By Augustine Ehikioya
Worried by the rising conflicts and consequences across the globe, Nigeria’s former Chief of Army Staff and Ambassador Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai (Rtd.), has called on the global community to take drastic steps to stop all conflicts in the world.
Buratai said enough is enough for the deaths, human sufferings and underdevelopment resulting from the various crises.
He spoke in Lagos State on Sunday during a symposium by the World Institute for Peace (WIP), where he was declared as the pioneer ‘Bearer of Security Torch’ in the world. Security Watch Africa (SWA) was there.
Stressing that the costs of war since the end of the second world war is now almost unfathomable, Amb. Buratai said peace is the ultimate solution to the crises.
He said “With all the above negative consequences of conflicts and crises around the world, peace is the ultimate solution. I shall use this opportunity to call on the members of the global community, especially the United Nations and the super powers to end all conflicts around the world and bring lasting peace to humanity.
“Let there be peace, security and development in our world. Enough of the deaths, human sufferings and underdevelopment,” he added.
According to him, the worsening global crises are reversing progress towards attaining the global goal.
Citing the Global Conflicts Tracker, he said, there are 27 ongoing conflicts worldwide, and that none of them is qualified to be described as ‘improving’.
Also referring to a United Nations (UN) report, the former Nigeria’s Army Chief said two billion people currently live in conflict affected areas across the globe.
Noting that peace is at the heart of national development, he urged all human beings in their capacities in every society to play their part and contribute to peace and security.
According to him, it is no longer realistic to leave the issue of security to security agencies alone.
On his emergence as the pioneer ‘The Bearer of Security Torch’ worldwide, Amb. Buratai said “I sincerely appreciate the World Institute for Peace and the organizers of this symposium for identifying me to be its Torch Bearer.
“In my years of service as a military officer till my position as Chief of Army Staff, I have had the privilege of being an active participant in the quest for peace in Africa and Nigeria, and, of course, globally.
“I dedicate my life to defend Nigeria, Africa and the world as I wholeheartedly accept this honour as a global touch bearer of peace and a forerunner of global peace,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Chairman of WIP, Comrade Lamina Omotoyosi, announced Amb. Buratai as the pioneer Bearer of Security Torch worldwide.
According to him, Buratai was declared the torch bearer due to his contributions to security not only in Africa, but to the world.
Many World Institute of Peace Ambassadors also hooked up with the event from various parts of the world through ZOOM, eulogizing Ambassador Buratai for his great contribution in security.
They specially commended him for his efforts in handling Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria and contributions to security in other parts of the world.
The Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Amb. Ashanika Nidunmi, said “Amb. Buratai is the first to receive this torch. And this is in recognition of his tremendous contribution in the field of security.”
On her part, Amb. Rania Angelakoudi, from Greece, described Amb. Buratai as an extraordinary soldier who committed his life to the safety of life and property in Nigeria.
She also thanked soldiers across the globe for the roles they are playing.
One of the Ambassaddor from London, Mira Warszawski said “The bearer of security torch will be coming every two years. Amb. Buratai is the first person in the whole world to receive this. May God bless all soldiers.”
The highpoint of the ceremony was the presentation of the torch to Buratai by the special guest, Senator Rashidi Gbadamosi, who is the Chairman of Defence in Republic of Benin.
Apart from the torch, which was in form of a tusk, a specially made Staff of Honour was also presented to Amb. Buratai.
Other dignitaries who physically attended the symposium included Member of House of Representatives, Honourable Suleiman Turawa Ribadu and National Coordinator of the African Union Development Agency and Chief Executive Officer of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDAD/NEPAD), Princess Gloria Akobundu.
Others are His Royal Highness, Oba Adetokunboh Tejousho, Olu of Oriel-Kinta, Ogun State; Major General OC Ajunwa, GOC 81 Division, Nigerian Army; Major General Hundeyin Parker, Deputy Commandant, NAFRC Oshodi; Commodore MB Teidi (rtd), President of 29 Regular Course Foundation and Major General II Abbah (rtd), former Military Secretary (Army).