Following backlash over his recent nomination as an ambassador, Nigeria’s ex-chief of army staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (Rtd) has broken his silence.
Buratai disclosed this while speaking with journalists after a special gala night organised for him by members of the 29th Regular Course Association of the Nigerian Defense Academy in Abuja on Saturday.
Buratai and other Service Chiefs “voluntarily resigned” their positions on 26 January 2021, after months of calls for their sack following a spate of insecurity in different parts of the country, especially in the northeast, and the seeming failure of the security agencies to contain it.
Buhari had immediately appointed Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff as replacements.
In a statement by the spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP described the appointment as a plot to shield the ex-Service Chiefs from investigation over the “killing of innocent Nigerians and crimes against humanity” under their inglorious watch.
PDP also charged the Senate to eschew all partisan considerations and stand on the side of the people.
However, while responding to a question from our reporter, Buratai said he would not respond to the PDP’s statement, insisting that he is not a politician.
“I’m not a politician, so I have no word for the opposition.”
‘I have done well’
“Remember the various exercises, these are training exercises from ‘Python dance’, ‘Crocodile smile’, and even the latest one ‘Exercise Sahel Sanity’.
“Is it in the area of medical? In terms of education of our children and wards, the Nigerian Army University are all great achievements.
“I think you can write volumes and volumes of books in terms of the achievements depending on the perspectives you want to take.”
Buratai said the impacts of his efforts as the Chief of Army Staff may not be felt immediately.
He, however, insisted that the country would be having highly qualified officers in the next five to 10 years, “who can carry this military profession to higher heights.”
Speaking of the gala night staged in his honour, Buratai said it showed that he did well as the country’s Chief of Army Staff.
“It feels great [to be celebrated by my colleagues] at this point in time.
“It means a lot to me in terms of respect, in term of the show of love.
“It’s something of pride that you have been recognised for the service you have rendered to your nation and people,” he said.