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Buratai reveals how he tackled insurgency as COAS

Tukur Yusufu Buratai: Still in the Service of Fatherland

Buratai reveals how he tackled insurgency as COAS

Tukur Buratai, a former Chief of Army Staff, claims that the Army’s major strategy for turning the tide against insurgents during his tenure was winning the hearts and minds of the people of Nigeria’s northeast.

This was stated by Mr. Buratai, a retired lieutenant general and the previous Nigerian ambassador to the Republic of Benin, in an interview with journalists in Abuja.

He said that the populace also realized how passionately President Muhammadu Buhari felt about bringing stability and peace back to Borno and the entire northeast region.

He added that all operational formations of the Services were participating in the resurgence of joint civil-military operations.

According to him, the operation had a central coordination headquarters which also coordinated civil and humanitarian activities.

“It assists the joint force commander in humanitarian or national-assistance operations, theater campaigns, or civil-military operations occurring concurrently,” he said.

Gen Buratai urged the military to be resilient and never succumb to the threats of insurgents, terrorists, separatists, kidnappers, or armed robbers.

He said the major trick of the terrorists was to instill fear in the minds of people so much so that the people would be afraid to go to their farms, and businesses or send their children to school.

Read Also: Buratai Urges Nigerians Not To Give In To Threats Posed By Insurgents

“We must all take a stand and show that we are not with the insurgents and the terrorists.

“What the military is doing is fighting for the safety of the people, the military is there to protect and defend the people.

“The military is not just fighting the terrorists on their own, they are there because of the people. This war is a people’s war and not just a military thing.

“Therefore, we must all get involved, be resilient, provide timely and credible intelligence and avoid any action that will disrupt the peace.

“We have a duty to ensure that we entrench peace right from our homes. We must also know what every member of our community is engaged in,” he said.

On military tactics, Gen Buratai said the military always evaluated and changed their tactics to adapt to new challenges posed by the insurgents and terrorists, hence the defeat of the terrorists and insurgents.

He called on locals to support the military with credible and timely information and prayers instead of meaningless and incessant criticism that was capable of killing the morale of troops and their commanders.

Gen Buratai urged the military to maintain their tempo of operations and keep up the aggressive assaults, as well as enhance collaboration and synergy with other sister agencies.

“You must understand that the military is not a one-man show; even when I was in service, I worked with a team, and I am happy to say that many of them are still in service.

“The current Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the COAS served directly under me as Theater Commanders of Operation Lafiya Dole, now Hadin Kai.

“By and large, I will say that they are doing well. Whatever little success we were able to achieve during my tenure, we did it together, it was a collective effort.

“Thumbs up to the Nigerian military, the CDS, and the Service Chiefs. I commend the Commander of Operation Hadin Kai. They are doing a great job. This is why the terrorists have been surrendering to the government.

“Over 100,000 have surrendered and many more are coming out,” he said.

On negotiation with terrorists and bandits, the former COAS said it was not the responsibility of the military to suggest, initiate or directly partake in dialogue or negotiations with terrorists and bandits.

“But the military can force the terrorists, bandits, and insurgents to surrender and accept negotiated terms favorable to the legitimate authority, which is the government.

“I tell you towards the last half of 2020, the bandits were calling for negotiations through some prominent individuals.

“This was a result of the pressure mounted on the bandits. Many of their fighters, collaborators, logistic suppliers, and informants were neutralized, captured, or escaped out of the country for safety.

“Negotiation, dialogue, and amnesty are civil authorities’ responsibilities. This should be the last option that I preach in my present capacity because the terrorists and bandits have been subdued.

Buratai reveals how he tackled insurgency as COAS

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