Hameed Oyelude Makama, the Olowu of Kuta kingdom in Osun State, has said the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable.
Makama said this during an interdenominational thanksgiving service held in honour of the immediate past chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai (rtd), who is now a non-career ambassador.
Muslim and Christian clerics, including the chief Imam of Kuta, Abdul Akeem Soliu Oloyin, and venerable Michael Dadamu, prayed for Buratai to succeed in his new assignment.
The monarch said as chief of army staff, Buratai served the nation well, especially in the wake of insurgency and banditry.
“My support for the military is purely on national interest and ingenuity of Buratai. With this inter denominational thanksgiving in honour of Buratai, we are promoting loyalty in friendship.
“Buratai is a highly detribalized Nigeria. He is a friend like no other, you don’t need to come from the same home or section or tribe before you can be friends”, he said.
According to him, Kuta and its neighbouring communities will continue to honour Buratai for his contributions to the development in the area, particularly the construction of bailey bridge, which connects many communities in the area.
“Kuta and Buratai family, we strike a cord that we cannot break. We are still thinking of what we can do in this community to immortalize him apart from naming the bailey bridge built in Kuta kingdom. We are not a friend of his office, we are friends for life”, he also stated.
He also praised President Muhammed Buhari for reposing his trust and confidence in the ability of Buratai.
“Being the longest chief of army staff to have served the country, anywhere Buratai is posted to as an ambassador, he’s going to be a tremendous advantage for the country and we are going to see a great improvement in the diplomatic relations of the country,” he added.
He, however, promised that he would continue to extend his support to the current chief of army staff.
Representative of the former chief of army staff at the ceremony, Major Banjo Daniel, described Buratai as a detribalised and patriotic Nigerian who sacrificed his strength and experience for the unity of Nigeria.
He said Nigerians should expect more from Buratai in his current diplomatic assignment.
“Both buratai and Olowu share divine connection. One thing that connects them is their freedom and pure mind. Buratai is a man that every one should love. He’s so humane that he doesn’t turn down any request from him,” Daniel said.
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Yinusa Amobi, the federal lawmaker representing Iwo, Ayedire and Olaoluwa, who also spoke at the event, acknowledged the economic importance of the bailey bridge constructed in the area by the army under Buratai as the chief of army staff.
The occasion was graced by the special adviser to Osun State governor on chieftaincy matters, Rasak Adeosun and other traditional rulers.