Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has lauded the Nigerian Army and its University for the establishment of Tukur Buratai Institute for War and Peace Studies in Buratai, Biu Local Area of the state.
Zulum gave the commendation during the inauguration of the Headquarters complex for the institute, on Thursday in Buratai.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the institute, being run as a research centre under Nigerian Army Uniersity Biu (NAUB), was established in 2019 to undertake studies in peace building and war studies.
The projects inaugurated are the headquarters complex housing 60 offices for the staff and lecturers with conference halls and lecture halls and theatres as well digital library and ICT centre.
Zulum, who commended the initiative of NAUB and the Nigerian army under Buratai for establishing the institute, said that the state government would partner with them on a number of programmes.
He said the government of Borno would work with the institute to design a template and programme for peace building, reconstruction and development of communities destroyed by the insurgents.
He assured that the state government would do its best in addressing the challenges facing the people particularly in the areas of desertification and agriculture.
According to him, we are all aware of the debilitating effect of the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno and of course the adjoining countries of Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
“I am not unaware of where we were before the assumption of Buratai administration and the successes recorded by the military in the war against terrorism.
“We shall continue to support the armed forces and when we occasionally criticise, we do so with a view to improving on our successes and not out of lack of appreciation.
“With the level of destruction of infrastructure and displacement of people from their communities, we have the onerous task of rehabilitating the people so that they won’t return to their communities without means of livelihood.
“That is why the Borno state government is devoting a lot of resources to empower the people and encourage them to return to their communities. The Nigerian army has been a reliable partner in this endeavour,” he said.
The governor announced the plan by the state government to construct a mega secondary school in the Buratai Community with a view to providing conducive learning environment for students of the new Command Secondary school.
He added that he had also given directive for the immediate rehabilitation of the community’s medical centre.
Zulum commended President Muhammad Buhari for his efforts in restoring peace, security and prosperity of the state and the nation in general.
On his part, the Chief of Army Staff said the institute was part of NAUB system with the distinct aim of understanding all forms of warfare especially new forms of asymmetric warfare like terrorism and insurgency.
Buratai explained that the institute was aimed at training and capacity building of military personnel as well as civilians in counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations, humanitarian response, peace conflict and peace building.
He added that the institute would also focus on reconstruction with a view to influencing policy at states and community levels.
According to him, the institute was first conceived as Nigerian Army’s counter terrorism and counter insurgency museum to systematically archive and record its activities in the counter insurgency operation including pictures and records of fallen heroes for history and posterity.
“The museum was later handed over to NAUB which today has been turned into an institute.
“The institute shall also serve as a reservoir of knowledge based on research and field experience dealing with all aspects of war and peace.
“Special focus will be place on new forms of conflict such as asymmetric warfare, cyber security, peace building and reconstruction, peace keeping and enforcement amongst others,” he said.
Buratai said that terrorism was one of the greatest challenges facing the world with its huge toll on human lives, adding that Nigeria has had its fair share in the form of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.
According to him, the military has been working substantially to defeat the terrorists and restore peace to the affected areas so that people would go back to their normal lives and return to productive activities in their communities.
He commended the gallant officers and men of Nigerian army for their sacrifices in defending the country and its people in all theatres of conflict.
He assured that the Nigerian army would continue to treat their welfare and that of their families with utmost priority.
“I want to also thank Nigerians particularly the leaders and people of the north east for their dogged support to the Nigerian army.
“Without your supports and understanding, the successes recorded so far would not have been possible and please continue to support our security agencies with timely intelligence as the war on terror is a collective responsibility of all,” he said.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of NAUB, Prof. Kyari Mohammed, explained that institute was devoted to the study and research of all aspects of war and peace in the belief that nations go to war some times in order to bring peace.
Mohammed said the history of the institute dated back to 2014 when Buratai town was attacked by the insurgents, adding that the main target was Buratai’s farm house before his emergence as Chief of Army Staff.
He added that the COAS subsequently donated the said house to Nigerian army to be a museum where relics of war against insurgency would be displayed.
According to him, NAUB decided in 2019 to upgrade it to become the centre for counter terrorism and counter insurgency and later decided to upgrade it to an institute in 2020.
“We as academics intend to look for and proffer solutions to why are we where we are today and what should we do not only to end the current situation but to avert future occurrences,” he said.