By Bayo Adeoye
The appointment of former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai and other service chiefs as envoys by President Muhammadu Buhari will afford them the opportunity to galvanize global support for Nigeria’s peace .
This was stated by the Olowu of Kuta in Osun State, Oba Adekunle Oyelude Tegbosun 111, yesterday while reacting to last week’s nomination of Buratai and others as envoys by the President.
According to him, their appointment will also help in sustaining peace initiatives and efforts in African countries where terrorism and internecine wars have negatively impacted on people’s wellbeing and impaired socio-economic and political stability of such nations.
He said the appointment of the service chiefs as envoys would
also put Nigeria on a great stead to rightly and fully take her place as the leader of the continent.
According to him, the President acted properly with the nomination of the former military chiefs, saying there was nothing that tarnished the careers of the men while in office to deny them the chance to further serve their fatherland.
“The appointments have clearly put paid to insinuations of impending trial by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity,; allegations and speculations which have trended on the media space for a long time.
“The fact is that none of the immediate past service chiefs has had any proven charge of human rights abuse to answer before any court within and outside Nigeria, as none of them has been invited or appeared before any court to answer to charges of criminal breach of fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
“President Buhari deserves applause for providing another platform for the retired service chiefs to lend their rich military experience for the advancement of Nigeria’s image in the comity of nations. Retired General Tukur Buratai and his colleagues therefore need to use their new appointments to galvanize global support for Nigeria’s peace keeping initiatives and efforts in African countries where terrorism and internecine wars have negatively impacted on peoples wellbeing and impaired socio economic and political stability of such nations.
“It is hoped that the new envoys will deliver on Mr President’s mandate by employing the “Patriotism Mantra” that their years of military trainings and engagements had ingrained in them in service to their country.”
The retirement of Gen Buratai and his colleagues has drawn varying reactions across board, bothering on perceived human rights abuse and extra judicial killings.
He said: “Amnesty International has been particularly vocal in this aspect, but the military authorities have repeatedly dismissed such allegations as largely unproven, insufficiently investigated and unsubstantiated.
“The Shites conflict and its aftermath was unfortunate but it was a product of a persistent flagrant breach of national security which the sect has created in Kaduna State. The blockage of a major road could not be explained as a religious right but more of disturbance to public peace and breach of national security.
“Nigerian Army under the watch of Gen Buratai between 2015-2021, reversed that ugly trend that today, Boko Haram cannot lay claim to any part of the country as its own.The price may have been high but the Nigerian Army has not allowed an inch of the country slip into any foreign hand.
“Pockets of terror may still exist, such are not in horrifying dimension as it was before.. Buratai served his country to the best of his ability. No man can do it all,” he said.