Nigeria’s Ambassador to Republic of Benin and former army chief, Tukur Buratai has identified ignorance, injustice and poor leadership among others as factors responsible for insecurity and other social challenges in the country.
Buratai said this at the ground breaking and fundraiser for Tukur Buratai Research Centre (TBRC) at Gora in Nasarawa State.
The former Chief of Army Staff said the Centre would collaborate with the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, in the fields of strategic studies, peace and conflict studies and leadership for development.
He said: “One may want to know why a retired general cum diplomat will decide to collaborate with a university to set up a think-tank like TBRC.
“Since this is a straight question, I will respond with an answer that is precise and straight to the point.
“My simple philosophy about life is to continue to live a life of value by improving on the system that we have.
“As someone from the military, I reckoned the best way for me and my associates to add value to our society and make our country better and stronger is through a think-tank like TBRC.’’
Under Buratai’s watch as Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian soldiers killed hundreds of members of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in Zaria, Kaduna State in 2015.
The five-year period he served as Nigeria’s army chief was characterised by massive extrajudicial killings of hundreds of Nigerians by soldiers under his watch. Majority of the soldiers and officers involved in the extrajudicial killings were never prosecuted or held accountable for their crimes.
Speaking at the fundraiser for his new research center, Buratai said Nigeria has potential for greatness but there were insufficient capabilities to transfer those potential into socio-economic benefits for the people.
According to him, inadequate research and development implementation in Nigeria create a massive void in the nation’s progress.
“When properly focused research and training institutes are established, innovation and development become a natural progressive activity that benefits the nation’s life.
“In other words, Nigeria gains the ability to develop positively as a result of enhanced study and training.
“Corruption, insecurity due to terrorism and banditry, inadequate infrastructure, issues in governance and an inept educational system are all systemic flaws.
“With every amount of commitment made to research and training, as well as a strong national orientation one may be confident that we, as a people and a nation, are on the right track.’’
“I would like to utilize this TBRC platform to emphasize that now is the moment for us to turn within and devise home-grown solutions to our unique difficulties,’’ he said.
The ambassador said that TBRC was his way of contributing to national development and giving back to society through a well thought-out approach that would have a long lasting impact on the country.
“As a result of the myriad of socio-economic and political challenges, it may be reasonable to argue that Nigeria can, to a large degree, resolve her development issues through research Buratai said.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that more than N160 million was realised at the occasion with the highest donation of N100 million coming from the BUA Group of company.
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