-by Femi Oyewale
“A multi-level and intercontinental foresight on Nigeria’s insecurity may not be farfetched, among the reasons, why President Buhari has decided to appoint immediate past security chiefs as non-career ambassadors. With their deep knowledge of the international network of Boko Haram and ISWAP, these retired service chiefs would be able to collaborate with the international community in their respective assigned countries, to check the supply of arms and ammunition including funding to the insurgents.”
The above were part of the remarks by Femi Oyewale, President, National Association of Online Security Reporters, NAOSRE at a Business Outlook Summit organized by Concerned Citizens Network, CCN which held in Ogun State during the week.
Oyewale’s submission was a direct response to the growing concerns by public affairs analysts who have expressed reservations on the decision of President Buhari to appoint the retired service chiefs as ambassadors.
“At the National Association of Online Security Reporters, NAOSRE which I lead, our pre occupation has been to continuously admonish Nigerians to believe in their government and security agents. Once that confidence and trust exist, the issue of insecurity would be minimized. Therefore, I am of the belief that government’s decision to re absorb the retired service chiefs as ambassadors was not taken in emptiness. We need the experience of these generals in certain parts of the world where Boko Haram and ISWAP draw their strength,” Oyewale said.
In like manner, Yakubu Shendam, a national youth president and a security analyst, in a write up, concurred with Oyewale on the decision of President Buhari.
According to Yakubu Shendam, the retired service chiefs demonstrated utmost loyalty and hard work in the discharge of their duties so much so that they have earned the confidence of Buhari who is assigning them to strategic countries in the overall interest of Nigeria’s security goals.
For the service chiefs especially Lt. Gen. TY Buratai to have risen through the ranks to the enviable height of a Chief of Army Staff, one of the longest serving COAS in the history of Nigeria is not a mere feat. He had paid his dues and used all the talents given to him to make the country proud. Posterity is already smiling at him and has singled him out for honour. His loyalty to his Commander in- Chief and indeed to the nation has paved the way for him to soar higher and the sky will not be his limit but his starting point. Nigerian Army, under Gen Buratai has proved its point professionally as they struggled to combat insurgency and armed banditry in Nigeria. The defense of our democracy at a tempting period like during the ENDSARS protest is a commendable feat by the army and her leadership.
Retired Service Chiefs nominated by president Buhari for Ambassadorial postings.
The above opening quote narrates an account of an excited master bestowing higher responsibilities to servants who distinguished themselves with exceptional patriotism, talents, hard work and selflessness. This analogy describes Lt. General TY Buratai’s stewardship as the COAS in his services to the nation and his loyalty to his Commander in- Chief. From taking over a country that was hijacked by terrorists to a demoralised and ill equipped Army, Buratai fought hard to turn the tides around in less than one year in office. He didn’t just stop there but sustained the tempo throughout his stay in office to the admiration of all. This explains why an excited President Mohammadu Buhari has deemed it fit to invite him into higher service, to enter into the joy of his master. To continue where he stopped with his good work of building and salvaging the country where it matters most.
Recall that on the 4th of February, 2021 President Buhari had done what was unprecedented in the history of Nigeria and indeed the whole world. In less than 1 week after the resignation of the service chiefs following many years of meritorious and unblemished service, and before the confirmation of the new service chiefs, President Mohammadu Buhari nominated Lt. Gen. TY Buratai and his colleagues as non-carrier ambassadors. What else is more rewarding than to be found worthy of service to your motherland and even before you’ve found time to rest after retirement? This can only happen after a successful and selfless service to ones’ fatherland.
The nomination of Buratai and his colleagues has indeed put paid to those who, out of selfish desires wanted to crucify a man who has put more than 40 years of his adult life into serving his country. Putting his life on the line all through. It is now clear that the plots, propaganda and character assassination of mischief makers and jealous individuals and groups did not, in any way stop the President from seeing the work, sincerity and loyalty of Gen Buratai and the other service chiefs. Thus, their nomination as non-career diplomats is a victory, a sign of appreciation and a reward which is vindication not just for the former service chiefs but to all patriotic Nigerians who discharge their duties patriotically and diligently.
This new feather to Buratai and his colleagues’ cap of honour should serve as a motivation to the new service chiefs and a wakeup call to those who have relaxed in the exercise of their duties to the country. Everybody must know that hard work pays and there’s no room for laziness and disloyalty in the government of President Mohammadu Buhari. The new service chiefs must remember to build solidly on the legacies left behind by their predecessors and never return the country to the state of anarchy it once was.
It is worthy to state that public office is a trust. Buratai who distinguished himself as a perfect gentleman and won the trust of his master and Nigerians is today being celebrated and will forever be celebrated. The judicious use of funds meant for the prosecution of the war against terror contributed to the successes he recorded while in office. He used the little resources at his disposal to achieve something tremendous for the army and his country and hence the honour done to him among others by Mr. President.
Let the new service chiefs be reminded that there’s zero tolerance for graft and misappropriation of funds meant for the security and wellbeing of Nigerian citizens under President Muhammadu Buhari.