By Taiwo Okanlawon
Former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai received an award of Fellowship and Ambassador of Peace by the Institute for Crisis Resolution, Peacebuilding and Conciliation (ICRPC).
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Buratai also received awards of excellence from six youth organisations and socio-cultural groups including the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN).
The various organisations are the Northern Women Assembly, Tiv Youth Peace Initiative, University of Maiduguri Students Union Government, National Patriotic Youths Against Corruption and Transparency Initiative and the Yoruba Youths Assembly.
The President of the Institute, Mohammed Wakil, while presenting the award to Buratai during a dinner on Saturday, said the two awards were in recognition of the former army chief’s selfless service to Nigeria.
Wakil, a former Minister of State for Power under former President Goodluck Jonathan, said that Buratai’s exemplary leadership as army chief played a crucial role in sustaining the corporate existence of the country.
He said ICRPC also decided to confer on the Ambassador-Designate an award of Ambassador of Peace to encourage him to continue to champion peace of Nigeria at all times.
Other groups who presented various awards extolled the former army chief for his doggedness and professionalism in the fight against terrorism and other security challenges in the country.
The President of NYCN, Mr Solomon Adodo, said the council endorsed all the awards being conferred on Buratai, adding that the commitment of Buratai to one Nigeria was commendable.
Adodo said that the Nigerian Army under Buratai did a lot to defeat the terrorists, adding that the youths were aware that the terrorists would continue to contrive ways to achieve their aims.
The youth leader however called on all Nigerian youths to shun violence and work towards national cohesion to ensure peace and stability of the nation.
Receiving the awards, Buratai appreciated the various groups for the recognition and awards, especially from the youths.
Buratai said he was able to provide examples in patriotism, courage, commitment and service through his roles in the last five and half years as chief of army staff.
“I know it has not been easy leading and equally, it has not been easy having to follow a leader who is determined under pressure and indeed force in some individuals to carry out very risky tasks.
“We did that with all commitment and with all the desire for us to have a peaceful nation and to have our country secured and defend our territorial integrity.
“The recognition is a call for me to serve my country more in whatever capacity I have been put especially now that I am an ambassador-designate.
“It is telling me from their various speeches that there is nothing as good as serving your country diligently, loyally with all your heart and all the commitment that goes with them,’’ he said.
The former army chief pledged to continue to provide mentorship to the youths through the Tukur Buratai Centre for Research to imbibe in them the importance of peace and development.