By Legendary Joe

Not always in the habit of divulging communications that are birthed and many times rested in my inbox, for I share the opinion that inbox exist for security of privacy, insurance of identities and dignified uphold of confidentiality, but here comes one I must but answer in the open, they ask me, “J.O.E, what can you say about General Buratai”, question I believe are motivated by recent flurry of encomiums on his person, especially on the busy street of twitter. They are few who trust my operations around the corridor of discernment and are conveniently convinced of my depth around conversations on Nationhood, governance and Politics, You have asked, I will answer….Who is Buratai. Shall I Begin?

1. There are tales of incompetence spinned around his persona, and if a drama is scripted with ineptitude as plot, there are many who would recommend Buratai as the lead role. I have however lived long enough to familiarize myself with the scripture and somewhere I read that the same people who chanted ‘Hosanna’ as Jesus rode the boisterous street of Jerusalem were the exact people who voted a condemned criminal Barabbas ahead of the Messiah and then yelled ‘Kill Him’. Humans across generations, races, colours, religions have Hypocrisy implanted somewhere in their DNA and Nigerians possess more doses of Hypocrisy than required. Didn’t they say MKO was a religious Bigot who ordered a vessel of Bible to be sunk? Till today, No ship, No Bibles, no identity given to the individual or company that must have ordered such consignment, to Kill a dog in our clime, just give it a bad name…I refuse to swim along the tide of rumours, intelligence requires of me to make independent research and put matters in perspective. Who then is Buratai?

2. All men must be judged by the values they put to work and the marks they leave to posterity. General Tukur Baratai was handed the Baton to lead our valiant and patriotic men of the Nigerian Army to theaters of unfamiliar battle as Chief of Army Staff on 13th July 2015 and on Democracy Day, June 12th 2020, the then President gave account of the stewardship of Buratai when he assured us all that the local governments areas in three North-Eastern states of the country – Adamawa, Borno and Yobe – hitherto known for relentless insurgency since almost a decade before then have been secured as the areas “are now occupied by indigenes of these areas who were hitherto forced to seek a living in areas far from their ancestral homes.” The president went further to acknowledge that the Armed Forces under Buratai had “considerably downgraded threats of insurgency, bandits and other forms of criminality across all Geo-Political Zones.”

3. We won’t take the words of the President hook, line and sinker, for it could just be the case of the proverbial Elephant blowing its own trumpet. The international Centre for Investigation Reporting and other independent investigative platforms reported in 2020, that contrary to the claim of the government at the time that Boko Haram had been defeated, either technically or strategically, that the war was infact ongoing but admitted that the Boko Haram of the yesteryears that terrorized the heart of Abuja almost on an hourly basis may be long gone and what we currently have but the last kicks of a dying horse.

4. As at Monday, June 8, 2020, Daily Trust reported that over 1,429 Boko Haram terrorists have been neutralized and over 166 of their informants, spies, couriers on logistics and their co-ordinators in the villages, towns and even the forest arrested. These successes were attributed to

A. The transparency of the activities of the Army under Buratai. You will recall that the first action Buratai took upon resumption of duty as COAS was to call the then Director of Army Public Relations and made it clear, that all the activities of the Army healthy enough for public consumption shall henceforth be fed the media, for the people had a right to know. What obtained before then was avoidable gaps in communication in the operations of the Army in the NE or elsewhere, where strange reporters including informants for the terrorists plant stories and Breaking News in the media, some of which were contrary to real state of events with a ploy to make troops unstable or demoralized. And thus, the Buratai led Army began reporting events and occurrence about the battles, attacks in the field themselves, breaking authentic News and not fabrications. In the words of Gerald R. Ford, former US President, “Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively,” counsel Buratai took to heart and exhibited efficiently.

B. Commenced Interactions with stakeholders including NBA, Human rights groups etc, so all could see and have firm grasp of true happenings, which revealed quite lucidly the heroic efforts of the Army and was thus appreciated.

C. Buratai took personal steps to ensure troops fitness and agility particularly on the battlefield by issuing orders for officers and soldiers to make healthy choices and trim down…

Before article becomes epistle, I will pause here for now hoping your curiosities has been partly attended and if God spares life, a sequel shall follow, where more of his efforts towards keeping the country safe shall be further elucidated. Does this suggest Buratai enjoyed excellent performance void of faults and stumble as COAS? Certainly not, every Nigerian soul that perished in the hands of insurgents are welcome invitation for knocks upon his role as COAS, I merely attempt to put to proper perspective the situation as there truly were, dispelling unfounded rumours and false reports of that period. And I also humbly embrace the harsh realities that even the Almighty USA failed in historic fashion to make any significant input in their fight against insurgents in Afghanistan despite trillions of great American Dollar wasted in attempt. As Nigerians, we must rebuke the failures of our leaders but not without singing their praises where they perform for that is true definition of patriotism…

I see you shortly.

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