Third Republic Senate President, Ameh Ebute, on Tuesday, penned a letter to the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. T. Y. Buratai and the Nigerian Army troops, saluting their gallantry and bravery in the war against insurgency.
In the letter dated July 7, titled: ‘Letter of Gratitude and Garlands to an Outstanding Leader Hero and War Hero’, Senator Ebute said that the nation is super proud of the COAS’ stewardship and devotion.
Acknowledging the remarkable progress recorded in the last five years, the elder statesman, though, urged Lt. Gen. Buratai not to relent on his purposeful leadership that has turned the tide in the country’s favour.
“We are proud of your stewardship and devotion; much more the firm commitment of our soldiers in the defence of our territorial integrity and beloved country under your able leadership.
“I am one among those Nigerian elder statesmen and millions of other well meaning Nigerians who believe absolutely in the indispensability of the Nigerian Army in defence of nationhood, especially at this point in our history. In the last few years, more than ever, the Nigerian Army under your guidance has fostered national security, cohesion, unity, progress and economic prosperity of our nation-state.
“Our most cherished Chief of Army Staff Sir, let me remind you of an African adage which says, ‘Do not throw away the oars before the boat reaches the shore’. Therefore, never be distracted by the enemies of our country against your good works or like Edmond Mbiaka eloquently puts it; ‘Never let anyone or anything distract you from noticing how amazing you are’, to Nigerians and the Nigerian Army.
“I am boldly saying this, because having evaluated your exemplary leadership of the Nigerian Army since July 2015, and its performance in quelling the multiple security challenges occasioned by insurgency, terrorism and banditry, it is imperative to applaud your performance. We remain grateful to you.”
Among others, Senator Ebute highlighted the peace enjoyed in the Niger Delta region, end to separatism agitations in the South-East, the massively decimated Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists and bandits in the North-East and North-West respectively. as well as improved welfare for troops as just a few of the numerous achievements of the COAS.
His words: “It is the focused leadership you have provided to the Nigerian Army that troops were able to reclaim all the 17 LGAs insurgents forcefully captured and annexed in the Northeast. To date and even with the combined forces of ISWAP, no Nigerian territory is under Boko Haram/ ISWAP terrorist’s occupation in courtesy of your exceptional leadership.”
The much-respected elder statesman went further to admit that, “since Boko Haram became a national security threat in Nigeria from 2009 and various Army Generals commanded the war, you are the only Leader of the counter-insurgency operations in history, recorded as chasing the factional Leader of the extremist sect, Abubakar Shekau, to the level of invading the dreaded Sambisa forest.
“It has not escaped the sight of Nigerians that only soldiers under your reign freed the states of Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, and hordes of others in the Northwest from the strangulation of armed bandits and cattle rustlers. Your tenure as COAS will be fondly remembered as the only Number One soldier in the nation, who took the welfare of soldiers as top priority by massively undertaking the rehabilitation, renovation and construction of numerous residential and office accommodation for soldiers and their families.”
While expressing total support for the COAS, Senator Ebute, however, urged him to double the tempo of successes to rid Nigeria of killers.
“As an elder statesman, and in all fairness to my conscience, I have not seen a good and super leadership for the Nigerian Army before now, except under your reign, and may be, a few others. It is commendable that President Muhammedu Buhari is right on the saddle and ceaselessly providing mentor ship of this leadership of the Army and its effect on the troops is marvels.
“I have a moral responsibility and I believe majority of Nigerians share the feeling with me that we are collectively obligated to support you to do more”, he concluded.