Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd), the immediate past Chief of Army Staf has revealed that the relationship between his father and President Muhammadu Buhari was what got him the appointment as the COAS.
Buratai revealed this during a gala night organized by the 29th Regular Course Association in Abuja, in his honour.
According to him, his appointment in July 2015 was a prize for the loyalty of his father, Yusuf Buratai, to Buhari.
Buratai’s father was a non-commissioned officer in the Royal West African Frontier Force and a World War II veteran who fought in Burma.
Buratai said, “My father was an ardent lover of the President and my appointment as COAS, therefore, was a price or reward for that gesture by the President. Of course, and as you have been told severally, we (the President and I) met in Njemena and he saw me and felt I was the right person to be COAS at that very crucial and critical moment of our history.
“And I am happy that we have discharged our responsibilities diligently, professionally and loyally, and I will continue to discharge my responsibilities to him and of course to our country and our people.”
Buratai until his removal, was the longest serving Chief of Army Staff in the history of Nigeria, having spent six years in the position.
Barely two weeks after his removal, Buhari nominated him alongside other service chiefs who were equally relieved of their jobs, as non-career Ambassadors-Designate, with Buhari charging the Senate to give expeditious consideration to the nominations.
Buratai’s nomination as well as that of other service chiefs by Buhari, has been interpreted by many as giving them diplomatic immunity to prevent their prosecution at the International Criminal Court, ICC, for their alleged role in human rights abuses such as the killing of over 300 Shi’ite Muslims in Zaria in 2015, hundreds of Biafran agitators, and scores of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate last October.