The immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd), has said that he left the Nigerian Army better than he met it.
Buratai stated this in his valedictory speech during the pulling out parade by the Nigerian Army in Abuja on Friday.
He said that the army under his watch attained tremendous feat in the fight against insurgency and other security threats in the country.
He added that he ensured adequate training of personnel and enhancement of warfare capabilities of the army as well as prioritization of personnel welfare.
Today is a day of appreciation and not a stock-taking. 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 the 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, it was not easy to find the right word to say goodbye to the courageous and dedicated team that worked with him.
He said that the Nigerian Army also made giant strides in infrastructure development across the country.
Buratai commended the officers and soldiers of Nigerian Army for their dedication and loyalty, which he said helped him to achieve so much in office.
The former COAS also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to serve the country as well as providing an enabling environment for him to succeed.
He also commended the effort of the government of Borno State in the war against insurgency, assuring that the war would soon become a thing of the past.
“Let me thank my governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum. He has been supportive to me and, of course, the Nigerian Army, especially in the fight against insurgency,” Buratai who also hails from Borno State noted during the pulling out parade held in his honour at the Mogadishu Cantonment in Abuja.
“He came with a unique leadership and I assure you, collectively, the Nigerian Army and the Borno State Government will end this insurgency within the shortest possible time.”
Buratai also hailed the Nigerian Army for major victories in the fight against insurgency in the northeastern part of the country, saying: “I want to urge the COAS to maintain the momentum and the pressure to rid these last vestiges of the terrorists in the northeast.”
On Thursday, Buratai had handed over the mantle of leadership of the Nigerian Army to the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru.