Ambassador Tukur Buratai has identified ignorance, weak justice system and poor leadership among others as factors responsible for insecurity and other social challenges in the country.
Buratai, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Republic of Benin and former Chief of Army Staff, spoke at Gora in Nasarawa State.
He spoke at the ground breaking and fundraiser for Tukur Buratai Research Centre.
The former Chief of Army Staff said the Centre would collaborate with the Nasarawa State University, Keffi in the fields of strategic studies, peace and conflict studies and leadership for development.
He said: “One may want to know why a retired General cum Diplomat will decide to collaborate with a university to set up a think-tank like TBRC.
“Since this is a straight question, I will respond with an answer that is precise and straight to the point.
“My simple philosophy about life is to continue to live a life of value by improving on the system that we have.
“As someone from the military, I reckoned the best way for me and my associates to add value to our society and make our country better and stronger is through a think-tank like TBRC.”
Buratai said Nigeria has potential for greatness but there were insufficient capabilities to transfer those potential into socio-economic benefits for the people.
According to him, inadequate research and development implementation in Nigeria create a massive void in the nation’s progress.
He said: “When properly focused research and training institutes are established, innovation and development become a natural progressive activity that benefits the nation’s life.
“In other words, Nigeria gains the ability to develop positively as a result of enhanced study and training.
“Corruption, insecurity due to terrorism and banditry, inadequate infrastructure, issues in governance and an inept educational system are all systemic flaws.
“With every amount of commitment made to research and training, as well as a strong national orientation one may be confident that we, as a people and a nation, are on the right track.
“I would like to utilise this TBRC platform to emphasise that now is the moment for us to turn within and devise home-grown solutions to our unique difficulties.”
The ambassador said that TBRC was his way of contributing to national development and giving back to society through a well thought-out approach that would have a long lasting impact on the country.
He added: “As a result of the myriad of socio-economic and political challenges, it may be reasonable to argue that Nigeria can, to a large degree, resolve her development issues through research.”
Prof. Suleiman Mohammed, the Vice Chancellor, Nasarawa State University, said the institute and TBRC had identified their research and development partnership based primarily on security and strategic studies.
Mohammed said: “The vision and mission of the Buratai Centre aligns with the university’s policy and strategy for impacting the society.
“The centre’s motto, which is to promote research for leadership and development, is a strong statement about the ultimate value of research to impact humanity positively.
“We envisage that the centre will be a hub for cross fertilisation of ideas on security, peace, conflict, leadership and development issues.”
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State performed the ground breaking and donated N50 million to the Centre.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that more than N160 million was realised at the occasion.