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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Akwa Ibom General Appointed Commandant of Army War College

A two-star general from Akwa Ibom State, Major General Solomon Effiong Udounwa, has been appointed the new Commandant of the Army War College of Nigeria (AWCN), Abuja, the highest training institution of the Nigerian Army.

Udounwa, presently of the Department of Policy and Plans at Army Headquarters, Abuja, is taking over from Major General Charles Ofoche according to the new posting and appointment of senior officers announced by the Army on Monday.

A statement by Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, disclosed that the posting involved 57 Major Generals while several Brigadier Generals and Colonels were also affected.

New General Officers Commanding, Principal Staff Officers and Corps Commanders were announced.

“The posting which was approved by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General TY Buratai is a routine/normal exercise intended to reinvigorate the system for greater professional effectiveness and efficiency,” he said.

Another Akwa Ibom-born officer, Colonel Timothy Antigha, who is spokesman of the Multinational Joint Task Force, N’Djamena, Chad, is moved to Defence Headquarters and appointed Acting Executive Director, Armed Forces Radio.

He is from Okopedi, the headquarters of Okobo Local Government Area.

All the posting and appointment are to take effect from Monday, July 20, 2020.

Born in July 1969, Udounwa, an indigene of Nung Udoe, the headquarters of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, is the younger brother of a former Chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Transition Committee, Mr. Joe Udounwa.

The general had his childhood education at Lutheran Primary School, Nung Udoe, from 1973 to 1979, and Lutheran High School, Obot Idim, still in the same Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, from 1980 to 1985.

He was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1991 as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Regular Course 38.

Udounwa, an Artillery officer, is a 1990 graduate of Biological Sciences from the NDA and also holds a Master of Law (LLM) degree from the University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom (UK), where he graduated in 2007 with distinction and won the maiden edition of the Oxford University Prize for International Law as best student.

The 51-year-old new commandant, who rose to the two-star general rank in December 2018, equally holds a Masters’ degree in Defence Studies (MDS) from the National University of Bangladesh and Master in Strategic Studies (MSS) degree from the prestigious United States Army War College (USAWC), Pennsylvania.

He is a qualified visiting professor to the USAWC and has been an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) since 2005.

Among strategic appointments Udounwa has held are Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to then Minister of Defence, Lieutenant General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (retd.), from 2001 to 2003, Military Assistant (MA) and later Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to then Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, between 2012 and 2014.

He has also served as Chief of Staff, Directorate of Army Public Relations, Abuja, Deputy Director of Campaign Planning at Defence Headquarters, Abuja, and Defence Adviser at Nigeria’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York, USA.

Udounwa, who is married with three children, is one of the six serving two-star generals in the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) from Akwa Ibom State.

The other five are Major General Enobong Okon Udoh (Etinan), Chief of Army Training and Operations at Army Headquarters, Abuja, Rear Admiral Michael Ebe (Ikot Ekpene), Chief of Logistics at Naval Headquarters, Abuja, Rear Admiral Okon Edet Eyo (Mbo) Director of Policy at Naval Headquarters, Major General Ifiok Martins Obot (Abak) of Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja, and Rear Admiral Joseph Akpan (Nsit Atai), Director of Records’ Return and Analysis at Naval Headquarters.

The Army War College Nigeria (AWCN), Abuja, inaugurated on June 15, 2017, is the highest Army training institution in Nigeria, similar to the Air War College (AWC), Makurdi, inaugurated on November 18, 2016, and the Naval War College of Nigeria (NWCN), Calabar, commissioned on May 31, 2017.

The National Defence College (NDC), Abuja, established as the National War College in 1992, is the apex training institution for senior officers of the three services of the AFN.

The Army, Naval and Air War Colleges were set up to bridge the gap between officer training at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji, and the NDC.

The AFCSC gives *tactical training* to officers usually with the rank of Major (equivalent of Lieutenant Commander in the Navy and Squadron Leader in the Air Force) seeking promotion to Lieutenant Colonel while the war colleges give *operational training* to senior Lieutenant Colonels (equivalents of Commanders in the Navy and Wing Commanders in the Air Force) and some junior Colonels.

The NDC gives *strategic training* to officers with the rank of Colonel (equivalent of Captain in the Navy and Group Captain in the Air Force) seeking promotion to the rank of a one-star general, Brigadier General (equivalent of Commodore in the Navy and Air Commodore in the Air Force).

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