Adelani Adepegba, Abuja
The immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.), has said he performed well as the COAS.
He also said he owed no one explanations over his appointment as a non-career ambassador.
Buratai spoke with journalists at a special gala night organised by members of the 29th Regular Course Association of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Abuja, on Saturday.
Buratai and other service chiefs reportedly resigned from office on January 26 after months of calls for their sacking following the rising insecurity in different parts of the country.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), replaced them 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.
Buratai and his colleagues were subsequently appointed non-career ambassadors on February 4, just nine days after their resignation as Service Chiefs.
Asked to react to the People’s Democratic Party’s criticism of their appointment, Buratai said he would not respond to the PDP’s statement, insisting that he is not a politician.
He said, “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.”