The new Commandant of Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Maj-Gen. Jamil Sarham, has declared war against indiscipline and vowed to expel any cadet found wanting for misconducts.
The 27th Commandant of NDA who was the immediate General Commanding Officer (GOC) 6 Division Nigerian Army Port Harcourt made the warning in his maiden meeting with the faculty, instructors and cadets of the institution
He listed several instances of indiscipline including sexual misconduct, absence without official leave, examination malpractices, abuse and unnecessary parental interventions thereby constituting nuisance to the Academy.
Against this backdrop, Sarham said he will be “unforgiving” in clearing the Academy of the bad eggs and restore it to its former glory.
He said: “Let me tell you my stand on discipline: I hate indiscipline. As a product of this same illustrious Academy, I would be tone deaf if I say I am not aware of some of the unsavoury things currently going on in NDA today. Things like cadets going on AWOL and re-jabbed, cadets engaging in examination malpractices, sexual misconduct, substance abuse, cadets fighting and disrespecting officers and parents interfering in disciplinary or academic issues.
“Such happenings, hitherto unheard of in the Academy, simply show that we must take a step back and ask ourselves, if really, we are developing the next crop of Nigeria’s military leaders in a manner that drives the importance of good character and discipline. We will be unforgiving for any dangerous and destructive behaviour from any cadet. An undisciplined cadet who presents a serious danger to self or others, or who substantially disrupts the learning environment, will be withdrawn. We may also engage in random drug testing to deal with issue of substance abuse.
“My red line as Commandant, will be cadets who exhibit indiscipline and who do not treat my military and academic staff with respect and dignity. Such cadets will have a very short stay in NDA. We have rules, and I will demand that each and every cadet abides by those rules. My staff and I, will accept nothing less than a wholehearted devotion to turning out officers who are worthy of being called NDA graduates as well as officers and gentlemen. The privilege to call yourself NDA officer- cadets and later NDA graduates must be earned —because it is not a title simply given.”
On the mission of the institution, General Sarham said: “NDA’s mission is to educate, train and inspire the officer cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honour, Discipline and Country, and fully prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as officers in the AFN.
“Under my watch, NDA founded 55 year ago, will remain true to this mission to produce educated and honourable men and women, by providing them with military training and the studies of a full first degree, with emphasis placed on the qualities of discipline, honour, integrity, and responsibility”.
According to him, it has become abundantly clear that recruiting and training quality cadets who can balance the four aspects of NDA training, is a vital prerequisite to the success of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) while reminding that the four aspects of NDA training are: military, academic, moral and discipline.
Speaking further, the new Commandant stressed that it is the responsibility of the military and academic faculty of the Academy, to detect mistakes, to attempt to correct them and to provide fair punishment including dismissal and withdrawal for cadets who do not respond to correction.