By Lawrence Audu
“In every one of us there are two ruling and directing principles, whose guidance we follow wherever they may lead; the one being an innate desire of pleasure; the other, an acquired judgment which aspires after excellence.” – Socrates
Two nights ago the entire nation, while retiring from the day’s toil, was served a dose from the presidency, which left everyone in awe; although not too sure what was amiss, typical as we are there were speculations everywhere. –Two generals have been given accelerated promotions in recognition of their commitments and untiring efforts as Nigeria combat the menace of now Islamic State of West African Province, after degrading the dreaded Boko Haram Terrorists.
Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun and Major General Biu have both received presidential commendations and accelerated promotions from their former ranks, a sign that the Nigerian army, and indeed the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, recognise and reward hard work and commitment to national peace. As the Army spokesman puts it, “The officers are granted promotion for their extra-ordinary feats, courage, exemplary leadership, loyalty, uncommon commitment and valour in the counter-insurgency operation in the North-East part of the country.”
These commendations are indeed genuine and devoid of any political, religious or ethnic colouration as wailers would have taken to their social media handles to cry foul why president Buhari has yet again promoted one of his kinsmen. In this case, we see these two generals who were hardly even known to the President, if not for the recommendations of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.
At the just concluded Nigerian Army Day Celebrations and Combat Support Arms Training Week, it was not a surprise at all that the duo of Lieutenant General Adeosun and Major General Biu were spotted for the Chief of Army Staff’s commendation award as one could hear officers and men of the Nigerian Army nodding in one accord that truly these persons deserve such commendations.
I had a first-hand privilege of working closely with General Adeosun while he represented the Chief of Army Staff to celebrate the last Eid with troops battling banditry in the North West. The applause from troops on sighting him remains a testament to his persona.
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Travelling through the thick of the night and bracing scorch of the northern sun, General Adeosun proved himself a commander who, like his boss, leads from the front while the troops follow. Fondly called by his official acronym of C-TOP (Chief of Training and Operations) one would easily think it is his signature of discipline asking soldiers to “sit-up” as a way of restoring one to default settings.
At Kaura Namoda in Zamfara State, General Adeosun was as eloquent as he was clear in charging the troops never to relent in making sure they crush those who have constituted themselves enemies of the State. He reminded troops that that dying for the nation is a sacrifice they have sworn to make if need be. Again, the applause reassured the nation that these men have been recharged, the morale is high and there is no going back.
General Adeosun, who was once a frontline commander in the Northeast of Nigeria, has left his footprints on the sands of time. The story of the degrading of Boko Haram in Nigeria cannot be complete without the mention of his gallant efforts resulting in victory.
Commanding the youngest Divisions of the Nigerian Army established to decisively counter the threat of insurgency, terrorism and armed banditry prevalent in the North-Eastern part of the country is Major General Abdulmalik Biu. Bui is one of the newest kids on the block, who alongside the Chief of Training and Operations, received the accelerated promotions from the Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari.
His exemplary leadership, qualities of humility and courage to confront the terrorists, have also endeared him to the troops under his command.
The Nigerian Army under Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has continued to reward excellence, commitment and gallantry especially as it continues to battle insurgent groups in the country. To this end, the Army chief must be commended for his selfless sacrifices to the nation.
Gen Buratai, by recommending his subordinates into positions most people will consider threatening has once again demonstrated boldness, patriotism and selflessness he has shown that it is all about the peace and stability of Nigeria and not about personal interest or gratification.