Additional plumage from the Nigerian Defence Academy


The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) is a prestigious and premier military university in West Africa. Its 60-year history is rich with exploits in military training and scholarship. The NDA is an arena where the ethos of discipline, loyalty and patriotism are entrenched. Its sobriquet as the gateway to generalship and scholarship has been established, and it remains one institution in Nigeria that is revered for its enormous contributions to nation-building. The institution’s primary responsibility is to develop well-grilled officer-level military officers for Nigeria. The NDA, however, has opened its doors to students from brother African countries consistent with relevant pacts and partnerships with such nations.

The history of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) is rich. It was established on 5 February 1964 to train officers for the Armed Forces of Nigeria. In 2004, former president Olusegun Obasanjo approved a postgraduate school, sensing the need to avail the institution’s culture of excellence to civilians. The NDA postgraduate school offers courses to civilians and military personnel up to PhD level in distinct fields. The high point of the postgraduate school is that it has also afforded military personnel the opportunity to widen their knowledge in other fields of human endeavours. It is now commonplace to find military personnel brandishing master’s and doctorates in addition to their military training. This, indeed, is a boost for the country.

According to available information, “The overarching goal of the postgraduate school is to raise capacity for research, knowledge, innovation and creativity.” I agree with this because, as an alumnus of the NDA. I could not have asked for a better deal in my quest for knowledge, which raised my capacity for critical thinking in research.

I was consequently excited when I learned of the establishment of the NDA Boarding Secondary School, scheduled to take off in September 2024 for students within the age bracket of 10 and 12. The school website stated that  “the NDA viewed the provision of quality education as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the community. Thus, establishing a secondary school with boarding facilities will extend this CSR to children nationwide.”


I was still curious, and I made further inquiries from the relevant authorities, and here was what I got. “The school aims to groom students with lifelong skills by intentionally cultivating the national value system, the culture of patriotism, dedication, integrity, self-discipline, self-reliance, and loyalty to the nation. I was flabbergasted by the quality of the thought process that led to the establishment of the school. You can’t get anything less from such a reputable institution. I give a thumbs up to the Commandant of the NDA, Major General John Ochai and his lieutenants for this brilliant initiative.

When fully functional, the school, by inculcating self-discipline, among others, will fill a critical gap in the lives of young Nigerians, especially in this era where teenagers are susceptible to unhealthy pursuits and addictions. This era of social media makes our young ones vulnerable to distractions.

What else could we ask for in an era of social, moral, and economic decadence? Undoubtedly, the academic standard would be consistent with NDA’s trajectory of excellence. I can imagine a situation where students would grow in an environment suitable for learning while imbibing the culture of self-discipline and patriotism. It is a complete package and an opportunity for parents to grab with both hands.


This is indeed another one from the NDA. The NDA Boarding Secondary School is open to everyone (male and female), irrespective of the professional backgrounds of their parents. Upon graduation, students are at liberty to make their choices. They are not mandated to join the military. Whatever decision they make, the fact remains that they would have been well groomed for either the military or civil life. The good news is that I gathered that application forms are on sale until 26 June 2024 and can be obtained from the school website: The entrance examination will be held nationwide at designated examination centres.

The NDA Boarding Secondary School is a game changer. The school’s mission is to build a learning community to foster the best foundation for the younger generation and equip them with comprehensive education for excellence in life and career. I struggle to imagine the impact on the lives of those who would be privileged to pass through the school. Parents’ joy is greater when they bequeath their children lifelong skills and respect for our national value system. These and many more are the overarching objectives of the NDA Boarding Secondary School.

The students would be known and addressed as the Valiants. They would have the opportunity to be inspired by the military institutional environment and various activities of Cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy. They will also acquire life-changing light military skills/training required for success in life and future careers, riding on a 60-year-old tradition of excellence.

As many parents would key into this novel initiative, posterity would be kind to them for contributing to nation-building. The phrase, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he won’t depart from it,” rings a bell. It reminds me that we can still get things right in our country if we are intentional about it.


This is a commendable initiative as it would provide that medium for our youngsters to take ownership of the country. This is another one from the Nigerian Defence Academy, the premier military university of West Africa, which is the gateway to generalship and scholarship.

Ocheja, a military historian and doctoral researcher, is an alumnus of the Nigerian Defence Academy.

Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.
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