Adelani Adepegba, Abuja
The immediate-past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.), has said he was nearly retired by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, 21 years ago at the rank of Major.
He did not disclose the circumstances of his encounter with the ex-president but described his attainment of the rank of Lieutenant General and Chief of Army Staff as historic.
Buratai, who disclosed this during his official handover to his successor, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru at the Army Headquarters on Thursday, noted that “the Army will never remain the same due to my transformational leadership and landmark achievements”.
“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo almost retired me 21 years ago when I was a Major. My retirement after 40 years of service is historic, hence, calls for gratitude,” he noted.
While thanking troops serving at home and abroad for their sacrifice, Buratai added that the Nigerian Army has been “better positioned with intelligence gathering techniques and equipment”.
He stated, “The security situation across the country is largely stabilised under my watch, and my administration will be remembered for improved professionalism, improved responsiveness to personnel welfare and responsiveness to Nigeria’s democratic system.”
Also speaking, Attahiru solicited the support of soldiers and officers to reposition the Nigerian Army.
The new COAS thanked the President, Maj. Gen. Muhamamadu Buhari (retd.), for finding him worthy, adding that he counted himself lucky to have been chosen for the army top job.