Buratai for President, Security Challenges and Matters Arising
By Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi
Recently, a campaign by a coalition of groups called on a former Chief of Army Staff, COAS and the incumbent Nigeria’s Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai (retd.), to join the race for the 2023 presidency.
The Fusion774, a political support and economic advocacy group, made the call through its National Coordinator, Mr Sediq Jikta, at a news conference in Abuja.
The group leader noted that, their call was borne out of concern for the unprecedented and lingering security challenges currently bedeviling the country from different angles with accompanying consequences of national concerns.
Jikta added that Nigeria is currently in very challenging times and the time is ripe for all concerned citizens and stakeholders to sit down, rub minds and decide on the right leadership, a leadership with the capacity and ability to deliver and make the country work.
According to him, the track record of achievements by Buratai as army chief in the fight against terrorism in northeast and other form of criminalities across the nooks and crannies of the country was a pointer to his sterling quality and qualification to vie for the highest office in the land.
“Gen. Buratai exhibited an open door policy of good governance, where private citizens with something to offer in terms of security are given listening ear and action taken.
“With these achievements we can see that Buratai is one courageous leader who can step in to bring the much needed solution to the security challenges and the desired development for the country.” Jikta said.
But is there any sign that Ambassador Buratai would throw his hat into the ring, and contest for the country’s highest public office?
It can be recalled that, Buratai has categorically made it clear that he nurses no any political ambition.
He said, “I am not a politician” when he was asked by journalists to comment on the criticism made by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, upon his nomination as non-career ambassador by President Muhammad Buhari.
Buratai spent his entire service career with the Nigeria’s military where he rose up to the rank of army chief.
In spite of some challenges encountered during his tenure as COAS, however, it is indisputable fact that the Nigeria Military witnessed some level of reformations and massive infrastructural developments under his watch.
The Zaria Shiatte Massacre and the alleged acquisition of exotic properties in Dubai were some of the bad news that almost dented his tenure.
Nevertheless, while there were no clear evidence that Buratai gave ordee for the Zaria incidence, the federal government had exonerated him of any wrongdoing over the Dubai as reported by PRNigeria in 2016.
During his tenure as Army Chief, Buratai initiated a range of activities in support of developing the force, via intensive training, mentoring, partnering, monitoring and empowering.
His enabling efforts in that regards include setting up the Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies in Biu, Borno State; Command Secondary School (Boys & Girls) in Kebbi State; Nigerian Army Aviation hangar at Jaji Airstrip, Kaduna; Mine Resistance Amour Protected (MRAP); Activation of Divisions Training Schools; establishing Tinapa Post Housing Development Limited Estate, Calabar; Army Warrant Officers Board; the Nigerian Army Special Forces School; First Nigerian Army indigenous infantry patrol vehicle; Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command and the Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company.
In addition, he established Nigerian Army Farms and Ranches, built and commissioned block of flats at Jaji, Khobe Cantonment, Jos in Plateau State and the Danjuma Chalets at 2 Division Headquarters. The former Army chief also renovated a lot of projects he met on ground and initiated water projects including the Supply and Transport Foods and new Command Guest Houses.
It is believed that, in terms of projects, capacity building, training and welfare, throughout Buratai’s tenure as COAS, there was never a dull moment.
On the other hand, it is disheartening to understand that, lately there is persistent increase in the level of attacks by the insurgents in some northeastern states occasioned by the detonation of multiple explosive devices, leading to killing of many and injuring host of others.
To that effect, the Department of State Service, DSS through its image maker, Dr Peter Afunanya has attributed the recent tragic development to some miscreant elements who wish to disturb the public peace.
According him, the rising attacks is not unconnected to the approaching of 2023 elections, as some devilish actors schemed to use insecurity as a basis to achieve their selfish interests.
Therefore, people are enjoined to be vigilant and watchful of their sorroundigs for any unusual signs by unfamiliar faces, and do not hesitate to supply credible information and intelligence to the respective security forces with a view of implementing proactive measures toward neutralizing all form of threats.
Meanwhile, the Defense Intelligence Agency, DIA, should sustain its cordunation of activities of the intelligence services for successful military operations in order to surmount the security challenges.
Remember, security is everybody’s business.
Mukhtar is a Staff Writer with the Emergency Digest.