By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has urged the media to continue to support the Nigerian Army in its effort to rid the country of insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of insecurity.
Buratai made the call when he was presented with cover of the UK based African Leadership Magazine by its Group Managing Editor, Mr Kingsley Okeke, on Thursday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), recalls that Buratai was in February honoured with African Leadership Award at the 7th Edition of the Magazine’s Persons of the Year Award in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Buratai featured on the cover page of the June edition of the magazine being the first African military chief to be so honoured by the magazine.
He said that just like the media, clerics were expected to play a role in de-indoctrinating individuals that preach wrong ideologies that encourage insurgency.
Buratai assured that officers and men of the army would continue to perform their constitutional roles professionally, patriotically and diligently in defending the country.
“I am glad that this role that we have been performing has drawn the attention of you the media as well as the publishers and promoters of publications.
“I want to most sincerely thank you all for this visit and we assure you that we will do everything possible to maintain the confidence and trust that you have in us.
“We will continue to do our country proud to ensure that all the insecurity that we are facing in this country are dealt with accordingly.
“We are not doing that alone, but other security agencies and our sister services, Navy and Air Force and of course, all peace living Nigerians have contributed to this.
“We are applying all the arsenals available to us to ensure that we defeat the adversaries and the enemies of the state.
“I am sure that our Imams and Pastors are doing their own jobs to enhance the de-indoctrination of individuals who are bent on preaching the wrong ideology.
“This we are doing deliberately and I believe also the media will join us to fight in their way to ensure that these terrorists, bandits, kidnappers as well as other criminals are brought to their knees,” he said.
Earlier, the Group Managing Editor of African Leadership Magazine, UK, Mr Kingsley Okeke, said that the honour was borne out of the desire to tell the African story in the right perspective.
Okeke said that beyond doing publications and sharing stories, they felt that there was need to create a platform to tell the world what the army had done to make the continent safe.
According to him, they found that the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Buratai is a force that is given to development in tandem with global best practices in continuation of innovations that have been introduced since he came on board.
“It is something that we need to noise abroad and that was why we invited him to South Africa.
“The June edition of the publication featured the army chief and the activities of the army taking about 25 per cent of the publication.
“Beyond that, Buratai is the first COAS in Africa to appear on the cover of the magazine.
“We have hosted presidents on the cover of the magazine, we have hosted business men and women, we have hosted donors, heads of organisations like the Commonwealth of Nations, EU, but we have never had any military on the cover as it were across the continent,” he said.
Buratai also received the cover presentation of the Polo and Event Magazine presented by its founder, Alhaji Muhammad Ndah.