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What Dr. Sani Abubakar Told me about Buratai in 2017

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What Dr. Sani Abubakar Told me about Buratai in 2017

By Collins Mbakwe

Recently, certain events propelled me into going down memory lane. The wanton killings and the carnage scenes across the country in the past one or two years have been issues of major concern to all well-meaning Nigerians.

Between 2011-2013, it was gory tales of sorrows and pains; torrents of tears and wailings from fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, men, women, school boys and girls, parents, relations, friends, aunties, uncles, Nigerians of all persuasions, the international community gazed into the skies artificially darkened each time Boko Haram terrorists detonated mass bombs at targets. The agonies and anxiety of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) intensified and confusion replaced reason, as insurgents freely and boastfully multiplied heinous atrocities against Nigerians.

Thousands fled the region while others scampered for safety. As of 2012, I was still in Maiduguri much to the consternation of my relatives and friends who were on my neck to return home to my state for safety. But like one fated to be slaughtered by the insurgents, I paid no heed.

The situation was getting worse by the day. It came to a point, where I felt I was no longer alive. That was in April 2012. No one told me to run for my dear life. I had to leave Maiduguri with my life still intact by the skin of my teeth. And as I left, I bid Maiduguri a final goodbye, because I felt soon it would be desolate.

In January 2017, I got a call from Dr. Abubakar Sani whom I worked with while in Maiduguri. He told me that he would want me to return to Maiduguri, that he would want to work with me on a certain project he was preparing to launch. I couldn’t believe it.

Momentarily, I was bereft of speech, trying to collect my thoughts. Several thoughts flew into my head like a buoyant wave. Had I not known him to be a nice, detribalized man and a man of high intellect and probity, I would have concluded that he wished me dead, for asking me to come to Maiduguri after all I saw. Immediately, I turned on the recording on my phone.

The first thing I asked him was where he was calling from, and he said it was Maiduguri. I goggled in disbelief and snapped my fingers synchronously. Then, I asked him, “How can we work comfortably and safely in a city where human bodies are littered on the roads and streets?” Then, he gave me a response that later brought me back to Maiduguri in 2017, and after five years plus, I have had every reason to say that he was right. I never forgot his words that day. They were quite reassuring although hard to believe.

His words on phone to me that day, “Believe me, Collins, Maiduguri has not returned to that state that once made it ‘the home of peace, but the constant carnage scenes in the city of Maiduguri are now an issue of the past. We now sleep with our eyes closed. People now move freely for their businesses and work. The new Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General TY Buratai with his unrivaled military tactics, bravery, and good leadership skills, has restored hope on the security challenges bedeviling the state.

Of course, the fight is far from being over, especially in some rural areas, but with Buratai at the helm, many more successes would be recorded.

The new COAS unmistakably knew of the dauntingly sacred and delicate task entrusted to his hands. His briefs were clear and understood, as defeating and terminating the reign of terrorism in Nigeria and specific terms, the Northeast region, where it ferociously raged uncontrollably.

It is right to say that he was anointed on a rescue mission of Nigeria manacled by terrifying and soulless, bloodsucking terrorists.”

He continued, “The past year has seen the reward of Buratai’s professional competence in leading Nigerian troops to wipe away the sorrows and pains at the break of dawn. He has fulfilled every word of promise to Nigerians in the counter-terrorism campaigns to the amazement cum excitement of all Nigerians and the international community.

He has proven himself a soldier of the strong breed who does not issue empty promises; Nigerians know his credentials as a warmonger with bags of unbeatable tactics and strategies.

Read Also:Scores Of ISWAP Killed As MNJTF Jets Bomb Terrorists’ In The Lake Chad

You must have read that in December 2016, Gen. Buratai with his team pleasantly astounded Nigerians with an unexpected New Year gift; the Nigerian troop’s demystification and invasion of the dreaded Sambisa forest to Camp Zero.

To think that Buratai met troops whose morale on the battlefield was dampened as a result of several factors and yet find a way of boosting their morale to put in their best in the fight against insurgency has earned him a place with the pantheons of Nigerian heroes.

From 2017 till when Buratai retired, in 2021, I never had any reason to scurry for safety any day in Maiduguri.

After Buratai’s retirement, in January 2021, I wanted to leave the state once again for fear of the insurgents taking over again. But, Dr. Abubakar who is currently the publisher of Northeast Star as well as OurNigeria News Magazine asked me to be calm. He spoke highly of the new COAS, Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya. He however said that he is worried for Nigeria.

According to him, winning a war against terrorism and banditry is not something only the military can undertake. “The leaders and the led, the military and the civilians have to synergize to improve the security of the country. If all state actors do not rise to the security challenges, it may spread to a point where it may be uncontrollable,” he concluded.

Sadly today, the country is bleeding profusely. The security situation is nothing short of anarchy. Insecurity as Dr. Sani envisaged has spread uncontrollably like wide fire. Nowhere is safe in the country now. My state, Imo where I fled to when Maiduguri was unhabitable is now one of the most unsecured places to live in Nigeria. Where then shall we run to?

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