By Aiyeku Timothy
The immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.), has said his appointment as a non-career ambassador is well-deserved.
Buratai, who spoke at a special gala night organised by members of the 29th Regular Course Association of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Abuja, said he performed well as the COAS.
He said he owed no one explanations over his appointment as a non-career ambassador as there were negative reactions from some quarters.
Buratai and other service chiefs resigned from office on January 26 and have been replaced by President Muhammadu Buhari with new officers, including Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor as Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, as Chief of the Air Staff.
Just nine days after their resignation, Buratai and his colleagues were appointed non-career ambassadors on February 4.
With the People’s Democratic Party criticizing their appointment, Buratai said he would not respond to their stance, insisting that he is not a politician.
His words: “It’s an honourable retirement and also an honourable appointment. I’m not a politician, so I have no word for the opposition. I have done well.”
He said he stood out while in charge as the COAS, saying, “I am happy that in July last year, my officers at the Army headquarters compiled a compendium of my achievements.
“In fact, I can’t even remember all the projects that we have executed. Is it in terms of infrastructure? Is it in terms of capacity building? Is it in terms of training?
“Since I was appointed, there was never a dull moment in terms of training. Remember the various exercises. These are training exercises from ‘Python dance’, ‘Crocodile smile’, and even the latest one ‘Exercise Sahel Sanity’.
“Is it in the area of medical? In terms of education of our children and wards, the Nigerian Army University are all great achievements.”