General Buratai is indeed a legend—Alhaji Garba AD
Hajara Mohammed (Abuja)
Renowned business tycoon and industrialist, Alhaji Awwal Garba AD has said that Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai is indeed a legend whose life of excellence is worthy of emulation by young Nigerians. “I understand that the author wrote this book in a fictional style to make the story of the life of General Buratai one that children can easily relate with. I commend the author for this noble initiative. The time has come for us to begin to celebrate our own heroes and I concur that General Buratai is indeed a legend,” said Alhaji Garba AD.
Alhaji Garba AD made these remarks at the presentation of a book titled The Legend of Buratai yesterday at the Merit House, Maitama Abuja. The Chief of Civil-military Affairs at Headquarters Nigerian Army, Major General US Mohammed represented the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TY Buratai at the well attended occasion.
The book which is a work of fiction written by renowned journalist and researcher known as Abubakar Mohammed Sani was written in honor of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Buratai whose life the author said inspired him to write the book. According to the author the dedication, selflessness, patriotism, passion for excellence and most importantly General Buratai’s diligence are qualities that today’s boys and girls can learn from because they are qualities that can made them to excel in every endeavor. “If you want to be the great you must first of all be the best and these qualities exhibited by General Buratai are some of the qualities you need to succeed; there is no any other way to success. You must be diligent, honest and strive for excellence. These are the qualities General Buratai displayed right from childhood and they are what made him to stand out from the crowd.”
Earlier on, the author started his remarks by tendering a formal apology to the students and invited guests for the absence of the Special Guest of Honor, Lt. General Buratai at the event. “The Chief truly wanted to attend this event but pressing national security issues restrained him from coming. He is in Maiduguri coordinating the onslaught of the ISWAP insurgents” said the author.
The book presentation was attended by top military brass, business tycoons and students and pupils from numerous schools within the FCT. A renowned medical doctor who is based in the United States, Dr Hassan Bashir Jibril who served as Chairman of the Occasion said admonished Nigerians to eschew religious extremism, corruption, tribalism and come together to salvage Nigeria together. “We have no any other country to go to apart from Nigeria so we should collaborate with the Army to salvage it. President Buhari and the Army Chief cannot do it alone; all of us must get involved,” said Dr. Jibril.
Prince Phillip Agbese,the Guest Speaker at the book presentation spoke glowingly about the book and reiterated reasons why General Buratai is worthy of consideration as a legend. Excerpts of his speech read in parts below:
“I welcome you all to this occasion, the public presentation of the prosaic rendition of the counter-terrorism efforts in our dear country, Nigeria, encapsulated in the book, “The Legend of Buratai”, authored by a distinguished scholar and publisher, Dr. Abubakar Mohammed Sani. First, let me clarify that I am still a junior scholar in this field and unworthy to bear the cross of a Guest Speaker at this auspicious ceremony. Nonetheless, I felt highly honoured and privileged and I shall strive to share my little perspective on this book and the personality of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai.
“Before the reality of this occasion today, I have read some funny commentaries about the title of the book. I have encountered attempts at disparaging the personality of Lieutenant General Buratai, and deliberate efforts to undermine the relevance of the fictional narrative as creatively reflected in the title of the book, by some persons. I could see the futile laborious efforts to diminish the laudable impacts of the counter-terrorism operations under the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, through the commanding heights and ingenuity of Lieutenant General Buratai, a military leader, strategist and tactician. He is unarguably one of Nigeria’s finest breeds of soldiers.
“Some self-appointed critics have queried the title of the book by its reference to him as a legend. So, the egocentric critics prefer not to fete the honour of Lieutenant General TY Buratai with such grandiose concept; but to see him exit the Nigerian Army and the world, as an unknown little boy from Buratai village in Biu Local Government Area of Borno state. But fate and destiny are not susceptible to the conscious twists of debased minds. The worth of real men is measured by their actions and impact on a world consistently in search of liberators for its troubled souls. In contrast, I dare say emphatically that Lieutenant General Buratai is more than just a hero, but an eminent legend, conqueror of the most fortified terrorists’ havens in Nigeria.
“An American renowned psychologist, Philip Zambardo says, “…to be a hero means you step across the line and are willing to make a sacrifice, so heroes always are making a sacrifice. Heroes always take a risk. Heroes are always deviant. Heroes are always doing something that most people don’t and will want to change – I want to democratize heroism to say any of us can be a hero.” So, heroes are people who came, saw and conquered. Yes, we have many heroes; but ironically, not every hero is a legend. However Lieutenant General TY Buratai is a combination of both and much more. Through courage, selfless sacrifice and exemplary leadership, he commanded the Nigerian Army that save me and you; our brothers and sisters from the brutal strangulation of insurgents and criminal gangs in Bama, Gwoza, Sambisa forest in the Northeast and other places in Nigeria. Therefore, Lieutenant General Buratai has amazingly surpassed the mark of a mere hero, and has launched himself into the nobility of remarkable legends. A famous American athlete, Max Holloway says, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” For me, this is a perfect description of the persona of Lieutenant General Buratai and the monograph is excellently structured to keep him evergreen in our memories for his unprecedented efforts and exploits to save humanity.”
Mr. Collins Mbakwe who reviewed the book said that, “The Legend of Buratai is a semi-biography of Bura born man of valor and exceptional brilliance, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai. It chronicles his journey through life so far. The book is a fine experimentation by the unsung writer, Abubakar M.S, given how faction and fiction are outstandingly woven. The writer’s mastery of folklore reminds one of writers such as Chinua Achebe, Kofi Awonor and Gabriel Okara. The book tells a revealing story of General Buratai’s evolution from a little boy who gallantly killed a lion that was a torn in the flesh of his people, to the Chief of Army Staff, Federal Republic of Nigeria and of course a hero to many. Interestingly, the eponymous character in this work, Buratai, doubles as the narrator of the narrative. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai joined the Nigerian Army as a boy not because his father, Yusuf Buratai was a veteran soldier – not because he was forced to join, but because he was driven by his passion to serve his father land through soldiering. He didn’t want to become just a soldier, he wanted to become a good soldier – he wanted to distinguish himself among many others.
“To fulfill his dreams and aspirations, the young Buratai got admission into the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA) Kaduna. He later obtained degrees in History from the University of Maiduguri and Philosophy from Bangladesh respectively, among many other professional degrees and certificates. Buratai knew that to actualize his fine ambition in life, acquiring several certificates and knowledge ain’t enough, little wonder, he armored himself with courage, honesty, dedication, humility and high sense of responsibility.
“His burning desire, startling brain, humility, honesty and commitment led him into successfully serving his father land in various capacities. His quick rise to various coveted positions in the Nigerian Army, even to his current position as the Chief of Army Staff, is not a happenstance, but a deservedly reward for dedication, honesty, courage, humility and sagacity.
“The writer, through the narrator, Buratai, presents a detribalized man who doesn’t believe in accident, but destiny. His first commission in 1983 by General Buhari and his consequent appointment to his current position as the Chief of Army Staff by the same Buhari after decades is not an accident but destiny.
“Buratai’s ability to hearken to the advice of his father when he was advised against being swallowed by pride after killing a lion during his childhood days was a strong indication that he was destined for greatness. His ability to open himself to learning, his unmatched leadership skills and his known stance for fairness, justice and equity, makes him an archetypical figure where courage, pursuant of dreams and patriotism can be drawn from, by human race. His love for his country, Nigeria is exemplified by his preparedness to put his life on the line in the course of protecting the territorial integrity of his country and defense of the weak.