Leadership Workshop for midlevel officers/soldiers open and I charge you all to lead, follow or get out of the way.