By Yakubu Shendam
“… Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hath been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your master!” King James Version). Likewise, Allah (SWT) said: …the example of those who spend their wealth [talents] given in the way of Allah is like a seed which grows seven spikes, in each spike is a hundred grains. Allah multiplies His reward for whom He wills, for Allah is vast and knowing.
(Surat Al-Baqarah 2:261).
Loyalty and hard work are great virtues that every leader require from their subjects. The military upholds these two virtues as it’s motto and require every soldier demonstrate them in every given assignment or situation. Without these, no military man will make it to the top as an indisciplined officer is a disaster to his commanders and the military as an institution. This is not only in the military but in every aspect of human life. those who excel are people with an unquestionable dedication and loyalty to those they serve and work with.
For the service chiefs especially Lt. Gen.TY Buratai to have risen through the ranks to the enviable height of a Chief of Army Staff, one of the longest serving COAS in the history of Nigeria is not a mere feat. He had paid his dues and used all the talents given to him to make the country proud. Posterity is already smiling at him and has singled him out for honour. His loyalty to his Commander in- Chief and indeed to the nation has paved the way for him to soar higher and the sky will not be his limit but his starting point. Nigerian Army, under Gen Buratai has proved its point professionally as they struggled to combat insurgency and Armed banditry in nigeria. The defence of our democracy at a tempting period like during the ENDSARS protest is a commendable feat by the army and her leadership.
The above opening quote narrates an account of an excited master bestowing higher responsibilities to servants who distinguished themselves with exceptional patriotism, talents, hardwork and selflessness. This analogy describes Lt. General TY Buratai’s stewardship as the COAS in his services to the nation and his loyalty to his Commander in- Chief. From taking over a country that was hijacked by terrorists to a demoralised and ill equiped Army, Buratai fought hard to turn the tides around in less than one year in office. He didn’t just stop there but sustained the tempo throughout his stay in office to the admiration of all. This explains why an excited President Mohammadu Buhari has deemed it fit to invite him into higher service, to enter into the joy of his master. To continue where he stopped with his good work of building and salvaging the country where it matters most.
Recall that on the 4th of February, 2021 President Buhari had done what was unprecedented in the history of Nigeria and indeed the whole world. In less than 1 week after the resignation of the service chiefs following many years of meritorious and unblemish service, and before the confirmation of the new service chiefs, President Mohammadu Buhari nominated Lt. Gen. TY Buratai and his colleagues as non-carrier ambassadors. What else is more rewarding than to be found worthy of service to your motherland and even before you’ve found time to rest after retirement? This can only happen after a successful and selfless service to ones’ fatherland.
The nomination of Buratai and his colleagues has indeed put paid to those who, out of selfish desires wanted to crucify a man who has put more than 40 years of his adult life into serving his country. Putting his life on the line all through. It is now clear that the plots, propaganda and character assasination of mischief makers and jealous individuals and groups did not, in any way stop the President from seeing the work, sincerity and loyalty of Gen Buratai and the other service chiefs. Thus, their nomination as non career diplomats is a victory, a sign of appreciation and a reward which is vindication not just for the former service chiefs but to all patriotic Nigerians who discharge their duties patriotically and diligently.
This new feather to Buratai and his colleagues’ cap of honour should serve as a motivation to the new service chiefs and a wake up call to those who have relaxed in the exercise of their duties to the country. Everybody must know that hard work pays and there’s no room for laziness and disloyalty in the government of president Mohammadu Buhari. The new service chiefs must remember to build solidly on the legacies left behind by their predecessors and never return the country to the state of anarchy it once was.
It is worthy to state that public office is a trust. Buratai who distinguished himself as a perfect gentleman and won the trust of his master and Nigerians is today being celebrated and will forever be celebrated. The judicious use of funds meant for the prosecution of the war against terror contributed to the successes he recorded while in office. He used the little resources at his disposal to achieve something tremendous for the army and his country and hence the honour done to him among others by mr President.
Let the new service chiefs be reminded that there’s zero tolerance for graft and misappropriation of funds meant for the security and well being of Nigerian citizens under President Muhammadu Buhari.
I will end with a quotation from Shakespeare to celebrate this gentleman on his recent appointment thus;
“He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age, doing, in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion! (William Shakespeare, 1858).
To the General, I say; Hip! Hip!! Hurray!!!
Yakubu Shendam, a national youth President and a security analyst writes from Abuja.