OPINION | General Buratai: Why Leadership is Key in the War against  Insurgency, By David Onmeje 

*Gen TY Buratai, Nigeria's chief of army staff.
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Leadership is an art meant for those that understand the intricacies involved in bringing about positive change in every society. I say this for the fact that in Nigeria, one of the banes of our numerous challenges remains the lack of sound and credible leadership by those saddled with the responsibility of translating our hopes and aspirations into tangible realities.
The recent commendation of the Air Task Force, Operation Lafiya Dole by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TY Buratai for playing a decisive role in repelling the Boko Haram attack in Marte, Borno State, recently brings to fore why leaders in Nigeria must rise to the occasion when the need arises.
The action of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai is such that should inspire hope in Nigeria on the commitment of the security agencies towards addressing the security threats in the country. I can’t but commend this display of professionalism in the prosecution of the war against Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. The synergy level that has existed amongst the Armed Forces is exceptional and contrary to the insinuations in certain quarters of a lack of cooperation and other acts that undermines the winning of the war against insurgency in the country.
I know for sure that the ground troop in warfare requires air support in advancing because of its considerable advantage. The Army increasingly views airpower as indispensable to its warfighting concepts. It seeks mechanisms to ensure that it is available and responsive to the needs of the land forces. This much has been exhibited in the war against insurgency in Nigeria. Needless, I mention that the recent commendation by the Chief of Army Staff indeed buttresses this strategic alliance which is an indication that the overall operational strategy deployed is yielding the desired results.
For those of us conversant with the dynamics involved in asymmetric warfare, I say that the Chief of Army Staff’s posture has indeed indicated that the Boko Haram war would come to an end sooner than we think for all the indices shows so.
I am of the firm conviction that the appointment of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai as Chief of Army Staff was not an accident as he has continually provided that leadership that turned the tides against the Boko Haram insurgents. And the fact that there has been no grandstanding or taking personal credit is an attribute of a leader that understands that success is a function of teamwork and not individual efforts.
This also brings to the fore that a true leader leads even within leadership. Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has been providing leadership even amongst equals which also confirms the Nigerian Army’s contributory role to the war against insurgency. This is noble and must be emulated by others in the security sector in the prosecution of the war against insurgency in Nigeria.
What I am saying, in essence, is that credit must be given to whom it due. For example, the Inspector General of Police must commend the Nigerian Army whenever successes are recorded in internal security operations. And likewise, the Chief of Air Staff must also commend the Nigerian Army whenever successes are recorded in joint operations in the prosecution of the war against insurgency and other acts of criminalities in the country.
The Nigerian Air force case is pronounced because they must work with the Nigerian Army to address the security threats in the country. Both institutions must sustain this alliance which remains crucial to ending the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. Make no mistakes; I am not by any stretch of imagination insinuating that there hasn’t been that synergy between the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force. However, instead, I am bringing out the positive gains that would be attained if the present synergy is sustained and built.
This piece is consequently an appeal to the Armed Forces’ leadership in Nigeria to see the task at hand as a collective endeavour rather than a solo run. There must be a synergy that leaves no room for individual glory. That has remained the norm in successful outings in warfare globally. The Air Force uses air power to clear the path for ground troops and provide that critical cover in battle.
This example provided by the Chief of Army Staff is indeed noteworthy. It must awaken us to the reality that for Nigeria to work, we must imbibe the principle of structural functionalism which requires all playing their role in the task at hand. We must also realize that the Nigerian Army cannot do it all alone. Like the Nigerian Airforce played a decisive role in repelling the Boko Haram attack in Marte to support the ground troops.
We must learn to commend the security agencies when they do well to encourage them to carry out more exploits in addressing the security challenges in the country. I can bet that if this is the order of the day, Nigeria can defeat acts of terrorism in no distant time.
At this point, my commendation goes to the leadership of the country’s security agencies for their great sacrifices thus far. It can only charge them to continue to give in their best in service to our fatherland.
I also want to commend the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai who has exhibited credible leadership since he assumed office. His level of professionalism and dedication to duty has seen the numerous successes recorded in the prosecution of the war against insurgency and other criminalities acts across the country.
The leadership qualities of the Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai were also in focus on the involvement of the Nigerian Army in internal security operations across the country in support of the efforts of the Nigerian Police Force. This is also commendable and gives us a peep that leadership entails that what you do has a far more significant impact than what you say. This is the Tukur Buratai style that should be imbibed by leaders across Nigeria in our quest for the Nigeria of our dreams.
As I mentioned earlier, the commendation by the Chief of Army Staff might seem a simple task. However, it goes beyond that for it is indeed strategic and sends a strong message to those in the business of perpetuating crime and criminalities in the country that there is a synergy amongst the country’s security agencies. And no matter how hard they try; the ranks of the security agencies can’t be broken.
I can go on non-stop. But the take away is that with sound leadership, Nigeria would defeat its adversaries. The Chief of Army Staff has indeed done well so far, and I expect that other security heads would toe this path in the country’s overall interest.
The war against insurgency has recorded tremendous success so far, and I am of the firm conviction that the end must be seen in our time with the efforts so far. It consequently behoves on us to see to the fact that the efforts of our security agencies are appreciated. We should do well not to join the bandwagon of mischievous elements whose actions are propelled by the support they have been receiving from crisis merchants in their despicable and desperate plot to cause Nigeria’s disintegration.
*Onmeje is the Managing Director, TheNigerian News and is based in London.
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