Reminiscing On General TY Buratai’s Patriotism


By Philip Agbese

As said by George Washington, “A great general is not just a warrior, but a strategist, diplomat, and inspiration to his troops”. This and many more have General Tukur Yusufu Buratai shown to Nigerians and the world.

TY Buratai is a distinguished Nigerian military leader who has left an indelible mark on the canvas of patriotism. As the former Chief of Army Staff and later Ambassador to the Benin Republic, his unwavering dedication to his country has been a cornerstone of his illustrious career. With an unparalleled commitment to safeguarding Nigeria’s sovereignty and ensuring its security, General Buratai’s contributions have been pivotal in facing the challenges posed by non-state actors like Boko Haram.

When the nation faced internal strife and external threats, Buratai’s commitment to the struggle was unshakeable, even in the face of death. His extraordinary patriotism shines through his actions, from his role in the military to his engagement in politics.

General TY Buratai’s unwavering patriotism has consistently shone through in his various roles within the Nigerian military and diplomatic circles. His tenure as Chief of Army Staff from July 2015 to January 2021 saw him championing the cause of Nigeria’s security with unparalleled zeal. Even in his diplomatic capacity as the Ambassador to the Benin Republic, Buratai continued to serve his nation with the same enthusiasm that marked his military career.

General TY Buratai’s journey as a patriot began during his time as the Chief of Army Staff. Tasked with the enormous responsibility of safeguarding Nigeria’s territorial integrity, he faced the daunting challenge of combating Boko Haram, a ruthless terrorist organisation that had wreaked havoc nationwide. With his unwavering determination and strategic insight, General Buratai led the Nigerian Army in numerous successful operations, significantly weakening the terrorist group’s capabilities.

Combating the menace of Boko Haram became one of his most remarkable feats. The radical Islamist group had plunged Nigeria into insecurity and turmoil for years. General Buratai, armed with an unyielding resolve, took on the challenge head-on. Under his leadership, the Nigerian Army devised comprehensive strategies to counter the insurgency, resulting in significant gains against the terrorist group.

General Buratai’s leadership in the Nigerian Army was characterised by strategic brilliance and tactical excellence. He understood the importance of a multifaceted approach to counterinsurgency operations.

With a deep understanding of asymmetrical warfare, he devised innovative strategies that effectively countered the insurgency. Through intelligence-driven operations, joint military exercises, and international collaborations. General Buratai’s leadership was instrumental in dismantling Boko Haram’s strongholds and disrupting their supply lines.

He not only sought to quell the immediate threats posed by Boko Haram but also aimed to address the underlying factors that fueled extremism. His holistic approach encompassed military operations, intelligence gathering, and community engagement, showcasing his astuteness as a military strategist.

In the fight against Boko Haram and other non-state actors, General Buratai exhibited an unwavering commitment to the cause of justice. He recognised the atrocities committed by these groups and ensured that they were held accountable for their actions. His relentless pursuit of justice sent a powerful message that terrorism would not be tolerated on Nigerian soil.

His unyielding determination and resolute decision-making marked General Buratai’s leadership style. He led by example, often at the forefront of operations, demonstrating his commitment to the safety and security of Nigerians. This hands-on approach not only boosted the troops’ morale but also showcased his dedication to the mission.

Recognising that the fight against terrorism transcends national borders, General Buratai actively engaged with neighbouring countries and international partners to foster collaboration. He understood that a united front against terrorism was crucial for success. This approach was evident in his tenure as Ambassador to the Benin Republic, where he continued to strengthen diplomatic ties in the region.

Amidst the chaos and terror, General Buratai prioritised the safety and protection of innocent civilians. He implemented measures to ensure the welfare of internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by the insurgency, providing them access to food, shelter, and medical aid. Additionally, he initiated programs to rehabilitate former Boko Haram members, striving to reintegrate them into society and break the cycle of violence.

General Buratai has left an indelible mark on the lives of countless individuals. He’s known not only for his efforts in ensuring peace and security alone but also for his immense compassion and commitment to humanitarian causes and his unwavering dedication to uplifting communities in need.
Below are just a few of his many humanitarian works:

He donated his pension to the Nigerian Army.

He established a scholarship fund for the children of soldiers who died in the fight against Boko Haram.

He worked to improve the living conditions of soldiers and their families.

He founded The Buratai Foundation.

Donation of funds and relief materials to areas affected by insurgency.

Throughout his tenure as the Chief of Army Staff, General Buratai faced formidable adversaries who sought to destabilise Nigeria. The enemies of the nation aimed to silence his dedication through threats of death, but his unyielding commitment remained resolute. His actions demonstrated an unwavering belief in the country’s potential for greatness as he relentlessly strived to protect and uphold its sovereignty.

Understanding the need for a well-equipped and skilled military, General Buratai prioritised modernisation and training reforms within the Nigerian Army. He ensured the acquisition of advanced weaponry, improved intelligence capabilities, and enhanced coordination among security agencies. These measures bolstered the military’s ability to confront and neutralise non-state actors, ensuring the safety of Nigerian citizens.

In Winston Churchill’s great words, “The measure of a great general is not in the number of battles won, but in the lasting peace and stability he brings to his nation.” This call was upheld in a notable aspect of General Buratai’s legacy, which is his role in coordinating various groups to safeguard Nigeria’s democracy. Drawing upon his extensive network within the defense and intelligence structure, he worked tirelessly to prevent any attempts to truncate the democratic process. His efforts were instrumental in maintaining the stability and continuity of Nigeria’s democratic governance, further solidifying his status as a patriot.

Beyond his military service, General Buratai’s patriotism extended into the political arena. His participation in mobilizing the youth for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu showcased his spirit of dedication and service. By leveraging his influence, he played a vital role in encouraging civic engagement among the youth, fostering a sense of responsibility for the nation’s future.

General TY Buratai’s legacy of patriotism is firmly etched in Nigeria’s history. His relentless efforts to secure the nation’s borders and protect its citizens have left an enduring impact. His tenure witnessed a decline in the activities of Boko Haram and a renewed sense of hope for a safe

In retrospect, General TY Buratai’s patriotism is a shining example for all Nigerians. His resilience in the face of adversity, his commitment to fostering political participation among the youth, and his dedication to safeguarding the nation’s democracy all stand as a testament to his unwavering love for Nigeria.

Buratai’s patriotism stands as a beacon of inspiration for all Nigerians. His distinguished career as Chief of Army Staff and Ambassador to Benin Republic exemplifies his unswerving dedication to his homeland. Through his strategic brilliance, unyielding leadership, and commitment to justice, he has played a pivotal role in shaping Nigeria’s fight against terrorism.

General TY Buratai’s legacy will forever remind us that in the darkest of times, the light of patriotism can guide us towards a stronger, united, and prosperous Nigeria, and also, true patriotism is not just a sentiment, but a dedication that requires action and sacrifice for the greater good of the nation.

Agbese MHR is the Deputy Spokesperson, Nigeria House of Representatives writing from Abuja.

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