Former Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Sam Ode, and other members of the intellectual class in Nigeria yesterday unveiled books they authored on the achievements of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai.
The former minister in a written speech made available to press men said there’s the need to constantly review the dynamic undercurrents of terrorism war with its global connections and linkage to Nigeria while reassessing the operational strategies to adopt new methods in order to strengthen defence apparatus in the country.
Ode, who made the presentation at the Annual Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Conference held in Ibadan, commended President Muhammadu Buhari,for his resolute attention to matters of security in the country.
He described as excellent the leadership virtues exhibited by the Chief of Army Staff and said Buratai is leading Nigerian troops to courageously and gallantly decimate and defeat Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria.
“I haven’t said this because I live in Abuja or have read in newspapers but as a former member of the Federal Executive Council at the time bombings started in Nigeria and one who has travelled the length and breadth of the country before and after the insurgency,” he stated.
The former minister saluted the efforts and sacrifices of troops who played active roles in the redemption mission for ensuring Nigerians live in peace as one indissoluble nation and by the resolve of the military leadership to ensure no part of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Nigeria is severed by devious sects, which delight in threatening our corporate existence.
” I have no doubt in my mind that the re-professionalized and repositioned Nigerian Army has made Nigeria and Africa proud by its daring and successful exploits on Boko Haram terrorism. We all know the dynamic and assymetrical character of terrorism warfare, which has proved difficult to surmount, even by far more technologically advanced nations of the word,” he stated.
The former minister said the Nigerian Army which is leading the counter-terrorism operations in the Northeast and other parts of the country proved their mettle as competent and result-orientated troops on any assignment adding that the timely legacy of defeating terrorism has left the world in awe and attracted foreign senior military officers to Nigeria for partnership to acquire the wealth of knowledge and experience.
He said, “Nonetheless, i want to seize this unique opportunity offered me to address this special conference to further amplify the enviable and exemplary leadership style of the COAS, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai saying he is not just a soldier, but a General in the true sense of the world.
“He strikes me like the finest Army Officer to berth in Nigeria for years. Gen. Buratai is rough and rugged in the trenches and at the same time, an impressive visionary and master of military administration. These are the opinions of leading Nigerian scholars, researchers and even critics that I have documented in my work “ The People’s Soldier” and have been invited by this August gathering to formally present to you. ”
Ode said he has overheard Nigerians excitedly talk about the Nigerian Army and specifically, the COAS in glowing descriptions such as “The Peoples Soldier,” or the “Defence Gateman.” All these refer to his demonstrated competence on his job of securing our country from weird sects and his friendliness to civilians.
” I dare say, Nigeria is fortunate to be blessed with a resplendent military prodigy like Gen. Buratai . On the battlefield or in the office, Gen. Buratai conducts himself as a gifted genius of a rare breed. In his portrait, we see a replication of the world’s best brains in several fields because he leaves a lasting impression.
” So, I have no reservation to state that had he chosen another profession, he would have been equated with the likes of the Microsoft founder, as the Bill Gates of Nigeria; in literary perception, Gen. Buratai is the Shakespeare of our times. In football, he is like the Brazilian legend, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pelé; in musical sphere, Gen. Buratai is like the famed pop star, Michael Jackson; in political leadership, he fits into the shoes of Mahatma Ghandi of India or like the American in astronaut Neil Armstrong in aeronautics. And in warfare, he replicates the image of the Chinese strategist and tactician Sun Tse.
“We are happy that the internationally celebrated Army General is of Nigerian descent. A humble personality, Lt. Gen. Buratai is simply the People’s soldier, who is always with his troops, shares their joys and pains and strikes an interpersonal relationship with his troops and cares to identify them by their names. These are rare leadership qualities and, the younger generation of officers particularly has a lot to learn from him,” he stated.
President Buhari was represented by at the event by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin whilst the Oyo State Governor led members of the high table to unveil the books.