MODERNIZATION AND PROFESSIONALIZATION OF THE NIGERIAN ARMED FORCES: THE FIRST PHASE 1967 - 1979

  • Akin Alao

Abstract

The Nigerian civil war contributed significantly to the remarkable speed of military modernization and professionalization. Before the war, the military as an arm of the state system was completely subordinated to the democratically elected government and was maintained principally as a symbol of the country's independence and sovereignty. Post civil war developments in Nigeria obviously provided the opportunity for the rebirth of discipline, order and esprit de corps in the Armed Forces. It would seem that the military came out of the war, more organized, more confident in its ability to cope with the problem of securing the territorial integrity of Nigeria and above all, better professionally led and equipped than at any time in its history. Nigeria's new international image and the role she started playing in international relations up to the level of the United Nations called for the modernization and sophistication of her Armed Forces. Nigeria could no longer pretend that she had no enemy who might one day invade or insult her territorial integrity, independence or sovereignty as a nation.

(Humanities Review: 2002 2(1): 9-21)
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