From Molly Kilete, Abuja
Former Chief of Army Staff(COAS), Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, was on Friday pulled out of the services of the Nigerian Army in a colorful parade held at the Mogadishu Cantonment, Asokoro, Abuja.
The pulling out paraded was part of the military tradition in honouring a retiring Chief of Army Staff.
Activities for the parade which include march past by officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army, also featured the unveiling and launching of the book entitled “The Legend of Buratai”, written by the former COAS.
In his address at the occasion, minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, while unveiling the book, said the event which signifies the end of the military career of the former army chief, said it was aimed at celebrating the numerous achievements of Buratai as Army Chief.
The minister while noting that the book, “The Legend of Buratai Volume 2″, was a chronicle of the life and times of Buratai while growing up, said the book would inspire the younger minds to aspire higher in life and urged the readers to take their time to digest it, noting that all the narratives in the book were real.
In his valedictory speech, Buratai, said that the army under his leadership achieved tremendous feat in the fight against insurgency and other security threats in the country.
He said that he ensured adequate training of personnel and enhancement of war fare capabilities of the army as well as prioritisation of personnel welfare.
“Today is a day of appreciation and not a stocktaking, but let me put on record that I left Nigerian Army better than I met it.
“The Nigerian Army under my leadership was able to achieve great feat in the fight against insurgency in the country.
“We have been experiencing pockets of threats here and there, but I can confidently say that no part of Nigeria is ceded to any terrorist group or criminals.
“The counter insurgency operation is a warfare new to Nigerian Army but over time, we have continued to device means of tackling the ever evolving dynamic nature of the threats in the country.
“The Nigerian Army has remained resolute in the discharge of its roles as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I urge you all to continue to rise to the occasion,” he said.
Buratai said that while it was always necessary to say goodbye at a point in life, he said it was not easy to find the right word to say goodbye to the courageous and dedicated team that worked with him.
On infrastructural development, Buratai, said that Nigerian Army made giant strides in infrastructure development across the country even as he commended officers and soldiers for their dedication and loyalty, which he said assisted him to achieve so much in office.
While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity given him to serve the country as well as providing an enabling environment for him to succeed, Buratai, commended the effort of the government of Borno in the war against insurgency, assuring that the war would soon be a thing of the past.
He urged politicians to always leave military out of politics, adding that the country needed politicians who are statesmen to support the military in addressing the prevailing security challenges.
According to him, there is no gain saying that there cannot be development without security and lack of development breeds insecurity.
He solicited support for the new Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, to be able to deliver on his mandate.