Major General Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations (DMO).

ABUJA, FCT, NIGERIA – Major General Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations (DMO), clarified the rationale behind the establishment of the School of Islamic Affairs within the Nigerian military, emphasizing its role in enhancing the spiritual development and capacity building of military personnel.

Speaking at a joint press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, July 3, 2024, organized by the Strategic Communication Interagency Policy Committee, General Buba addressed public concerns over a viral photo of the Nigerian Army School of Islamic Affairs.

He explained that the military’s decision to establish such a school is rooted in the recognition of spirituality as integral to the lives of military personnel. General Buba highlighted that military life does not preclude spiritual inclinations and underscored the importance of spiritual preparedness in military service.

General Buba elaborated, stating, “Life is spiritual, and being military men does not make them less spiritually inclined.” He further justified the existence of the School of Islamic Affairs alongside the Chaplaincy School within the military, emphasizing their roles in providing religious education and spiritual guidance to troops.

He emphasized the purpose of the school as capacity building, stating, “If you want somebody to go and preach to others, he should know what he is preaching about. He should be able to read the scriptures from one point to the other in whatever religion he practices, so that he can communicate that breakdown to the troops and build their faith.”

General Buba clarified that the School of Islamic Affairs, like the Chaplaincy School, serves to support military personnel in their spiritual, moral, and psychological well-being as they serve the nation.

The Nigerian Army operates three units catering to different religious identities: Catholic, Protestant, and Islamic Affairs. These units have provided spiritual services to soldiers and their families since the inception of the Army, both in barracks and on the battlefield.

However, it was only recently formalized to establish a structured religious institution to better serve the military.

The Nigerian Army School of Islamic Affairs specifically aims to enhance the spiritual education of troops.

It offers a curriculum covering various disciplines such as Islamic Studies, Arabic and Islamic Studies, LLB Sharia, Islamic Theology, Qur’anic Science, Hadith Sciences, Qur’anic Exegesis, Islamic Jurisprudence, and Comparative Religious Studies.

Managed by the Nigerian Army Council, the school accepts applications from eligible Nigerians through the Nigerian Army website. Proficiency in Arabic and English languages is a requirement for admission.

The application process for the 2024 academic year closed on February 23, 2024.

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