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The recent visa and travel ban being doled out by the United States of America and some other developed countries to some Nigerian politicians and other individuals who were expressly involved in electoral manipulations, violence, and other fraudulent crimes is a very welcome development. However, there seem to be some individuals who are more deserving of this travel ban due to their recent activities and one of these individuals is the current Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai.
In his usual braggadocious, self-glorifying manner, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai recently boasted to those petitioning him and his office for an investigation that he was not afraid of being slammed with a visa ban by international bodies.
In his words: ‘The first time I travelled outside of this country, I was already 50 years and a General, so I don’t mind if I live the rest of my life here’
This statement reveals in many ways the kind of individual who has been put in charge of running the Nigerian Army. The Nigerian Army under Buratai has been rendered utterly useless, only used as playthings by top politicians. Although the problem of Boko Haram insurgency, violent communal clashes, kidnappings, and insensate criminality predated this administration, the insecurity situation has deepened, widened, and worsened under Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.
Sometime earlier this year, the Nigerian Army recorded over 365 resignations by Army officials. A few of these ex-soldiers who were interviewed under anonymity disclosed that they no longer felt the conviction to die for a country or don the uniforms of an establishment that has no regard whatsoever for their welfare. They categorically stated that Nigerian soldiers under Buratai suffered a lot, especially those in lower ranks. They stated late payment of salaries and lack of necessary military paraphernalia to help them with their work and to worsen things, they decried being used for dirty jobs that led to the loss of innocent human lives. Some lawmakers in the Federal House of Representatives had vowed to launch an enquiry into the resignations in a bid to substantiate the true situation of things in the Army.
Also, some time ago there was a viral video of a soldier blasting the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai while lambasting his leadership of the Nigerian Army. The man, who had since been identified as Lance Corporal Martins Idakpini and his wife was said to have been arrested and set up for a court-martial following his dismissal from the military. Before that, sometime in 2019, there was an audio that went viral of soldiers bemoaning their non-payment of salaries. When these events are taken into cognisance, the resignation of over 365 soldiers wouldn’t be a surprise. It shows that the soldiers are not happy with the way their welfarism is being handled by the Nigerian Army under Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai. It also shows how demoralised many of the soldiers have become, and it further shows that the Nigerian Army is embattled and needs saving from itself.
These soldiers whose welfare is neglected are not oblivious of the humongous salaries and allowances of the men in the top brass of the Nigerian military. It has been revealed that Lieutenant Buratai owns two multi-million dollar choice properties in the United Arab Emirates. How can a Chief of Army Staff whose annual remunerations are not enough to afford a small complex in the United Arab Emirates own two massive structures? This fact and some other issues play a role in the demoralisation of soldiers under him. They have also seen how some of their fallen colleagues were treated with disdain, the most indignant being the victims of Metele attacks on November 18, 2018, and the victims of Mobbar, Damasak, Monguno, and Gajiram military bases who were slain by the Boko Haram sect. Apart from the military hierarchy disputing the total number of men killed in a bid to save the public image of the military, their burial was rather shameful. Under Buratai, Nigeria has been needlessly losing hundreds of her gallant soldiers to this madness called Boko Haram. These same soldiers were effectively utilised by General Azubuike Ihejirika and Kenneth Minimah as Army Chiefs. These unquantifiable losses of gallant Nigerian soldiers especially the Christian ones from the Southern Nigeria were regrettably possible under the failed leadership of Buratai as the Chief of Army Staff because he is a bonafide member of the deadly Boko Haram terrorist organisation where he often amasses fortune from their terrorising acts, and serving as an alibi for the terrorist organisation wrecking mayhem on innocent Nigerians. If one is in doubt of this assertion then the person should for a second pause and ponder on the following;
• Who gives Boko Haram information to always ambush and kill Nigerian soldiers even when the operations of the Nigerian soldiers combating Boko Haram ought to be classified and privy to only the Chief of Army and other few top Army officers?
• How was Buratai able to acquire two multimillion-dollar properties in United Arab Emirates purchased almost with an outright payment considering his salary and allowance as an Army officer?
• Why does Buratai have sympathy for Boko Haram members to the point he finds it convenient always to enlist them in the Nigerian Army under the guise of ‘Repented Boko Haram Members’?
The above are not only questions begging for answers but they equally go a long way to reaffirm the previous stated assertion that Buratai is both a bonafide member of Boko Haram as well as the terrorist organisation’s alibi.
The Boko Haram sect seems to be having a field day under Buratai’s administration, thousands of civilians have been mercilessly massacred by Boko Haram under his watch. Even in IDP camps, displaced Nigerians are persistently attacked and killed by Boko Haram, as seen in Rann, Muna Garage, Dalore and a number of other places. Many won’t forget how the terrorists invaded the Rann camp, killing four international aid workers and an undisclosed number of IDPs. How can a country with a government and a Commander-in-Chief backed with a huge war chest, have Boko Haram moving around unhindered? How can a country with a supposedly well-trained army be losing grounds to terrorists? This downward slide in this war against terrorists is to a large extent, a failure of leadership under Buratai
On Saturday, the 12th of December, 2015, Buratai’s convoy encountered some youths of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, protesting the murder of their brothers and sisters by some men of the Nigerian Army around the Movement’s center, Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah, Zaria. The youths were trying to forward their complaints about what happened to their brothers and sisters. Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai instead of welcoming their complaint, and addressing it pragmatically or at most changing his route to avoid the protesters, he ordered his hoodlums of the Nigerian Army to open fire on the unarmed protesters, thereby killing more of them. The Chief Of Army Staff’s convoy passed successfully at the cost of some people’s lives. When asked by the press about his version of the scenario, he said that his convoy decided not to change route because some men of the Nigerian Army were ready to resign if the convoy changed its route.
What he meant here is that the ‘service’ of some of his members of staff was better than the ‘lives’ of the Nigerian citizens who he swore to protect. What a deluded and clueless Army Chief! Little wonder, he is often referred to as the ‘Quota System General’.
Few minutes after the disappearance of the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, another set of the Nigerian Army, heavily armed with sophisticated weapons and explosives appeared at the Movement’s center again.
Few minutes after the disappearance the convoy of the Chief Of Army Staff, another set of the Nigerian Army, heavily armed with sophisticated weapons and explosives appeared at the Movement’s center again. They sieged the center and waited for the command while on the other hand, members of the Islamic Movement were busy trying to save the lives of the injured victims of the attack. The siege at the center blocked off outside support which saw most of the injured people having no way to seek medical attention which killed some more of them. At night, the Army received the command to invade the center. They killed as much as they could including women, children, and infants using dangerous weapons and explosives, and at dawn, Hussainiyyah Baqiyyatullah was completely invaded.
Not stopping after this onslaught, Buratai took the massacre of innocent, unarmed civilians to Gyallesu, where the leader of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky resided. They killed more than 1000 innocent and defenseless people while chanting slogans of victory, as if they were fighting a professional Army. After the massacre, they met the leader of the Movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky in his house. The Army then proceeded to burn his elder sister, Hajiya Fatima Yakub Zakzaky to death when she tried to resist their arrest. Not satisfied with the blood he had already shed, Buratai directed his officers to shoot and kill 3 of the 4 remaining sons of the leader, including his 13 years old boy, Humaid, in his presence. To further show how callous he is, Buratai ordered that the leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, and his wife be thoroughly beaten and shot after which they were abducted and imprisoned to this day. After the Zaria Massacre, the Buratai’s hoodlums abducted some of the girls of the Islamic Movement. They took them away while most of them had injuries ranging from rape, torture, fire, and humiliation.
This is just one of the events where Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has shown his callousness and indifference to human lives. Another event was during the siege at the IPOB leader’s home in Afaraukwu in an operation they codenamed ‘Python Dance II’.
In the late hours of the 14th of September, 2017, soldiers numbering over 150 and some mobile policemen stormed the residence of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and using Armoured tank mortars and IEDs, they demolished half of the compound and the next harrowing hours saw the soldiers shooting sporadically at anything that moved, their one objective being to assassinate Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. At the end of the onslaught, eighteen individuals had been arrested and twenty-two individuals had been brutally murdered including Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s cousin and some other relatives.
Also, in another recent event that has been tagged as the ‘Lekki Massacre’, some army officials under the directives of Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai opened fire on a group of unarmed protesters. On the evening of 20th of October 2020 the Lagos State Government announced a 24-hour curfew, CCTV cameras were allegedly removed from the toll gate at about 5:43 pm. In addition, Lagos State authorities cut the electricity off to the toll gate so that it would be dark and filmed evidence of the shooting would not emerge, the advertisement billboards at the toll gate which are owned and maintained by Loatsad Media were also turned off. It was also reported that network providers turned off the network antennas in that area as protesters who used MTN and Airtel as their network providers reported that they were unable to make phone calls or use the Internet at that time. After the lights were switched off at the toll gate, soldiers arrived and allegedly began shooting directly at the crowd. A witness stated that the shooting continued for fifteen to thirty minutes and that after the shooting he observed multiple bodies on the ground. The soldiers were said to have walked in a formation towards the protesters with trucks flashing light before they opened fire which led to the death of some of the protesters and a huge International outcry as regards the use of lethal force against the protesters. Buratai has since given conflicting remarks about the incident. He first denied the involvement of the Nigerian Army in the incident and after much pressure, he finally admitted his involvement while claiming that he got his orders from a higher authority.
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai is a complete terrorist masquerading as a crusader for justice, and Africa Daily News, New York as a reputable media organisation is ever willing to prove this claim in any competent court of jurisdiction with more substantiated facts. Thus, it would be quite worthwhile for the International Community and security agencies including the United States’ FBI put him under close scrutiny, and slam a few restrictions on him while they further investigate him, and his links with Boko Haram.
Buratai, both as a terrorist and genocidist has time and time again displayed his blatant disregard for human lives with a penchant for unnecessary murder and bloodshed, and on several occasions, Amnesty International has uncovered Buratai’s ruthlessness on the Nigerian masses while showing favouritism to Boko Haram, supposedly, his first love.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK