By David Onmeje
“The best system of governance is a democracy, and we must all ensure that Nigeria’s democracy remains stable and steady. We will not allow any force, elements or destabilizing agents in or outside our country to set our beloved country on fire. We remain resolute in doing everything possible to ensure that subversive elements, detractors and other enemies of this great nation do not achieve their aims and objectives of destabilization”. Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The story of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai is indeed an interesting one and one laced with adventures right from an early age. The take away from his trajectory is that of sheer determination, dedication and patriotism. For those that knew the young Buratai indeed constantly testify to his unflinching love for the country a trait that was gotten from his late father a world war two veteran.
It therefore, came as no surprise to many when the young Buratai elected to follow his father’s footsteps by joining the Nigerian Army to continue from where his father stopped in service and loyalty to Nigeria.
The exploits of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai as the Chief of Army Staff is indeed one laced with numerous innovations and the placement of the interest of Nigeria above every other thing. This much has characterized his leadership of the Nigerian Army since his appointment some years back.
The Nigerian Army of today under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai is indeed a story of a professional fighting force dedicated and committed to defending and preserving the territorial integrity of the country as well as the preservation of our nascent democracy.
The Nigerian Army under the watch of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has risen to the occasion in addressing the various security threats in the country. Its continued interventions in internal security operations are also noteworthy. We must admit that a lot has changed in the security architecture in Nigeria with the Nigerian Army leading the fray. The prosecution of the war against Boko Haram terrorism is indeed one area that the Nigerian Army has indeed surpassed expectations and within a record time.
It is indeed a statement of the fact that the Nigerian Army indeed took the battle to the Boko Haram terrorist and within a record time it recaptured the over 16 local government areas that were hitherto under the control of the Boko Haram group in states in North-East Nigeria. It is also on record that under the leadership of Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, the Nigerian Army took over the operational headquarters of the Boko Haram group in Sambisa Forest.
I must also add that of the six states in North-East Nigeria, the Nigeria Army was able to wipe out all traces of Boko Haram in five states but for Borno State still experiencing pockets of Boko Haram attacks, which has been mainly attributed to the refusal of the political authorities in the state to join hands with the Nigerian Army in decimating the Boko Haram group in the state.
It is also on record that in the history of the Nigerian Army there hasn’t been a time like now where the Nigerian Army has been actively engaged in over 20 operations simultaneously across the country. And they have all been successful. This is an indication of the level of professionalism introduced by Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai towards ensuring that the Nigerian Army demonstrates its slogan as the Pride of the Nation. And true to this accolades and commendations have not been in short supply.
For example, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai was conferred with the Brazilian Military Order of Merit Award which is the highest military honour, awarded to military officers that have distinguished themselves in various military endeavours. According to citation at the occasion, the award was in recognition of his exemplary and world’s recognized leadership qualities and the Nigerian Army’s effort in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
Another worthy example of the outstanding leadership qualities of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai was when he was presented with the African Leadership Award at the 7th Edition of the African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Award at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.
According to the Selection Committee of the African Leadership Magazine Annual Award, the Chief of Army Staff was honoured with the prestigious and highly coveted award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Africa’s security, economic growth and development. They further noted that the commitment and exemplary leadership exhibited by Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai as Chief of Army Staff of the Nigerian Army stood him out amongst African leaders that contributed to security on the continent.
The above indeed gives us a peep into the tremendous efforts by the Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai who has been relentless in defending the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with heart and might in ensuring that democracy thrives in Nigeria. This much was attested when Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai when he recently quoted as saying “I wish to pledge the commitment and unalloyed loyalty of officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to the president and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the defence of our democracy.”
This is the quintessential Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai whose passion and dedication to the Nigerian cause cannot be questioned. I dare say if the bulk of Nigerians occupying leadership positions has a fraction of the level of passion and dedication of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, indeed Nigeria would overcome its challenges in all spheres of our endeavours. Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai is indeed a testament to the loyalty and the role of the military as a subordinate to the democratic institution of a country.
“There is no choice between a democratically united, strong and prosperous Nigeria and a nation disunited in a state of anarchy and retrogression. We must all strive for a united, strong, stable and progressive Nigeria”. – Lt Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai.
Onmeje wrote this piece from the United Kingdom.