With the nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career Ambassadors by president Mohammadu Buhari, critics of retired General Tuku Buratai and his colleagues now have the sails removed from their ships.
The appointments have clearly put paid to insinuations of impending trial by International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity,; allegations and speculations which have trended on the media space for a long time.
The fact is that none of the immediate past service chiefs has had any proven charge of human rights abuse to answer before any court within and outside Nigeria, as none of them has been invited or appeared before any court to answer to charges of criminal breach of fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
President Buhari deserves applause for providing another platform for the retired service chiefs to lend their rich military experience for the advancement of Nigeria’s image in the county of Nations.
Retired General Tukur Buratai and his colleagues, therefore, need to use their new appointments to galvanize global support for Nigeria’s peacekeeping initiatives and efforts in African countries where terrorism and internecine wars have negatively impacted on peoples wellbeing and impaired socio-economic and political stability of such Nations.
It is hoped that the new envoys will deliver on Mr President’s mandate by employing the “Patriotism Mantra” that their years of military training and engagements had ingrained in them in service to their country
The retirement of Gen Buratai and his colleagues have drawn varying reactions across the board, bothering on perceive human rights abuse and extrajudicial killings.
Amnesty International has been particularly vocal in this aspect, but the military authorities have repeatedly dismissed such allegations as largely unproven, insufficiently investigated and unsubstantiated.
The shites conflict and its aftermath were unfortunate but it was a product of a persistent flagrant breach of. National security which the Sect has created in Kaduna state.
The blockage of a major road could not be explained as a religious right but more of disturbance to public peace and breach of national security.
How can such be contemplated when a personality like a whole head of a country’s army is involved? Loss of life in the milieu was unfortunate but not unconnected with what a mob action usually induce.
Similar street protests like ENDSARS and IPOB that claimed lives and properties went beyond lawful boundaries and contrary to Democratic principles of civil liberties because they were hijacked by hoodlums and criminals with the intent for a breakdown of law and order and subversion of constituted authority.
No security agency, particularly the Army would allow a situation that will plunge the country into anarchy.
The Armed forces exist in any country to ensure the preservation of constitutional government and the execution of its mandate, chief of which is security and protection of the nations territorial integrity.
It is a surprise that Amnesty International still keeps mute rather than react to the bombing of Iran army general and defence minister Suleiman …by American Pentagon on the orders of President Donald Trump but find it convenient to criticise Gen Buratai on human right abuse that is largely unverified.
Those who have had the fortune or misfortune of wars may not easily convince those who only heard of war echoes from afar.
This is surprisingly the picture of wars everywhere in the world.
To a soldier who is compelled to put his life on the line for a cause,(just or Unjust), what is often ignored is that personal and family interests are subsumed by national interest.
For a soldier who returns from the battlefield without losing a finger, the joy of survival also overshadows the pains, rigours and risks of combat.
Outside the theatre of operations, the soldier’s career is determined by factors that are in mist cases complex, dangerous and full of attrition.
This is why every soldier prays and eagerly looks forward to a fulfilled retirement.
So it was for Tukur Buratai, the infantry soldier and officer who held several command positions and made it to the top of his career as chief of the staff Nigerian army.
Lt Fen Tukur Buratai held forte as Army chief of staff from 2015-2021 and bowed out of service with his colleague -service chiefs after a stint full of challenges and expectations from Nigerians.
Boko Haram insurgency was the greatest challenge Gen
Buratai and his colleagues faced while in office. It was a frontal assault on Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
The terror war did take so much in human and material resources apart from exerting serious pressure on the efforts of the service chiefs to rid the country of outlaws.
Terrorism appeared malignant because the Nigerian armed forces were not originally trained in terror counteroffensives.
For an army whose orientation was in conventional warfare, Gen Buratai and his colleagues needed lots of adjustments and reorientation in counter-terrorism for its officers and men.
The gap created hiccups for the army in its determined effort to quell the activities of these bloodthirsty elements.
That was the harrowing situation before the appointment of Gen Buratai and other Service Chiefs.
Many will agree that a large swath of Nigeria before 2015 had fallen into the hands of terrorists.
Territories bothering the North East, and Northwest of the country had ISWAP or ISIS flags hoisted and were declared independent of Nigeria before president Mohammadu Buhari appointed the immediate past service chiefs.
The Nigerian Army under the watch of Gen Buratai between 2015-2021, reversed that ugly trend that today, Boko Haram can no longer lay claim to any part of the country as its own
The price may have been high but the Nigerian army has not allowed an inch of the country slipped into any foreign hand.
Pockets of terror may still exist, such is not in horrifying dimension as it was before..
Gen Tukur Buratai served his country to the best of his ability.
No man can do it all, and from every indication, the traditional institution as a major stakeholder in Nigeria will forever appreciate the services of the former army chief to hold the country together despite all odds.
The facts remain that the infantry soldier and general had given his best and the nation he supervised her security has survived.
Let’s give the successors of retired General Buratai and his colleagues the opportunity to build on their legacies
This piece was written by HRM, Oba Ahmed Adekunle Oyelude Tegbosun 111,
Olowu of Kuta kingdom.