With the general’s sharp eyes properly focused on inclusive leadership, he has succeeded in calming the hitherto tensed situation all over the country through his leadership by example style. Areas that were formerly difficult to penetrate because they were considered as strong holds of the insurgents have been neutralised and seized by the gallant General Buratai soldiers.
His recent reappointment by the president is an attestation of his vibrant leadership qualities and capacities. The dynamic soldier has proved himself as a capable general on many occasions since he assumed office as chief of army staff (COAS) in 2015. Fighting the insurgency especially the Boko Haram elements is perhaps one of the greatest tests of his military career. Though the assignment has put him under great stress and pressure, General Buratai is on top of the situation, thereby showing to the whole world that his team will always have an edge over the insurgents no matter where they are hiding.
The success he has so far recorded over the Boko Haram elements has made him the darling of the presidency and other government agencies apart from generality of Nigerians who now see him as a hero, who has proved himself to be a non-compromising and incorruptible army officer. His actions have clearly showed that General Buratai is a great and respectable soldier who has successfully proven his loyalty to the nation. His stewardship has been very encouraging and rewarding to the whole country as recently confirmed by President Muhammadu Buhari himself at an event in Borno State.
Many things have endeared Gen Buratai to the people. These are:
he has shown concern and love to the indigent, vulnerable and the less privileged persons in the society; he has built and renovated schools and adult education centres in many villages in the North East;
His humility and accessibility is legendary and has become his magic word of his success so to say.
Since his appointment and reappointment the Army had never had it so good like this before now. Gen Buratai’s monumental achievements over the years have surpassed those of his predecessors and have set a record to be broken by those that will come after him.
People-oriented projects and non-military programmes, which are crucial to the survival of people in rural areas, have been identified to be issues that have endeared Lt Gen TY Buratai to millions of Nigerians across the country since he assumed office as chief of army staff (COAS) in 2015.
Lt Gen T Y Buratai has also endeared himself to millions of Nigerians, not only through military efforts but through providing them with life enhancing basic facilities and materials. These facilities, which have been described as part of the Nigerian corporate social responsibility, include portable drinking water, essential medical treatment like health centres, essential drugs, bridges, schools and basic facilities to IDPs etc.
Achievements And Constraints
The re-modelling and reorganisation of the Nigerian Army to carry out its duties professionally in this modern age of technological development the world over is perhaps one of the greatest areas of achievement, for which the current chief of army staff (COAS), Lt Gen T Y Buratai, has received several commendations within and outside the country.
The army, unlike before, is now a collection of well-trained and properly articulated force, which can be relied upon and reckoned with at all times. Gen Buratai achieved this feat, through his dint of hard work and the deployment and redeployment of soldiers of all ranks in the army. It was also through well- planned capacity building programmes involving soldiers in all the army formations which was initiated and carefully implemented by chief of army staff (COAS) himself as well as his able lieutenants when he mounted the saddle of leadership of the Nigerian Army.
Other areas where Gen Buratai has demonstrated his capacity and capability to fashion out dependable and solid policies and action plans include among others the provision of conducive atmosphere for the soldiers to do their jobs; provision of modern weapons to the soldiers to do their work; embarking on massive housing scheme for the soldiers; provision of modern health schemes for the soldiers, provision of health clinics in each battalion and army formations; introduction of capacity building programmes within and outside the country; establishment of a complaint centre, which is the first of its type in the history of the Nigerian Army; equipping of army resource centres nationwide; introduction of ICT Complex at the army headquarters for the soldiers in line with the modern trend of training the soldiers all over the world; operating and maintaining an open door policy, transparent administration, inclusive system of administration where soldiers are accessible to him in order to enable them to discuss crucial issues; exchange of views on sensitive issues; and opportunities to express their complains on issues close to their hearts. Gen Buratai has also decentralised his powers, which have now allowed his staff to meet and discuss freely with their unit commanders unlike before now, encouraging soldiers to undertake research work on sensitive issues. These actions have contributed a lot towards administering the soldiers and contributing to the development of the country in many areas.
Moreover, the soldiers themselves have become more resourceful and productive over the years, which has positively impacted on the lives of the ordinary citizens through enhanced security surveillance nationwide.
In the nearly four years that Gen Buratai has served as chief of army staff (COAS), he has earned and won meritorious awards and recognition from within and outside the country, the most recent being the Anambra award given to him by an NGO for his exemplary leadership style and quality and for proving to be an officer of high integrity and for establishing a transparent system of administration in the Nigerian army.
He encourages research among the soldiers. It has been reported that any officer who has proven his competence in any field is often given the opportunity to excel in that area. Gen Buratai’s own leadership by example has brought a lot of advantages to the army from within and outside the country. This is because the army has recorded many assistance and innovations as well as cooperation from their colleagues within and outside the country. Gen Buratai has no doubt displayed his loyalty, credibility in his military career since he became the army leader in 2015. Watchers of his style are optimistic that he will continue to deliver on his mandate successfully especially in the areas of professionalising the army and providing them with the desired welfare, enhancing and protecting the nation’s territorial integrity in his unique style. As a gallant leader, Gen Buratai has truly shown or demonstrated greater credibility in his work. This writer shares the view that it is only fair to give honour to whom it is due. Gen Buratai, as far as this writer is concerned, has shown credibility in his public life and his military career since he was commissioned.
This writer had had the opportunity to visit some of these projects recently in company of Buratai’s personal staff. After a five-day tour of these projects, I came away with the opinion that Gen Buratai is on a mission to help the less privileged in our society from Maiduguri to Port Harcourt, from Sokoto to Ethiopia and from Jos to Akure, people are applauding him for what he is doing.
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