The Chief of Administration (Army), Maj.-Gen. Ogbe Ali, says understanding of indigenous languages by officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army will enhance their operations in the area of intelligence gathering.
Ali, who was represented by the Director, Personnel Services, Maj.-Gen. Olusegun Adesina, said this at the graduation of Course 11/2022 of Indigenous Languages Proficiency Course on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the two-month course was organised by the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) in collaboration with Laclic Services Limited.
Ali said the Indigenous languages course was designed to ensure that cultural sensitivity among personnel was improved, especially in their areas of operations.
He added that the aim of the course was to ensure that every personnel was proficient in the three major Nigerian languages which are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.
According to him, some personnel of the armed forces are currently deployed across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory to confront the myriad of security challenges bedeviling the nation.
He said that a key requirement for success in these operations was the ability to communicate with local population which hinges on mastery of indigenous languages in the operating environment.
Ali said the current operations were mainly intelligence driven, hence the ability to communicate in the language of the locals would help in gathering and acting in useful information.
He, therefore, urged the participants to continue to improve on the language skills they had acquired to enhance their operational engagements through non-kinetic means.
The Director General of NARC, retired Maj.-Gen. Garba Wahab, represented by the Executive Director, Consult, Maj.-Gen. James Myam, commended the participants for their interests and commitment to the course.
Wahab said that proficiency in indigenous languages would be key in resolving conflict in the society, using non-kinetic approach.
He said the language course was part of the Nigerian army’s language policy being conducted at the centre with emphasis on the use of non kinetic means in trying to curtail some of the security challenges confronting Nigeria.
According to him, the Nigerian Army sees language as a veritable tool that can be used because of the intelligence value it gives.
“The indigenous language can also help troops to break into cultures and thereby gain acceptance by the people to enhance their operational activities.
He urged participants to continue to develop themselves and improve on the languages to help them in performing their duties effectively.