Nigeria Army Emerges Institution Of The Year 2016
Change is a difficult and complex phenomenon, but not impossible to consummate, with a committed leadership. President Muhammadu Buhari is spearheading “change” in Nigeria; while the current Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai is leading the “change mantra” in his leadership of the Nigerian Army.
End of year is like the Biblical end times, where self-scrutiny or external appraisal completes the circle of a year. An assessment of the Nigerian Army (NA) under the guardianship of Buratai would reveal the exhibition of exceptional qualities and success stories of an armed force which has placed itself on the pedestal of professionalism, discipline and ethical conduct in its operations.
The admirable string of successes recorded by the Nigerian Army in quelling the multifaceted insurrections is a consequence of the culture of discipline. It is also a result of the adherence to professionalism by the rank and file as well as officers of the Army.
The editorial board of this online publication, The Nigerian Newspaper, assessed the performances of the nearly a dozen security agencies in Nigeria in 2016. These included the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Airforce and the Nigerian Navy. Other security agencies which came into consideration were the DSS, NIA, the Police, the NSCDC as well as other para-military establishments of the Federal Government of Nigeria such as the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Nigeria Prison Service (NPS) among others.
The exercise sought to unearth which security establishment qualifies to be crowned the medium’s Institution of the Year 2016, using certain criteria. But after extensive analysis and debates by the Editorial Board, which snowballed into voting, the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Gen. Buratai emerged topmost with supersonic votes. The Nigerian Air Force and the Department of State Security finished second and third positions respectively.
The Nigerian Army snatched the show because while it is unarguably the largest most engaged arm of the armed forces and security agencies in quelling the various security threats in different parts of the country. Furthermore, soldiers’ obedience, acceptability and practice of the preachment of the COAS, Gen. Buratai to professionalism and rules of engagements have been unsurpassed by any other institution.
Also, the output of its administrative, finance and Public Relations departments among others in the course of the year, have shown a remarkable proclivity to organizational coherence, transparency, accountability and excellence. It is in itself, the backbone of the Nigerian Army’s success story in Nigeria.
For a start, it is an immutable fact that the Nigerian Army by its nature is roundly and proactively engaged in the suppression of the mortley of rebellions in different parts of the country. Buratai’s soldiers are largely responsible for the decimation, defeat and eventual flushing of Boko Haram terrorists with the final onslaught by troops that seized the Sambisa forest, a former terrorists’ enclave in Borno state, Northeast Nigeria.
Its various operational codes such as Operation Lafiya Dole or Operation Rescue Finale, as the names aptly imply, are reminders of soldiers’ psychological determination and the doggedness of men and officers to triumph over terrorism. This action has proudly placed Nigeria in the league of the few countries in the world to defeat terrorism, which has earned it international compliments.
Nigerians are no longer inundated with media reports detailing raids of markets and communities in Nigeria’s Northwest by armed bandits and cattle rustlers. The menace has been forced to a halt by Nigerian soldiers, acting under the directive of Gen. Buratai, invaded and raided the camps of these bandits and rustlers in several locations.
Soldiers also pursued the criminals to the borderline of Nigeria and neighbouring countries where they sprouted and issued to them persona non-grata. Many of the animals and items the criminals violently seized from the locals or communities were recovered and handed over to the communities. Arms and ammunition were also recovered.
The activities of Nigerian Army’s Operation Python Dance in the Southeast, has stamped a permanent aura of peace, which previously was violently punctured by Biafra secession agitators like IPOB and MASSOB. Similar efforts are replicated in the restive Niger Delta by troops with the operational code name of Operation Crocodile Smile. That the Niger Delta Avengers have been unable to illegally declare a “Niger Delta Republic” is largely attributable to the security vigilance of the Nigerian Army piloted by Buratai.
Therefore, whether functioning under Operation Sharadaji or Operation Delta Safe assignments’, soldiers displayed uncommon excellence and delivered according to specifications without violating the human rights of members of host communities. They freely mingled with them and rendered free medical services, which erased the phobia or the fear of soldiers invading their homes.
Thus far, Buratai established the Nigerian Army’s Human Rights Desk, the first of its kind in Nigeria, which earned the Nigerian Army, a United Nations applause. The unit which is mandated to checkmate human rights abuses or violations by soldiers has also performed creditably in the outgoing year. Its wielding the big stick alone has installed much mental discipline in soldiers on routine assignments and no records of such abuses or violations have been recorded by the Army under Buratai.
The Army Public Relations Unit performed marvelously in the year 2016. The frequency and dynamism of events in the counter-insurgency war required a 24-hour vigilance to bring contentious matters to the official elucidation of the public, an assignment it did exceedingly well.
This was in addition to its effective deflation of the volumes of malicious and mischievous reports against the Nigerian Army by a section of the local media, in alliance with international collaborators’, which obviously shared sympathy with the Boko Haram Terrorists. The articulations, rebuttals and the enlightenment assisted immensely in the success of the war on terror a great deal.
The Nigerian Army Finance Unit was equally a silent motivator and force to both soldiers at the battlefront or deployed to serve elsewhere. Gen. Buratai plainly never made pretenses about the welfare of soldiers and their families. The Army Finance Unit decoded the message, as it promptly and transparently handled issues of welfare of troops. By this simple gesture of concern and uprightness, it accorded soldiers in the warfront the needed comfort to face their assignments; extended succor to their families and enthroned the psychological impetus they needed to concentrate, leading to the defeat of the terrorists. The disparate compartments of the Nigerian Army worked harmoniously to approximate perfection.
In essence, ennobled by these impressive and rewarding actions by the Nigerian Army; the resilience and determination of soldiers to even sacrifice their lives to ensure millions of Nigerians are liberated from the chains of terrorism to savour peace, The Nigerian Newspaper’s editorial board overwhelmingly voted the Nigerian Army as its ‘Institution of the Year 2016’.
Nigerians who have followed the performances of the Nigerian Army in the period under review have applauded the choice, as they implore the army to boldly step into 2017 with a vow for greater commitment and service to the nation. As the COAS, Lt.Gen. TY Buratai, the Nigerian Army and soldiers accept this token of appreciation and recognition from the humanity they have served faithfully, may God Almighty continue to bless them to move from strength to strength in year 2017.
Culled From LeadershipNG
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