I was reading through the news recently and I saw a news headline “ Army repels attack kills 16 Boko Haram members”.
It got me thinking that we may have forgotten just so soon where we were only a few months ago.
Just a little while ago the headlines would have read something like” Boko Haram attack Pulka, 60 dead several others missing”.
But today we have the luxury to take the earlier headline casually.
I am indeed happy for my dear country that we are able to turn the tide of events around in the fight against terrorism.
That the Nigerian Army that hitherto fled before Boko Haram terrorist is now pursuing the terrorists to their holes is quite significant and heart-warming.
At the rate the insurgents were taking territories then, we probably might have lost almost half the country to Boko Haram by now.
Not that alone, I believe the humanitarian crisis that erupted as a result of this challenge was largely under stated.
Over 25,000 killed more than two million displaced. Several cities, towns and villages deserted.
Reversing the progress of the insurgents was one of the best things that has happened to this country in the last few years.
The emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as Commander in Chief of the armed forces infused new confidence in the military.
New service chiefs were appointed and they swung into action immediately, this time with the confidence that they have a Commander in Chief who is sincerely interested in combating the terrorists headlong without politicizing the issue.
The one man who has caught my fancy in this short time is Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, The Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
He has been outstanding in the discharge of his duties.
He has inspired confidence in the troops like no other COAS; he is mostly at the frontlines motivating the troops, encouraging them.
He has made their welfare his priority and the results are evident on ground.
Buratai in the short time he has been the chief has transformed the army to a formidable force in Africa.
He has shown leadership which has translated into the current peace we are witnessing in many parts of the country.
This makes me wonder what those who are after the COAS are up to.
They have latched onto the report they originally planted in one online media about Buratai owning properties in Dubai.
To be honest I was initially worried.
I wonder why we could not just have a public servant that will be hard working and diligent yet honest.
By the time the facts emerged it was a completely exaggerated story by the online media.
The facts are that the Buratais have two properties that they invested in Dubai.
These types of investment are paid for over a period of time, during which you also make money on such investments during such period.
Those who are familiar with investments such as timeshare properties may understand such investments more.
The truth is that General Buratai has always declared these properties in his assets declaration from as required by law and these properties were included.
I tried to make a research on this kind of investments, what I found out was that with as low as 20,000 USD you can actually own one of such properties in Dubai.
Whilst not holding brief for Gen Buratai, I would imagine a general that has served for over 30 years may be able to come up with such amount without raising an eye brow.
The matter has been investigated by relevant authorities and we are done with this issue except for mischief makers trying to justify their pay.
I read the comments of a Lagos based Lawyer Femi Falana asking the army chief to resign and I am wondering on what ground such a call is being made.
Whereas I abhor corruption anywhere, whether in high or low places but we must also be careful about those whose intention may not be very clear.
I wonder why at this critical point especially coming a day after the army had another big success in the fight against insurgents in the north east by repelling a major attack and killing several terrorists, some people will be calling for the resignation of the army chief over allegations that have not been substantiated.
I find it really suspicious.
Is he not happy that Boko Haram couldn’t make real their threats of invading Lagos?
At a time when we all ought to give our troops all the support they require to finish off the enemy, some people are expending energy and resources trying to shift focus away from the battlefield to the virtual world.
COAS Tukur Buratai and the levity of success [page 2]
I am more surprised that someone of the calibre of Femi Falana will make himself available for such.
He himself know what the troops went through under the past mismanagement and I am sure he is aware of the massive changes that has come the way of the troops and the army as a whole, why now lend yourself to pull down all such efforts.
Another thing that is wrong in Falana dabbling into this matter is the glaring conflict of interest, being the counsel to the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Mr Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, he lacks the moral right to wade into the matter.
The impression created is that the Senior Advocate is desperate to score a hurtful blow against Buratai whether in the law court or that of public opinion.
Furthermore, ever since he lost out of the chase to be appointed Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Falana appears to be bitter about almost anything.
I know he is working hard towards clinching the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket for Ekiti Governorship in 2018 but all that ambition should not be at the expense of other successful programs or persons in government.
There have been reports of Iranian $100 million injected into financing this Dubai property hubbub.
This raises fear about the incentives propelling Falana’s recent criticisms.
Is he in his desperation for Ekiti 2018 angling to soil his name with the alleged Iranian slush fund?
As a lawyer, the old man must know the implications of funding his governorship bid with foreign money especially when the foreign nation involved is a known state sponsor of terrorism.
I believe it is time we leave the army and its chief out of our daily politics and political revenue drive.
Let the institution and its leadership focus on the enormous task of ridding the country of terrorists wherever they may be.
The job itself is already difficult let us not make it any more difficult.
Please let’s allow the army chief to focus on the important task of completely routing out Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Those of us who have not been attacked should appreciate Buratai more and not take his success for levity.
We must also begin to question the intentions of some so called leaders of thoughts who have now been exposed as shams.
Abiodun Israel (PhD) contributed this piece from Ibadan, Oyo State and could be reached at: email@example.com