General Buratai– Between An Exceptional Leader And His Detractors – By Kolawole Abe
It is remarkable that our patriotic military chiefs continue to give their best even in the face of these disincentives. Well before the progress made by the international coalition against ISIS, the Nigerian military and security agencies led by The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, had made a great progress against Boko Haram and its affiliates.
Many successes has been recorded under his leadership as he has been steadfast in the discharge of his duty, and providing aid to civil authority. The military has also flushed Boko Haram out of its operational base in Camp Zero, Sambisa Forest, and have also kept the terrorists out of the many towns and villages they have tried to recapture.
Report has it that, internal security in Nigeria has improved drastically from where we were in 2015 when Buratai took over command of the Nigerian Army. However, we recognize that there are potent threats that require the military to continually review their operations.
The Nigeria Army has witnessed a lot of reorganization and redeployment in a bid to improve their overall operational responsiveness and professionalism. In recent time, he approved the redeployment of some field and operational commanders in order to inject new ideas in the command and control structure in various Nigeria Army operations across the country.
These are achievements that speak to the commitment of the military getting the job done for which one should ordinarily commend their sacrifices but for the fact that it is a job they willingly signed up for. They kept pressing on, holding the memories of their fallen heroes. Amidst brutal resistance in fighting the Nation just cause against insurgency, their resilience remained high.
We are not oblivious of the relentless effort, persistence and scarifices the chief of army staff (COAS) General Buratai has kept taking, in order to combat insurgency and banditry. But it is so regrettable and unfortunate that the citizens being shielded from all these dangers has given themselves out cheaply to be coaxed by politicians who are not happy with the success of our country on the way against insurgency.
In bid to detract the COAS, supports are being given to bandits to fuel the matters of terrorism, which are being masked as “Insurgency.” They fall easily for the bait given to them without reasoning beyond the monetary benefits they are being offered.
For the unwary, it is been misinterpreted as “the Boko haram groups are being hardy to an extent that it is able to dismay the Nigerian military.” The reality is however that the ability of the terrorists to regroup each time they are decimated should alarm all law-abiding citizens. The group’s seeming resilience should raise questions about the nature of support it is getting to put up such defiance.
This support unfortunately is from home and abroad, some unscrupulous Nigerians and their foreign collaborators. They have masterminded this show of shame as a diet to feeding their selfish and wicked interest. They being among the greater beneficiaries of special and classified security treatment enjoyed from the effort of the military, still have the audacity to publicly discredit the ambiguous effort of General Buratai.
Having ran out of strategies, they resolved into using fund embezzlement and terrorist alliance as a tool in distracting him from getting focused. There have been several reports about individuals, groups and organizations being closet supporters of Boko Haram.
These distractions are often packaged as well-intentioned interventions by activists and NGOs, which creates bandwagon effect as people are inclined to trust the positions expressed by these opinion molders.
Report has it that some citizens have been paid to be social activists to pull down the military institution, all in the bid to discredit them is therefore highly uncalled for and should have no place in our country.
Little do we know about the effect of the strategies of these detractors, because the reality is however that the seeming interventions are unnecessary distraction elements that will reverse recent gains made on the war against insurgency. Each time such paid activists criticize the military, they therefore undermine the counter-insurgency efforts.
In many instances, the damage done goes beyond the now, because as Nigeria’s foreign partners have sometimes referenced the activities of such activists as justifications for withholding military cooperation to Nigeria or to block crucial arms deals that would contribute to the anti-terror war efforts.
Still, the COAS has remained unperturbed and not dismayed by the futile efforts being thrown at him by his detractors. He has always been keeping the wheel of the fight against insurgency moving, and not permitting their distractions to move him in his line of duty.
The army chief and leader of the counter-insurgency operations in Nigeria, Lt.Gen. TY Buratai has not given the insurgents ample operational laxity in the Northeast where they prided in false invincible power and strength. This has remained a pain in their daunting efforts, and has reaffirmed their continuous futility as ever before.
These bad eggs in human skins need to separated and broken off from the good ones, because they are a big cancer to the nation as a whole. When not weeded out, they become a menace that will bring ills, misfortune and setback to our dear country.
It is worthy of note that those who deliberately manipulate facts for the purpose of sabotaging the military should be mindful that only a thin line separates what they see to be harmless mischief and commission of crimes.
For the sake of tranquillity in the Nation, we advise detractors and their agents to leave the Chief of Army Staff alone, so that he can give maximum concentration to his works. He has been tried, and has proven himself beyond all doubts as an exceptional leader, who is ever ready to give optimal discharge of his duty any time the clarion call to action is being heard.
He will never compromise for terrorists to take over the country, because he holds the interest of the country very dear to his heart. God Bless Nigeria.
Abe is former spokesman, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).