I am compelled to write this short piece because of the lies some few miscreants are peddling around to tarnish the hard earned name and reputation of General TY Buratai, the former Chief of Army Staff. Of particular interest to this liars and hate mongers is the modest modern industrial farm he had set up along Keffi road, near a locality known as Zimbabwe. This group of people say that General Buratai set up a lucrative farm with stolen money from government. This is far from the truth; it is a total fallacy. My worry is that, as usual some gullible Nigerians might end up believing this misinformation that is calculated to smear the name of General Buratai( rtd) as the gospel truth.
Before I set the record straight, I want to make it categorically clear that the former COAS is a man of integrity, probity and accountability. His passion for fiscal discipline as well as due diligence in the release and management of resources is second to none in the history of the Nigerian Army. Under his watch as COAS, every kobo was accounted for because all transactions were made through electronic payments. After that it goes through checks and approvals from the appropriate unit heads.
Now, to this issue of the private farm owned by General Buratai which some people with sinister motives want to use to stain the reputation of the former COAS. Before I address this matter, I want them to understand that for the fact that the farm was set up in Nigeria alone is a good thing because it has brought development and created jobs. Visit the farm and you will see for yourself.
The farm is officially known as Tukur and Tukur Farms and it is a limited liability company. The first name of General Buratai is Tukur; a name given to him in honor of the district head of Gunda. I was reliably informed that General Buratai bought the farm land as far back as 1996 or so; that was when he served as Administration Officer in the Villa during the reign of the late General Sani Abacha. He was a natural born farmer who loves the planting of crops and rearing animals. He bought the large expanse of farmland at a very cheap price because as of then the place was a bush. There were no people or development near it. But anyone who has a longterm plan for investment will not hesitate to buy it because its value will appreciate and development will eventually come closer to. This inform the reason why General Buratai built his residence in Mararraba which is a township located in Nassarawa State. The late Sarkin Hausawa ( Alhaji Mohammed Jajere) of Mararraba is known to me and this information is known in his palace. General Buratai ploughed all his earnings into his private residence, mosque and farm; he wants his life to revolve around this three places. I can vividly remember that there is also a free water distribution channel at the Mararraba residence for the people of the neighbourhood. He rose to the rank of major general and Commander MNJTF while still occupying the Mararraba residence and tending to his farm. The whole thing about the farm was a gradual thing that took nearly two decade to bring it to it present stage. It was a good plan and people like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo did same. Take loan from the bank and plough it into their farms where they rear animals and plant crops. It’s not just a lucrative business but also a better way to enjoy one’s retirement.
Tukur and Tukur Farms is today is a highly efficient company that produces thousands of creats of eggs daily, good cows that produces milk for yoghurt, economic snakes and the rest. For those who don’t know snake venom is the best botox for plastic surgery nowadays. Quick, almost painless, and increasingly affordable, it’s now the go-to procedure for fighting the signs of aging. While effective, it’s certainly not something everyone is on board with. By implication, it means it is a highly profitable business.
General Buratai ( Rtd) said it that he would have been retired by Chief Obasanjo in 1999 but God ruled otherwise and used the then COAS, late General Victor Malu to prevent it. Although President Muhammadu Buhari was at PTF when Buratai served as Admin Officer at the Villa, their paths never crossed. In anycase Buratai and President Buhari first encountered each other in 1975. At that time President Buhari was the Military Governor of Borno State while Buratai was a JSS 1 student at Teacher’s College Maiduguri. President Buhari was fond of visiting the school in the evening to watch the boys play sport. It was there that they met each other. Still, Buratai didn’t lobby to be made COAS by this government. In fact he was in faraway Ndjamena as Commander MNJTF when President Buhari appointed him as the 20th COAS. He served this country, gallantly and diligently for 66 months as COAS and then turned in his resignation letter to the President. Many eminent Nigerians including the new COAS testified that Buratai served this country meritoriiusly as COAS. He is now a retired military officer but as God will have it, he is now an ambassador designate.
This is a man raised by God. No Jupiter can pull him down or tarnish his image and reputation. His secret are his life principles which comprises of diligence, integrity, loyalty, courage,empathy and faith in the will and plan of God.
Dr. Abubakar writes from Maiduguri