On the visit of Gen Tukur Y. Buratai COAS to Osun State to commission Projects at Kuta and Asamu.
State Banquet Speech
Please allow me to join my Governor and the good people of Osun State to welcome you to our State, the State of ‘Omoluabi’.
I am particularly grateful to you for taking on the difficult task of building a bridge at a very important part of our state and over the mother river of our State. You have also graciously complimented the efforts of our Government, who has given public health care pride of place in our development, by giving us a clinic.
Perhaps it will be apt to let you know that the last time the Army, as represented by the Army Engineers, struck in our state was the time Governor Bisi Akande decided to face the tricky project of urban renewal at Osogbo. The Army Engineers became handy in the demolition and building work, perhaps the only organization that can get away with such brazen assault on an ancient town. That has now become part of the culture amongst the modernizing elite of our State. It was a brave pioneering work. May I say, you have now carved another image for the Army Engineers, they can build a bridge and a clinic without Demolition.
I am particularly grateful to you and your staff for improving Military Civil relationship by embarking on projects that can contribute to the welfare of our population and for including our state in your activities. I thank you most sincerely.
I have a sneaky feeling that you will brief our Commander In Chief on this visit on your return to base. Please give him the best wishes of Osun People and their expectations that he will leave a memorable landmark in our country at the expiration of his tenure.
Please, grant me the indulgence to mention to him one or two matters that throw me into distress because of my association with him.
The first is this pervasive believe that he is an ethnic bigot, an irredeemable religious fundamentalist, that he firmly subscribes and promotes the possibility of his ethnic Fulani to take over the country, the reason he does not interfere in curbing the brigandage of the Fulani herdsmen, that he has performed woefully in the fight against the terrorist Boko Haram and that he cannot rise to the occasion when it comes to reflecting the heterogeneous composition of our country when it comes to appointments to sensitive positions in his government. These are difficult matters that cannot be addressed in abstract. The whole buck stops on his table.
I cannot claim to have adequate information outside what the media and the ubiquitous social media chew out every second. But I know, that you and your brother Service Chiefs are doing your best within the resources our country can make available to you. Let me suggest to him that he needs to shape up, read the riot act to our people, enlist them in unswerving cooperation to participate fully in the redemption of their country. Arms and brutal force is not sufficient to defeat an insurgency.
I am sure he is aware of the hue and cry from all corners and crannies of our country for secession as if we have not been there before. He needs to stand on his table against the motely crowd of advisers surrounding him and take a firm stand on the reorganization of our country, physically, politically, economically and socially. What we simply term as reorganization in the Armed Forces is what the bloody civilians call RESTRUCTURING. It is long overdue and over flogged, as if it is such an impossibility, an attempt at which, will balkanize the country. As a matter of fact, it is what is required to move our country out of the doldrums into modernity. He cannot afford to pass it on. We may end up without a country, as no country has been known to survive two civil wars.
He can take better counsel in the appointments to the sensitive parts of his government. There are capable and loyal men and women from every village in the country.
We are regaled everyday with blood chilling stories of killings and pillaging of villages, sometimes towns in the North and Central parts of Nigeria, and of recent talks of impending massacres and intensification of kidnapping coming our way in the Southern States and the main protagonists of the disturbance is the Fulani herdsmen. Sometimes we are told that they are Fulani mercenaries from outside Nigeria being sponsored by our Nigerian brothers. The situation is so dare, that in collaboration with unexpected bad weather this year, a famine is imminent. We hear we are already borrowing grains from the ECOWAS countries, the immediate result of farmers being forced to abandon their farms. I suggest to him to read the riot act to the Fulani herdsmen, that it is not acceptable for any foreigner by whatever name called to enter our country illegally and molest our people. They are not welcome. We should not, by mistake of omission or commission allow our people to degenerate to self help. It is a sure road to anarchy and perdition, which will not go away.
Let me thank you profusely for sorting out the pension scheme for the Army. You have stopped the culture of queuing quarterly in the Army barracks for recognition and documentation parade!
On a personal note General, May I appeal to you to consider two favours at your convenience:
One, the rear guard squadron of the Engineer Brigade could be enabled to assist RANAO, Osun State Chapter to complete their almost abandoned secretariat building at Osogbo. It has been roofed.
Two, will it be efficacious to engage any Engineer squadron that is awaiting deployment elsewhere to assist the State Governments who are lucky to have them in the construction of rural roads in furtherance of your civil military relations. Farmers and local commuters will be most grateful.
Chief of Army Staff, Please accept our profound gratitude for this immensurable honor you have done us. It will stand out in the annals of Osun State history.
Your Excellences, Your Highnesses, Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you all.
14 September 2020