The former Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tkur Buratai on Thursday formally handed over the reign of the Nigerian Army to his successor, Major General Attahiru.
Buratai retired from the service after 66months as Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, the longest serving in the history of Nigeria.
Recounting his experience in service both as a military officer and as a COAS in his valedictory speech during the Pulling Out Parade by the Nigerian Army on Friday in Abuja, Buratai said he counted himself lucky as he could have been retired in 1999 by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“I could have been retired in 1999 as a major along with my classmate by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo. Our names were compiled for compulsory retirement in that year, but I miraculously escaped the moment,” Buratai stated.
Speaking further, Buratai said: “The Nigerian Army under my leadership was able to achieve great feat in the fight against insurgency in the country.”
He said that the army under his watch had achieved a 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 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,” Attahiru said.