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Army says troops’ understanding of indigenous languages will enhance operations


Army says troops’ understanding of indigenous languages will enhance operations

The Chief of Administration (Army), Maj.-Gen. Okpe Ali has said the understanding of the major indigenous languages. by the troops of the Nigerian Army will enhance their operations.

Ali said this during the inauguration of the Indigenous Languages Course 12/2023 organised by the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the conduct of the previous 11 courses recorded tremendous success and informed the need to continue with the programme. He said the 12th batch was being conducted for officers and soldiers of 2 Division, 81 Division and Army Headquarters’ departments and units within Abuja.

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According to him, the aim of conducting the ILC is to ensure that army personnel are proficient in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. He noted that the 2016 Order of Battle and its subsequent implementation had led to the establishment of new formations and units across the country where most of the residents spoke only their indigenous languages.

Ali said the 21st-century operational environment had changed with the emergence of the human domain of operation, which, according to him, comprises humans as physical beings, thoughts of the mind, actions and what they create.

He said the military’s objective in the human domain was the ability to influence targeted individuals and groups better than the adversary.
Languages, according to him, are seen as the best mirrors of the human mind, which in turn determine action and events. “Consequently, a key requirement for success in the human domain operation is the ability to communicate with the local population which hinges on mastery of indigenous languages within the operating environment,” he said.

Also, the Director General of NARC, retired Maj.-Gen. Garba Wahab said understanding of the local languages by troops was essential to achieving success in the ongoing internal security operations across the country.

Wahab said the deployment of the military in nearly all the states of the federation had made it imperative for personnel to be able to communicate in local languages rather than English.

In his words, “there are some words we find very difficult to translate, so when you understand each other, it is easier to deal with locals and people from particular areas and speak their language. “They feel this is one of us and that is the essence. “I believe that if you can speak my language I can understand you, and misunderstanding is reduced to great extent.”
Wahab said the centre was planning to expand the course to other local languages other than the three major Nigerian languages.

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