School children who gathered at the Army Headquarters in Abuja on Friday, 17th May 2019 could not hide their joy and excitement during the presentation of the book The Legend of Buratai, A Fictional Book written by a renowned author and journalist, Dr Abubakar Mohammed Sani.
These children unlike some commentators, were so happy and grateful for having such once in a life time opportunity to meet the man that make the book. A legend, an active legend, who is still performing many legendary feats for the love of his nation.
According to one of the children who spoke with journalists after the presentation of the book, ‘hope is rekindled’ and he was highly motivated and inspired by the stories in the book saying that he will also strife to make his country proud like Gen Buratai one day.
Despite the authors tremendous efforts in revealing the legendary acts of General Tukur Buratai from childhood till date which some pessimists refused to see.
But, no matter how blind they pretended to be ,they can’t be blind to the fact that the decision to join the Nigerian Army on its own is legendary. Many of these commentators have never volunteered anything in their life. Ignoring the fact that serving in the Army and taking the oath of protecting the nation by all means including laying down one’s life, is legendary. Not many people can agree to die so that others can live.
Not only that, rising to become a Lieutenant General in the Nigerian Army on its own is legendary. Not everyone who joined the Army the same year with Buratai becomes a General and there is nothing more legendary than becoming an Chief of Army Staff, when a nation is at war with masked enemies and defeats them.
General Buratai became the Chief of Army Staff at the peak of the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeastern part of the Country. A war time General, that is also legendary.
Before now, or let say before General Buratai took the command of the Nigerian Army, Nigerians don’t sleep with their two eyes closed. The situation became so worrisome to the extent that many international communities issued travelling warnings against Nigeria. That situation is now tamed and peace restored. Security is no longer a serious concern to investors and visitors to the country. The nation is now safe and secure for every human endeavor, thanks to the gallantry of the Nigeria Army and other security agencies. Calling a man who took a leading role in this restoration of peace and hope a legend is not out of place.
We still remember the Christmas day bombing, a series of attacks that occurred during the 2011 Christmas Day church services in Madalla, Jos, Gadaka, and Damaturu where not less than 50 people were killed. The nation was used to constant embarrassment and ridicule as Boko Haram terrorist matched freely to our capital city, Abuja and attacked targets that supposed to be highly protected including the Police Headquarters and the United Nations Office. Defeating these blood sucking monsters and keeping our nation safe without unnecessarily littering the country with military check points or declaring Marshall law is legendary.
Unlike the unpatriotic ones who will never see anything good about the progress of their nation, many institutions of reputes in the country however recognized the bravery of General Tukur Yusufu Buratai and his troop and accord them the special recognition and honour deserving a legend.
Recently, The Ebonyi State University (EBSU) named its newly established Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies after the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, for his selfless service to the nation and humanity in general. While Igbinedion University Okada also honored the Nigerian Army by naming its Centre for Contemporary Security Affairs after Lt Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai.
The Vice Chancellor of Ebonyi State University, Professor Chigozie Egbu commended the COAS and the Nigeria Army on the achievements the Army has recorded under the leadership of General Buratai in the areas of promotion and maintenance of peace in Nigeria, particularly during the 2019 general elections.
According to the Vice Chancellor, “Ebonyi State University is ready to collaborate with the Army on the trust that a well-educated Army is essential for effective military duties in the 21st century”.
The legendary Buratai is not commanding unhappy troops, the welfare of his men and officer are paramount in his agenda. Like Bob Marley sings ‘live for yourself ,you live in vain , live for others ,you will live again’ , the legendary Buratai recently performed the ground breaking/foundation laying ceremony for Phases V and VI of the Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai Soldiers Village at Obienu Barracks in Bauchi. Not to mention the training and retraining of the solders in the frontlines to boost their moral.
The nation oil sector before now was a safe haven for criminals and illegal oil bunkering. This no doubt affected the oil revenue of the country adversely but since the appointment of the legendary Buratai, anti-illegal oil bunkering and sea piracy operations has been conducted successful in the Niger delta.
In line with the Constitutional mandate of the Nigerian Army to curb economic sabotage and associated insecurity across Nigeria, troops of 6 Division intensified coordinated anti-illegal oil bunkering and anti-sea piracy operations within the Division’s Area of Responsibility thereby tightening the noose on economic saboteurs and sea pirates which led to an increase in oil production by multinational oil companies as indicated in their reports.
A look at the anti-illegal oil bunkering and anti-sea piracy operations conducted across the Division’s recently indicated that troops of 16 Brigade successfully conducted many anti-illegal oil bunkering operations within Asitobo/Tumbo Creek and Ukparatobu in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area (LGA) of Bayelsa State, Obiafu in ONELGA, Ubeta, Oyakama and Obodi in Ahoada West LGA of Rivers State, Ebelebiri in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State and Ogbotobo in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa State.
During the operations, 46 illegal oil refining sites were located and destroyed along with 85 sacks/cellophane bags, 10 drums and 4 cotonou boats all containing illegally refined products.
Additionally, 10 suspects were arrested while 2 motorcycles and 10 mobile phones were recovered. The vigilant troops also arrested 3 suspected sea robbers at Foropa in Southern Ijaw LGA of Bayelsa State with one locally-made gun and 3 live cartridges.
Also, similar operations were concurrently launched in 63 Brigade AOR. Hence, troops of 3 Battalion in conjunction with troops of Sector 1 Joint Task Force Operation DELTA SAFE (JTF OPDS) carefully planned and successfully executed massive anti-illegal oil bunkering operations covering Jones, Yeye and Otumara creeks, as well as Beneth Island and Otumara general area of Warri South-West LGA of Delta State. Similar operations were also conducted in Ozoro, Otor-Igho communities and Ozoro-Kwale road in Isoko North LGA of Delta State. Uguangwe, Ubeji, Ogbokodo-Itsekiri, Okogho, Okerisa/Ugboritseduwa Creeks and Makaraba in Warri South LGA of Delta State.
The gallant troops also operated along the Benin River in Warri North LGA, Uvwie LGA, Yorki in Burutu LGA, Sapele LGA, Ejekota, Ewu general area and Orere Waterside all in Ughelli LGA of Delta State among others.
A total of 35 sting operations were conducted during the period under review, in which 65 illegal oil refineries were located and destroyed in addition to 150 cellophane bags, 120 drums and 15 Cotonou boats containing illegally acquired products. A legendary operation!
As the nation was celebrating the victory against the decimated and technically defeated Boko haram terrorist group , the nation was faced with another security challenge of bandits terrorizing some part in the northern part of the country.
The Army under the command of General Buratai were up to the task and has dislodged bandit and over run several of their camps across the north. It is worth of note the recent breakthrough of the Army in Katsina state where many kidnappers were arrested.
Following credible intel from the public about the bandits/ kidnappers’ syndicate that have been terrorising Funtua -Faskari surrounding villages, in katsina state troops of 17 Brigade Nigerian Army, on Exercise HARBIN KUNAMA III, deployed at Faskari in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State, have conducted a successful Cordon and Search as well as raid operations at Sheme village, Ruwan Godiya forest and surrounding localities.
The operations resulted in the arrest of 5 kidnappers near Sheme village, along Ruwan-Godiya forest axis. At the moment, patrols are ongoing in the neighbouring suspected bandits’ hideouts.
Consequently, troops further exploited deep into Ruwan-Godiya Forest setting Bandits/Kidnappers hideouts on fire.
Troops continue to dominate the area with patrols, to deny the bandits/kidnappers freedom of action. Just to mention a few.
Working in line with the vision of the Commander In Chief, President Muhammad Buhari, the Nigeria Army’s dignity and honour has fully been restored under Gen. Buratai’s command and taking his place back as one of the most formidable forces in the continent of Africa.
So what more do we want in a legend?
This article was contributed by Comrade Oladimeji Odeyemi, a Security Analyst and a Counter Terrorism Expert. He is the Convener of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups against Terrorism in Nigeria.
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