The first ever Force Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) of LCBC, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, current Nigerian Chief of Land Staff, was awarded the Honour Medal of the MNJTF on Monday, 24th July 2017 in N’Djamena by the Executive Secretary of LCBC, Head of Mission of the MNJTF. This decoration is the recognition of the professionalism, courage, dignity, tact and temperance, Lieutenant General Buratai exercised during his term of office at the helm of this sub-regional Force of which reactivation was decided at the Extraordinary Summit of LCBC Heads of State and Government held in May 2012 in Niamey. This reactivation aimed at countering the atrocities and spread of the Boko Haram terrorist group, which threatened stability in the entire sub-region.
The medal award ceremony took place in the Conference Room of the Commission in the presence of a cross-section of administrative, civil and military personalities, including the new Commander and staff officers of MNJTF, ambassadors of LCBC Member States in N’Djamena or their representatives, the respective military attachés, the Chief of the Coordination and Liaison Cell of Barkhane Operation, the representative of the Chadian Chief of Defence Staff, LCBC senior staff and numerous invitees.
‘’ I am honoured to award the Multinational Joint Task Force medal to a gallant Officer, who was instrumental in the growth of MNJTF during its first steps and who played a vital role in the development of the cooperation and union between the armed forces of LCBC member countries’’, said the Executive Secretary.
Lieutenant General Buratai was very amazed by this decoration and thanked LCBC and MNJTF for it while he is still fighting against Boko Haram in Nigeria in line with his current position. He dedicated the medal to the strength of 10,000 men of the Force, who tirelessly is fighting against this terrorist group whose cruelty and barbaric acts emerged too much in the history of terrorism. He further expressed his gratitude to the LCBC Heads of State and Government for their vision and determination in implementing this joint Force of which achievements are outstanding despite the limited resources used by it.
Lieutenant General Buratai is a renowned officer graduate from the Kaduna Military Academy. He ran all the management positions in the Nigerian Army. He is very conversant with both military and civilian issues thanks to his wealth of experience acquired in numerous UN peace-keeping operations. His appointment as Chief of Land Staff of the Nigerian Army by President Muhammadu Buhari, in July 2015 is not haphazard. A number of successes recorded by the Nigerian Army since his appointment are attributed to him as he usually goes to the theatre of operations. He even escaped an ambush laid by terrorists during which some of his staff passed away.