By Wale Onifade
In the build-up to the historic 2023 general elections, Lt Gen. T.Y Buratai, Nigeria’s longest-serving Chief of Army Staff in the country’s history, was appointed head of the security unit for the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign council (APC-PCC).
This appointment was a precursor to another significant transition for Buratai, from the battlefield to international relations and then politics.
Buratai’s appointment was no surprise considering his impeccable track record as a battle-tested general and a skilled diplomat.
His vast experience in strategic leadership and human resource management made him an invaluable asset to the APC-PCC.
Regarded as an “Encyclopedia of national security,” Buratai had proven himself to be a trusted loyalist to any cause he believed in.
Drawing from his wealth of experience, prestigious pedigree, and robust network, Buratai played a pivotal role during the presidential tours and campaign rallies across the country alongside President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
True to his nature, Buratai preferred to immerse himself in the trenches, personally connecting with his fellow soldiers, and leading from the front when necessary.
The presence of the former Chief of Army Staff in Tinubu’s campaign train provided a significant boost to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s victory in the February poll, particularly in the North Eastern region where Buratai hailed from. Buratai’s extraordinary sacrifices for the nation’s survival during its critical periods have laid the foundation for peace, progress, and unity across the country.
Prior to his political foray, many were unaware of General Buratai’s illustrious antecedents and the reasons behind his selection as the head of security for the APC-PCC. As the Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), a military cooperation initiative between Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Chad, and Cameroon to combat Boko Haram terrorism, Buratai had already proven his mettle. His leadership in this multinational organization stemmed from an experience that exposed the challenges faced by these countries in their collective efforts against terrorism.
Beyond combat operations, Buratai demonstrated a commitment to enhancing civilian-military cooperation in Nigeria, effectively transforming the public perception of the Army from a force of occupation to a partner in progress. Under his guidance, the Army embarked on projects encompassing the construction of bridges, roads, hospitals, and schools, aligning with the Army’s focus on improved civil-military relations and corporate social responsibility.
Throughout his tenure as the Chief of Army Staff, Buratai prioritized projects, capacity building, training, and welfare, ensuring a dynamic and progressive military force.
Despite encountering challenges during his tenure, there is no denying that the Nigerian Military experienced significant reformations and witnessed substantial infrastructural developments under Buratai’s watchful eye.
Lt Gen. T.Y Buratai’s transition from the battlefield to politics symbolizes the strength and expertise he brings to the table. His proven leadership, strategic acumen, and dedication to the nation’s progress have earned him the trust and respect of both his colleagues and the wider Nigerian populace. As he embarks on this new chapter, Nigeria anticipates the positive impact he will undoubtedly make in the realm of politics, leveraging his wealth of experience and resolute commitment to the betterment of the nation.
In conclusion, Lt Gen. T.Y Buratai’s journey from the military to the political sphere exemplifies the potential for individuals with formidable backgrounds to contribute significantly to the nation’s development. His appointment as the head of the security unit for the APC-PCC highlights the recognition of his capabilities and the value he brings to the table. With his unwavering dedication to the country’s welfare, Lt Gen. T.Y Buratai is poised to make a substantial impact on Nigerian politics and continue his legacy of service to the nation.