|Lt. General Danbazau|
By Maxwell Ogor Kukuk.
It was the selection of Lt. General Abdulrahman Bello Danbazau as member of President Muhammadu Buhari's entourage, alongside former Governor of Lagos, Barr. Babatunde Fashola and Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, to his meeting with leaders of G7 countries, hosted by German Chancellor, Angela Merkel that restored my vision of the cerebral former military officer as an essential pillar in the building of a new Nigeria.
Though that wasn't Buhari's first engagement of the former Chief of Army Staff in his activities, and confidence in his capability as venerated security expert, the G7 meeting further confirmed identification of the man as trustworthy, creating a vision of his role in the renewed search for solutions to security challenges, and especially to our grossly politicized and thus weakened counterterrorism.
General Danbazau has served as Chairman, Security and Intelligence Committee in the Buhari Campaign Organization at the uncertain period of his presidential bids, with supporters losing sleep over the safety of the presidential candidate, and the opposition becoming openly adversarial in their campaigns, adverts and dispositions. Despite the foiled attempts on Buhari's life, the campaign organization benefitted immensely from the wisdom of its head of Security and Intelligence, as a foremost military strategist who was obsessively defensive of the presidential candidate and sensitive to his safety in that period of trials and uncertainties.
However, the President's meeting with the leaders of G7 countries, which held between June 7 and 8, was to present his "Wishlist" to them, and elaborate on the proposed steps towards accomplishing the wishes. And the top on the list presented to the world leaders was the nation's security, which, for the past six years, was undermined by the resiliently cruel attacks on both civilian population and military formations by the Boko Haram terrorist group, recording unbearably massive casualties.
As Nigerians await announcement of President Buhari's cabinet, attention to our security - which is top on the President's Wishlist - and heads of offices to be tasked with the responsibility of ensuring effective security of the country has intensified, with all speculations favouring Lt. General Danbazau as the nation's next National Security Adviser.
But who deserves to be the next NSA more than the very man who's ensured the security of the President in his most difficult time, and is well trained, in both practice and theory? This is a question for which an answer is obvious, because a position this strategic ought to be for a professional and well-credentialed citizen in whom trust is vested.
And in my endorsement of the former Chief of Army Staff, a short citation of his professional background is pertinent. Born in Zaria, Kaduna State, on March 14, 1954, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau is an indigene of Takai Local Government Area of Kano State. His military career began with the successful completion of his Officer Cadet training, commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Infantry Corps of the Nigerian Army in June 1977.
In the span of this career, he held numerous command, instructional and staff appointments. On command, he was a Platoon Commander at both 146 Infantry Battalion and later 4 Provost Battalion also as a Platoon Commander. He was Group Commander 3 Provost Group from 1990 to1991 and later 1 Provost Group 1992 to1993. He was the General Officer Commanding 2 Division Nigerian Army before his appointment as Chief of Army Staff, a position he held from August 2008 to September 2010.
As a military trainer, he was the Registrar/Instructor, Nigerian Defence Academy (1993-1999) and later Chief Instructor, at the Support weapon Wing of the Infantry Centre and School from 1999 to 2001 and later a Directing Staff at the National War College from 2004 to 2006. He rose to become the Director, Higher Military Organization and Operations at the same Institution in 2006, earning the highly coveted and revered appellation of the Fellow of the War College Dagger (fwc [+]).
His staff appointments, before being appointed the Chief of Army Staff, however, include, among many, Staff Officer at the Headquarters of the Nigerian Army Corps of Military in 1979 before he became an Aide-de-Camp to the then Chief of Army Staff. He was also a Special Investigator at the Special investigation Bureau of the NACMP from 1984 to 1985. He was also appointed Military Assistant to the Director Army Training and Operations at the Army Headquarters. He was again a Staff Officer at the Headquarters of NACMP for one year before his appointment as Military Assistant to the Principal Joint Staff Officer, Joint Headquarters.
He was the Colonel Logistics at the Infantry Centre and School from 2001-2002, and then the Principal General Staff officer to the Honourable Minister of Defence (PGSO-HMOD) in 2006. In January 2007, he was appointed the Chief of Army Standards and Evaluation (CASE).
It wasn't just the military training that has made Lt. General Danbazau a force to reckon with by the political establishment today, it was his his sheer intellectual achievements in combining the brawn and brain that project him as a desired redeemer in our national malaise which President Buhari is committed to actualizing.
Lt. General Danbazau, as a public intellectual, holds a BS in Criminal Justice, MA in International Relations, M.Ed in Higher Educational Administration and then PhD in Criminology. In his intellectual pursuits, he has taught Criminology on part-time arrangement at the Faculty of Law, Ahmadu Bello University, and this was done gratis. He's also authored five books, viz: Military Law Terminologies,, Spectrum Books Limited, 1990; Law and Criminality in Nigeria, University Press, 1994; Issues in Crime Prevention and Control in Nigeria, Baraka Press, 1996; Criminology and Criminal Justice, Nigerian Defence Academy Press, 1999; and Criminology and Criminal Justice, Second Edition, Spectrum Books, 2007. These have solidified his academic contributions and legacy.
As a professional soldier, in whose leadership of the Nigeria Army the Boko Haram insurgents were marked as threat to national security, and as a public intellectual who has written papers on diplomacy, security, the rule of law, media, and human and drug trafficking, and also his membership of relevant international professional networks like Director/Member, International Police Executive symposium, American Society of Criminology, Nigerian Institute of Management Consultants, International Society for Criminology and the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, his competence to serve as advisor to the new government on security matters is beyond any doubt.
Similarly, in our preview of the former military officer's antecedents, and adopting criteria of leadership to calibrate his capability, his military and intellectual credentials present him as actually competent. Of character, however, the former COAS is a humanitarian who doesn't flaunt that for praise, being that he is simply exhibiting his compassion as humane leader. He is the founder and chair of the board of trustees for the Nigerian Society of Victomology and the Foundation for the Victims of Child Abuse.
The aspect of interrelationship with civilians has to be his sensitivity to their plights in his leadership of the Nigeria Army. As reported in a tribute to him in the Thisday newspaper of September 16, 2010, he emphasized What's termed Civil Military Relations to humanize the the military force, and this was seen in the free medical services to the general public, and also sanitation spearheaded by the Nigerian Army under him. He also rehabilitated Army institutions and road networks that serve the civilian population, and this include the DUNAMIS Church road, and 44 NARHK and Command Workshop in Rigachukun, Kaduna. To redeem the image of the Army and foster unity between them and the civilians, Lt. General Danbazau established the Nigeria Army School of Public Relations and Information. For his wisdom, he was honored as a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations. With these beautiful minds around the President, one has agree that change has indeed come to Nigeria!
(Kukuk can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org)