Buratai the misunderstood General
The burden of the 59 year old Bornu born General Tukur Yusuf Buratai to liberate the North East from the vice grip of Boko Haram and it’s affiliates; the ISIS is a Herculean task that will rattle
even Hannibal one of the greatest warrior in history.
In spite of this undaunting task the Chief of Army Staff, Gen.Tukur Yusuf Buratai has approached his mandate of flushing the vandals in the North East with the equanimity of a war tested General who understands that war is not a dinner party; nor is it won on the pages of newspapers and editorials. One of the most respected Governors in Nigeria, Prof Babagana Zulum of Borno state who is known for being resolute with the truth and outspokeness attest to it recently when he said and I quote“I swear by Allah, before the coming of Buhari, the security situation in Borno had deteriorated. At that time, 20 local government areas where under Boko Haram. Now, it’s not so.”
The greatest disservice and damage any nation can do to itself is to promote disunity at a time like this when all hands should be on deck to win back our country from the hands of vandals and terrorists.
But come to think of it: when Boko Haram fire their bazooka and propelled grenades, or detonate bombs, it does not discriminate on the basis of who is a Muslim or a Christian and with the hindsight or understanding that; there is no God anywhere, who insist on drinking blood from the skulls of human beings as the misguided boko haram will make us believe.
Therefore in winning an assymetrical or guerilla war as the Boko Haram challenge; we must all know that it is a national assignment or duty beyond bombardment by the military. If firepower alone is required in prosecuting the war against terrorism we could have vanquished the insurgents in the last ten years of conflict and serious bombardment by the military; but in a war of this type, you have the ideaological aspect and the human angle to it. Afterall before these fanatics left for Sambisa forest they were part of the society. We need to explore the human and diplomatic angle to resolving issues as ably canvassed by a war time Prime minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchhill who says that: it is better to” jaw, jaw than to war,war.”
At a time like this the Nigeria military require the support of all i.e the civilians, politicians the press,civil societies and government to succeed in the area of intelligence gathering, logistics and mobilisation.
The clamour to change the service chiefs as savvy as it may sound may not be the panacea of solving the problem at hand.The axiom that a new broom sweeps better may not be true in a war situation.The experience the current service chiefs have garnered overtime would be enough to end the war with the espirit de corp and tacit support of other sister forces especially the Airforce, Navy,DSS, Police among others.They should eschew the spirit of pursuing personal or selfish agenda and playing to the gallery.
One still wonders why Nigeria is not receiving the support of the international community in winning the war against insurgency; not forgetting the doctrine of being ones brothers keeper. Going down memory lane Nigeria was the first country to lead a peace keeping mission to Congo in the early 60s under the command of the Late General Aguiyi Ironsi. Nigeria, has paid it’s dues in terms of ensuring peace at regional and international levels.
With the type of international support we witnessed coming to Lebanon after being devastated by a blast that crippled the socio-economic life of the country; we expect similar help at this moment of our travail.
We should set aside at this critical moment primodial sentiments, bigotry, emotions, religious and political differences and come together to win back our country from the dogs of war.
Amb Prince Sixtus Opara
A Filmmaker/ Media Consultant, Public Affairs Analyst And The Publisher/Editor-in-chief Sixtmedialane.com online news blog
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