The Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, (NIIA) is marching on in its quest to consolidate its presence in the battlespace of ideas, this time yielding the floor to General Leo Irabor, the Chief of Defence Staff, (CDS) of the Nigerian military establishment.
When Gen Irabor takes the war to that space Thursday, August 25th, 2022, he would be shooting at a title with three of the most contested concepts in modern history as well as in the post Cold War: Security, defence and development. There is no consensus at all in the literature about what especially security and development might mean. What meaning of each of the key concepts finds purchase in Gen Irabor’s intellectual armoury vis-a-vis his overarching argumentation of the title, “Security, Defence and Development in Nigeria” is, therefore, bound to excite Nigeria and Africa, mainly on two key grounds.
One is what it says about the leading intellectual or theoretical current in the Nigerian military establishment today while the second would be what it signposts regarding the institutional self-understanding of the same establishment in a world that many believe to have jumbled its cards.
The military might have been busy with the intellectual dimension of what it does within but it is arguable if there has been this kind of showing-up by the military since General Ibrahim Babangida’s appearance as Chief of Army Staff, (COAS) at the same NIIA in 1984 to argue a Military – Industrial Complex paradigm for Nigeria. Interestingly, Gen Babangida who subsequently emerged as military Head of State never returned to the theme again. More interestingly, none of the journalists who trooped to Minna to interview him ever raised any questions on that too. It fits into the ‘only in Nigeria’ syndrome that everyone except Mallam Mohammed Haruna who wrote a column on it, could conveniently ‘forget’ such an all-time important theme.
The expectation is that, this time, Gen Irabor’s argument would receive robust engagement, such being the only way ideas materialise the outcomes associated with them as there is no cause-effect nexus between ideas and consequences.
NIIA’s details for those joining the fiesta is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81555227473?pwd=TG9iTjdyN3pkUEVvRG1NRmcyeUxldz09,/Meeting ID: 815 5522 7473/Passcode: 330487