The outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and other retired service chiefs will be sorely missed for restoring peace in the South-East, according to the South East Revival Group (SERG).
The group made this known in a touching tribute to the COAS and his counterparts who recently resigned from service.
In a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Benedict Ezeagu, on Thursday, the Igbo group described Buratai as a “detribalized Nigerian who saw the region as home and consequently did all within his powers to boost the security of lives and properties”.
According to Ezeagu, he would forever “remain in our hearts as that Chief of Army Staff that ensured that the activities of kidnappers, ritualists and militant groups were curtailed to the barest minimum”.
The Igbo group noted that due to his exploits, Igbo sons and daughters now come home during the festive season without fear of kidnap or acts of criminalities that previously kept people away for a very long time.
While wishing the departing military heads all the best in their future endeavours, the SERG added that they are welcome whenever they deem it necessary to visit the region.
The group, however, charged the incoming service chiefs to emulate their predecessors by ensuring that they devout time and resources towards the sustenance of peace in the South-East.
The statement read:
“The South East Revival Group welcomes the appointment of Service Chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari to rejig the security architecture in the country.
“We are using this medium to congratulate the new Service Chiefs for their worthy appointment which by all indication is hinged on their enviable track record in the course of their careers in the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The South East Revival Group also appreciates the noble achievements of the outgoing Service Chiefs, especially, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai for his efforts at restoring peace in the South East region.
“The people of South-East Nigeria experienced a detribalized Nigerian who saw the South East region as home and consequently did all within his powers to boost the security of lives and properties.
“Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai would forever remain in our hearts as that Chief of Army Staff that that ensured that the activities of kidnappers, ritualists and militant groups were curtailed to the barest minimum.
“It is consequently to his credit that Igbo sons and daughters now come home during the festive season without fear of kidnapping or acts of criminalities that kept our people away for a very long time.
“The South East Revival Group appreciates his untiring efforts and would not hesitate to recommend Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai for higher responsibility in Nigeria owing to his track record and experience in an illustrious career in the Nigerian Army.
“Our commendation also goes to other Service Chiefs that made invaluable contributions to the restoration of peace in South East region of Nigeria. Their passion and commitment to the Nigerian cause are indeed infectious and highly commendable.
“The people of South-East Nigeria shall not forget in a hurry, the level of insecurity in the region before their appointment, and the present situation, which are mile apart by all ramifications.
“The South East Revival Group thanks President Muhammadu Buhari for his display of statesmanship as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by ensuring that the threats posed by criminal elements in the region were successfully neutralized.
“It is thus a statement of the fact that the Igbos would miss Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai as well as other Service Chiefs as they have written their names in the sands of time in addressing the security challenges in the South East region.
“The South East region is experiencing peace because of their numerous sacrifices manifest in the various military operations that were highly successful in their outings.
“The South East Revival Group also charges the incoming Service Chiefs to take a cue from their predecessors by ensuring that they devout time and resources towards ensuring the sustenance of peace in the South East due to the peculiarities of the security challenges in the region.
“The South East Revival Group wishes the outgoing Service Chiefs the best in their future endeavours. It wishes to inform them that our doors are wide open for them whenever they deem it necessary to visit the South East region. They restored faith in the Igbo people and gave them a sense of belonging in the Nigerian project, unlike in times past.
“The South East Revival Group is convinced that the tenure of the incoming Service Chiefs would not be any different in terms of the level of commitment to the preservation of peace in the South East region because of the robust institutional framework put in place by the outgoing Service Chiefs.”