The ability to speak, read and write in a foreign language is one of the fundamental skills of diplomats. Without it, they cannot get under the skin of a country. This was the statement of Professor Emeritus Muhammed Munzali Jibril on the occasion of the inauguration of the Center for the Study of Foreign languages at the Nigerian Defence Academy.
From right: The Academy Provost Prof Nwankwo, the guest lecturer Prof Jibrii, Dy Comdt AVM Ntukogu and other participants.
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Cross section of Participants
Speaking on the topic “The Relevance of Foreign Languages in Military Training”, Professor Jibril noted that the timely intervention of one of the officers who studied Arabic at NDA saved the Nigerian troops on peace keeping mission in Dafur who were ambushed by hostile forces. According to him, the Officer spoke with the forces in their language of Arabic and that timely use of a foreign language saved the lives of many Nigerian soldiers. Continuing he said that nationals who have a native-like command of the enemy’s language can be recruited to work as spies, saboteurs or agents provocateurs with great success.
Prof Emeritus Jibril delivering his lecture
He therefore recommended that apart from English language which is Nigeria’s Lingua Franca, French, Arabic, Swahili and Mandarin Chinese should be taught to all cadets who pass through NDA. He said that these languages are widely spoken in the areas where the Nigerian troops may be deployed for peace keeping operations. Professor Jibril also recommended the introduction of compulsory “Use of English course” to all cadets which he said will polish the spoken and written English of the cadets and improve their international communication skills.
Cross section of the cadets