Whenever the name, Tukur Yusuf Buratai is mentioned, what readily comes to the minds of the Nigerian masses, is ‘Brutality’. Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai needs no introduction anymore amongst the Nigerian masses not necessarily because he occupies the exalted position of the Chief of Army Staff but basically because his name is synonymous with notoriety in brutalizing the innocent and unarmed citizens of Nigeria who are only exercising their civic rights.
Lieutenant General Buratai is often using his position as the Chief of Army Staff in harassing, intimidating, and employing brutal force in dealing with unarmed Nigerian civilians especially those who feel marginalized by the despotic and nepotistic Nigerian maladministration of President Muhammadu Buhari and trying to reach out to the Nigerian Federal Government by embarking on peaceful protests.
It would be quite appropriate to state emphatically here, that those peaceful protests usually organized by innocent and unarmed Nigerian citizens were regularly met with military brutality as if the Nigerian Army was actually involved in military combat against an external enemy. Under the ruthless instructions of General Buratai, the military tanks were rolled out, battalions of soldiers fully kitted in military combat attires were deployed and hundreds of well loaded GMG guns handed to them with Buratai’s order of, ‘Shoot at sight’. Soldiers who were signaled out for this gruesome and irresponsible operation dared not refuse to carry out the order of Buratai else they would be faced with court-martial, and the weak Nigerian Armed Forces would neither summon the courage to raise objection nor challenge the injustice on that even when they got the information.
Quite often, many Nigerian masses wonder why the Nigerian Army led by General Buratai would not channel the same energy, the Force is using to attack and callously deal with the unarmed and innocent Nigerian citizens whose only offense as far as Buratai is concerned is that they are usually exercising their civic responsibilities by peacefully protesting against the perceived ill-treatment of the present Nigerian maladministration against them, to combat the terrorist attacks of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen. The answer is not far-fetched, and that is, General Buratai is not only sympathetic to the Boko Haram terrorist organization but he is equally, a top member of the group who had deliberately allowed the terrorist organization to grow to the point that it can now conveniently challenge the Nigerian Army, and even wastes her soldiers at will without a reasonable and formidable counter-attack by the Nigerian military to permanently decimate the terrorist group.
To the unsuspecting reader or Nigerians, the aforestated assertions might appear like a fairytale however a few events that will be summarily narrated in the subsequent paragraphs will most definitely be enough to further explain to you, the kind of ruthlessness running through the contaminated and callous veins of Buratai, and one can only feel pity for anyone whosoever allows himself/herself to have contact with the cruel blood of Buratai whose only demand in life is to waste innocent lives in Nigeria to always assuage his quest for the uncomfortability of living without the brutality of the loftiest sinister.
A quick run-through of some of the most heinous crimes that General Buratai committed in conjunction with the Nigerian Army include the following;
12th of December 2015: General Buratai was appointed to the position of the Chief of Army Staff in July of 2015, and barely 5 months in his new position, he ordered the massacre of a good number of the youths of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria whose only crime was that they stood before Buratai’s convoy, unarmed demanding that he listened to them, ensured that the soldiers who gruesomely murdered their unarmed and innocent brothers, and sisters were brought to book.
14th of September, 2017: General Buratai, in his ruthlessness towards the unarmed and innocent Nigerian civilians under the guise of a military onslaught codenamed, ‘Operation Python Dance II’ unleashed a battalion of heavily armed soldiers fully supported with the military tanks and murdered over 27 unarmed Igbo youths in cold blood in Ibeku, Abia State simply because they suspected that they were members of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) since the Nigerian soldiers acting under the instruction of Buratai were mandated to deal mercilessly with the members of IPOB and their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who eventually fled through the help of his loyal members when he got the tip-off that the Nigerian Army had gone bizarre, and was already eliminating suspected members of his group.
20th of October, 2020: Again, General Buratai, in his unexplainable callousness that only his maker can explain where he inherited it from, ordered the Nigerian Army under his watch to use lethal force to disperse the EndSARS protesters protesting peacefully at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, where some of them were killed and a reasonable number injured by bullets fired incessantly by the Nigerian soldiers.
Also, it is essential to point out here in clear terms that the Nigerian Army led by General Buratai had already lost her glory. The Army now parades unscrupulous and unprofessional elements who take pride in harassing and extorting money from innocent civilians in the country. The Force totally became worthless in less than 6 months that General Buratai took over from General Kenneth Minimah in 2015 as the Chief of Army Staff, who replaced General Azubike Ihejirika in 2014. While Minimah and Ihejirika could very well pass as the true definition of Army Generals, Buratai is only a mere product of the dysfunctional system of the quota system in Nigeria which had only succeeded in producing ignoramuses and incompetent leaders in various sectors of the Nigerian Government from the Northern part of Nigeria. This is not to postulate that there are not brilliant minds in the Northern part of Nigeria but oftentimes, the North takes advantage of the quota system to push in their nonentities either in the Nigerian Federal Civil Service, the Police, or Armed Forces hence negating the chance for competence to thrive in the country.
It is high time that the Nigerian masses rose to the occasion once and for all to ascertain that the unmerited quota system that has facilitated the emergence of ruthless, unprofessional, and irrational leaders like General Tukur Yusuf Buratai and many others from the Northern part of Nigeria whose incompetence are currently doing a great disservice to Nigeria. Without sounding disrespectful here, General Buratai has indeed terribly, ridiculed the image of the once Nigerian Army that used to be revered in Africa as one of the strongest military forces in operation, strategy, and military intelligence.
©Dr-Ujunwa MarkAnthony Nze