When the Nigerian Army launched a book, Compendium of Nigerian Army Transformation: The Buratai Years (2015-2020), in July to commemorate its annual anniversary and celebrate the reign of its Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, many would have been taken aback with what the army saw as ‘transformation’ and what is spectacular about the ‘Buratai years’.
The underlying belief would have been that the inactivity of Boko Haram, partly occasioned by the onslaught of coronavirus, was a sign of its decline. However, recent events have indicated that it is the army that is getting increasingly powerless against their perennial enemy and the tragedy in Borno comes as a jolt back to reality.
Reacting days after the event, Lt. Gen. Buratai took to Facebook that the nation should prepare for the possibility of enduring terrorism for another twenty years.
In his words, “There is general misunderstanding of what insurgency and terrorism entail. There is likelihood of terrorism persisting in Nigeria for another 20 years.”
While the Army Lord may feel that there is a general misunderstanding of insurgency and terrorism, Nigerians are not dazzled as to the reality in their front – and it is that lives are being lost almost on a daily basis; the army is only winning the war on the news not on the actual battle front.
The comments from Buratai also border on insensitivity given that: he shares the same state of origin with the farmers who lost their lives to the brutality of insurgents, and terrorism lasting for another twenty years is the last thing grieving Nigerians want to hear.
His comments will only serve to strengthen the call for his sack, given that the Army by all indications has shown itself incapable of suppressing Boko Haram. It is therefore not surprising that Governor Zulum suggested hiring mercenaries.
Instead of some reassuring words from the Army chief, he is only able to add insult to injury by suggesting that the worst is yet to come. And at this juncture, the country could do without not just the incapacity of the Army leadership but also speculation of terrorism continuing for decades.
Kola Muhammed has imprint across local and international media. He is passionate about trends in the domains of culture, communication and technology.