By Sani Dan Maradun
Prior to his appointment as the Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff in 2015, it was in record that the Nigerian military was losing grieve as it lost control of the entire north -east to the dreaded Boko Haram fighters. It’s officers and men were being killed in their hundreds to dreaded and blood thirty BokoHaram daily. On assumption in office as the Chief of Army Staff, upon the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, Buratai swung in to action by first relocating the Comand and Control Centre to the north – east from Abuja. After careful study of the situation on ground, the Biu born general strategically came up of master plan to deal with the insurgency. As an experienced military officer, President Muhammadu Buhari studied and accepted and approved the master plan and encouraged general Buratai to professionally implement the plan. Some of the plans included training of the Nigerian soldiers on modern warfare and provision of welfare packages for the soldiers, including provision of comprehensive medical facilities and health insurance, housing, empowerment and other social services to the soldiers and their families across the nation. Lt General Tukur Yusuf Buratai also focuses on the provision of modern warfare, logistics and other basic fighting tools for the Nigerian Army, as he also intelligently studied the intelligence and the type of weaponry the criminal were using to unleash mayhem and atrocities of the insurgents. General Buratai’s strategies worked as he made tremendous success and the result was unprecedented in the counterinsurgency plans he proposed and adopted. The days when people were being slaughtered like rams, people deserting their homes in thousands and others afraid of visiting the entire north- east for fear of unknown. The economy of the region destroyed, thousands of business men ( both local and foreign) were forced out of the affected localities.
Within two months of his appointment, Buratai clearly demonstrated his leadership capability and took the war to doorsteps of the Boko Haram fighters where his soldiers recaptured and hoisted the Nigerian Flag in Gombaru Ngala and many towns that were hitherto under the total control of the insurgents. To boost the morale of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army, General Buratai rtd further improved the army welfare with a view to ensuring leaving it better than he met it. He ensured that their welfare was given top most priority. To ensure quick response to any needed security threats by the officers and men of the Nigerian Army, Buratai provided them with the latest weapons and equipments to combat the insurgency in the region. Buratai also ensured they were promptly paid their allowances as and when due. As part of General Buratai’s efforts to encourage his men, he on Tuesday July 25, 2027 approved the promotion of 6,299 soldiers involved in the fight against Boko Haram.
It was also on record that he established Nigerian Army Farm and ranches, commissioned blocks of flats in Jaji, Khobe cantonment Jos, plateau state and the Danjuma Chalets at 2 Division Headquarters. Buratai also renovated a lots of lives changing projects he met on ground and initiated water project including the the building and rehabilitation of command Guest Houses in various states of the federation.
Buratai also initiated support which includes, setting up the Nigerian Army institute of Technology and Environmental Studies in Biu, Borno state: Command secondary school ( Boys and Girls) in Kebbi state: Nigerian Army Aviation hangar at Jaji Air strip kaduna, production of home based Mine resistance Amour protected vehicles ( MRAP) Activation of Division training School, establishing Tinapa post Housing Development Limited Calabar, Army Warrant officers Board, the Nigerian Army Special Forces School, First Nigerian Army locally made Infantry patrol Vehicle, Nigerian Army Cyber warfare command and the Nigeria Army Vehicle manufacturing company where some African countries use to come down to Nigeria and buy for the protection of their countries territorial Integrity, just to mentioned but a few of the numerous achievements of Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai rtd. General Buratai also did not hesitate for reposition the past glory of the Nigeria Military School NMS zaria where humongous amount of money were spent for training and constructions of Boys Hostels, employing the best civilian teachers and Military instructors to prepare them as future leaders. Other capacity building projects initiated by Buratai include Aerial vehicle Command 20 Regimentation Battalion 233 special Forces Battalion, 223 special Forces Battalion, Counter terrorist and counter Insurgency Museum, Special Forces Battalion Counter Explosive Devices, 707 special Forces Brigade, Motorcycle Battalion which is currently playing a pivotal role in the North Central especially in Jos plateau State, Nigeria Army Agricultural Business Enterprises Limited, Army war College, Nigeria Bureau De change, Nigerian Army investments account, and the famous Operation Lafiya Dole sector 2,2 and 3 respectively that played significant role in the Northeast
No wonder His Royal Highness the Emir of Maradun Alh. Muhammadu Garba Tambari II MFR conferred Gen. Buratai with the traditional tittle of (Jarman Maradun) Meaning: a fearless person who can defeat uncountable enemies.
I am personally of the opinion that Nigerians are indeed indebted to the former COAS General Buratai, a dept that can never be paid but only to keep that debt in our collective memories and prayers and always say a “BIG THANK YOU” to Lt General Tukur Yusuf Buratai. You are always in our memories BABA!!!