Like many Nigerians have acknowledged, I applaud the appointment of Service Chiefs among who is my townsman, Major-General Tukur Buratai, who is now Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, COAS. General Buratai is from Buratai, a town near Biu in Borno State, one of the states most affected by the activities of the insurgents for the past five years or so.
The appointment of General Buratai has raised the level of national hope of winning the war against insurgency much higher than before. There are three reasons for this assertion. One of the reasons is the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari himself in the 2014 elections as Nigeria leader. The President‘s pedigree and integrity is known across the country.
So is also his views and dislike of the insurgency which is shared by millions of Nigerians. Another issue which has raised the bar on the war against Boko Haram is the current support and cooperation Nigeria is now receiving from our neighboring countries and the international community especially the USA, Britain, UN, etc. President has already visited the neighbouring countries and had a meeting with the 67 leaders not too long ago in Germany and he is currently discussing with President Barrack Obama of the USA on many issues including insurgents.
Moreover, the appointment of General Buratai as the Chief of Army Staff last week has underscored Presidents determination to crush the insurgents. This is because apart from Buratai’s famed professionalism and experience, he is unlike his predecessors a son of the soil of the areas infiltrated by the insurgents. As an indigene of Borno State, General Buratai is an officer who is very familiar with the terrain where the war is being fought. Biu and some villages surrounding it were not also spared of the Boko Haram onslaught.
It is therefore expected that the above factors will all play out in favour of the actions of the government to crush the insurgency menace in the North Eastern part of the country.
General Buratai who had been at Ndejema for his assignment reportedly celebrated his Eid-l-kabir Sallah in Damaturu in Yobe State with the troop. This feeling was properly captured by Colonel Peter Sawa (Rtd) when he was interviewed by the channel television last Thursday. The retired Colonel said President Buhari’s election and General Buratai’s appointments are factors that could bring to end insurgents’ activities. He argued that President Buhari will do exactly what he says he will do, no matter what might happen while General Buratai is an experienced officer with knowledge of the area.
Even this author believes that the current fight against the insurgents in the North Eastern part has now been given an added impetus. Apart from the issue of Buhari’s current leadership, General Buratai is a very tough, disciplined and result-oriented officer. He believes in surprising people and I believe Nigerians will soon witness some surprises. This is because General Buratai has a credible career.
It is widely believed that with the renewed determination of soldiers and the government in power, coupled with the improved level of support within and outside the country, especially from Nigerians themselves would lead to the crushing of insurgency if more weapons are added to the troops on ground at the battle front.
Another important factor is the appointment of the newly appointed National Security Adviser, General Monguno, who this writer believes is also capable of changing the rhythm of the war against the insurgency. With the two experienced soldiers, selected from within the affected areas now on the hot seat, this writer and many other Nigerians believe that the war against insurgency has almost been won.
With the combination of General Monguno and Tukur Buratai also known as a no-nonsense General, the Boko Haram threat in the North-East is just a matter of time. Surely the time is up for the insurgents whose leaders are now said to be foreigners. The President decision to appoint the two generals cannot be faulted. The two are capable of winning the war. They are both victims of the war. Their appointment was a classic case of putting square pegs in square holes because both men have been given the mandate of liberating their state which is at the center of Boko Haram activities.
In fact President Muhammadu Buhari made a strong statement by his decision to appoint two highly competent sons of Borno in his security circles. I think his strategy was to get people with ancestral knowledge of the Borno terrain. Major-General Tukur Buratai is even a direct victim of Boko Haram attacks. He lost family members when his residence was attacked earlier this year in Buratai, a town in Biu Local Government Area.
The energetic general has already changed the code name of the war from Zaman Lafiya to Lafiya Dole. These two generals are from Borno, they know exactly where it pinches and most importantly, they understand the terrain and can easily connect with communities to get local support. These two top military brasses from Borno State do not only have military professionalism and intelligence but know the terrain, including the nooks and crannies of this affected sub-region.
In war, you have to know the terrain and people so as to fully understand the modus operandi of insurgents. Many groups and individuals have already commended President Buhari for trusting and appointing one of us as his Chief of army Staff, an important position which has never happened in the scheme of things in the country. General Buratai is a quiet and a complete gentleman officer whose track record of achievements in the military is well known. He built his career through hard work and dedication to duty.
Biu sent this report from Abuja

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