Chris Steven, Abuja
Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Turkur Buratai has won the Africa Man of the Year 2017 Award for his personal commitment to anti-insurgency war in Nigeria and, by extension, West Africa sub-region as well “for being rare officer, a real gentleman, whose patriotic zeal in executing the war against Boko Haram is exemplary”.
He was named as the Africa Man of the Year while the Nigerian Army won the Best Institution of the Year 2017 for their supreme sacrifices and relentless efforts to clear the country of not only the Boko Haram insurgents but all forms of criminal elements for citizens to coexist peacefully.
The confirmation of this prestigious honour on the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army as an Institution was announced in Abuja by the Pan-African amalgam, the Coalition For Governance and Leadership in Africa.
According to a statement signed by the group’s Award and Privileges Committee Chairman, Okpokwu Ogenyi, the coalition also noted that as an infantry officer, Lt. General Tukur Buratai’s “professional approach to operational planning to fight insurgency is highly plausible.
“For us, the successes so far made in the war against terrorism in Nigeria came as a combination of good leadership enhanced by motivation through enhanced troops morale by the land forces under General Buratai.
“Records available to to us show that, General Buratai’s personal sacrifice, commitment, zeal, and determination towards eradicating insurgency in Nigeria, and by extension the whole of West Africa, have not only resulted in the defeat of Boko Haram in Nigeria but has promoted regional peace and stability across African Nations”, the coalition stated.
The group added that “Pockets of attacks by degraded and fleeing Boko Haram insurgents not withstanding, the Nigerian military as an institution have made unquantifiable supreme sacrifices and given their all to ensure that we all coexist in peace and harmony in the year under review.”
The Coalition For Good Governance and Leadership in Africa noted that the winners emerged after its Award and Privileges Committee “considered numerous nominations from various organizations and individuals across Africa, disclosing that after a tedious screening exercise, the two nominees came tops.
The leadership award is an annual Honour bestowed only on two African Leaders or institutions that have distinguished themselves in promoting regional peace, infrastructure, wealth creation, food security, education, and health, among others.
Some eminent Africans who have received the honour in the past included Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr. Atta Mills (late), Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Monday Riku Morgan, to mention a few.