“O God, our help in ages past
Our hope for years to come
Be Thou our guard while life shall last
And our eternal home”
I wrote this piece with deepest sorrow and sadness, ‘I stand with Nigerian Army’ with all sense and honour, I pray for all the victims and fallen heroes whom became the latest Boko Haram victims when the Metele camp was attacked. May their souls rest in perfect peace, Amen.
The above verse of Christian song was a quote, a reaction of Barrister Mrs Toyin Saraki @ToyinSaraki over the Boko Haram killing of Nigerian soldiers in Metele camp. This verse said it all, where we are coming from as a nation, where we are and where we should go.
Agony of a mother; that some feelings that cannot be expressed in words are better in songs dissected my brain like a flash, and I wept for my nation. Courage of life is a mixture of triumph and tragedy, a man does what he must in spite of obstacles dangers and pressures. And that is the basis of all morality, was a popular quote of former US President, J.F Kennedy expressing what our lifetime experiences may come with. Women folks pay more, child birth is no joke, a 12cm length journey a lifetime is nothing but ‘life or death’ during pregnant woman childbirth….life experiences explain, no wonder mortality rate at is very high.
To serve Nigerian with all my strength, gallant men lay down their lives for unity and peace, for you and I as a nation, but ironically, the best weapon we provide to fight our enemy is obsolete, oh my goodness, no one but a mother can best feel the pain of hapless but valiant Nigerian soldiers.
Soldiers who survived the attack by Boko Haram on the military formation in Metele have sent a ‘Save Our Soul’ message to President Muhammadu Buhari, to probe the quality of weapons procured by the military authorities and save them from further avoidable deaths. A video that went viral showed the soldiers accusing the military authorities of providing them with obsolete weapons, which they said are grossly inadequate to effectively confront the insurgents in the ongoing counter insurgency campaign in the Northeast…life and money, many wondered.
Allegations against the military authorities accusing them of negligence, which resulted in the death of scores of their colleagues in a series of attacks coordinated by the Albarnawi faction of the Boko Haram at Metele in Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno state. Most believed foreign wire agencies which reported that dozens of soldiers were killed when the insurgents attacked Metele military base on November 18.
Falanmugulise, all men will die, we all belief, but how do you explain precarious cases when some men are playing gods, life to them meant nothing but sarcasm. The story of surviving soldiers accusing the military authorities of procuring obsolete weapons is viral yet many believed they can never be true, yes, but beyond reasonable doubt, better defence is necessary here…no life is inferior, ask mothers.
Two soldiers, who claimed to be among the survivors of the attack, narrated the precarious condition of the troops and obsolete equipment which made it difficult for them to repel the insurgents’ attack. The video footage showed the level of destruction of military equipment and makeshift shelters, while soldiers were seen packing their luggages, apparently preparing to leave the camp. The soldiers repeatedly appealed to our dear President Buhari to intervene to save the situation from deteriorating further.
Quoting the video “see what the Nigerian Army has been doing to us, they brought us here. See how they killed our fellow soldiers, they burnt them inside the tanks”, a narrator in the video said.
“They are using us to make money; why? Are we not human beings? They can kill soldiers inside a tank; if Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) can penetrate M-RAG vehicle, what of a fellow human being? “This is the location called ‘Metele’, This is a place they (the insurgents) took over 40 barrel and these people want to use us, and within one week they killed over 200 soldiers and we are now 147, they want to waste us here. It is a lie, our blood is not here. “This is a Third World vehicle, a tank manufactured in 1972; and Albarnawi broke all of it. They want to use us and we are not getting anything from them. We want to tell the government of our condition. “Please; the Federal Government should intervene before the insurgents come and kill us. They mocked us and said we are Zombies; animals, we do not know our rights, any order given to us we will follow. “We are millennium soldiers, most of us are graduates. Seek no help elsewhere; but in God. Oh yeh mothers, hashtags like #honourourfallenheroes, #standwithourtroops, #prayforourtroops, and millions more are not enough for these graduate soldiers. Though, the military authority response five days after was short on details and the extent of casualties as many Nigerians reacted…may be indeed, the video is true after all.
Indeed, when you fight your life battle, truly, the gods choose your weapon is certainly the fate that awaits an armless fighter of gulf war. But a good weapon is courage any day, know and use your strength wisely, one man can equal ten thousand.
Yes, we need to fight, but we don’t need to die mercilessly in front of tyrants, and should not be like a roman fool who died by his own sword.
Many believe that modern and technology driven warfare with this faceless Boko Haram is possible in this age and times. Eh oo, imagine ‘Boko Haram self get drone’, a pidgin woman was telling her friend after reading the news from her phone. So ‘but how come my dear country no come get am’ was the response from her friend – conversion at a bus stop.
The army said that it has laid down procedures for reporting incidents that involve its personnel who become casualties in action, as a form of respect to the families of the gallant troops. It noted that the families were first to be notified before any form of public information so as to avoid exacerbating their grief were they to discover it from unofficial sources.
“We shall remain forever pained at this monumental tragedy. As you reflect over the sorrow visited upon our nation by these irreligious and satanic creatures, incensed by the swords of the devil, we stand firmly behind you”, a quote from a women’s group urging Nigerian army not to be deterred by Metele attack.
Metele Attack: we don’t need to investigate killing of Nigerian soldiers’ was credited to the Presidency. Shehu Garba, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity who featured on a TV programme, said probing the circumstances surrounding the attack, which the army authorities said led to the killing of 23 soldiers would constitute an, “unnecessary distraction for the armed forces. Where it was quoted said it is not interested in investigating the killing of troops of the Nigeria army by Boko Haram insurgents in Metele.
Though President Muhammadu Buhari expressed deep shock over the killing of military personnel in Metele village by Boko Haram terrorists, he gave an assurance that immediate measures are being taken to ensure that the loopholes, which led to the fatalities are blocked once and for all.
Mallam Shehu also declined comment on the balance of the $1bn security fund sourced from the Excess Crude Account to buy Super Tucano fighter jets and supplementary armaments for fighting the insurgents valued at an estimated sum of $500m.
His words: “I will not agree that investigating the Metele attack is necessary. I would think that if that is done, it will be an unnecessary distraction of the armed forces, who are fighting hard with their whole lives to safeguard the country”, he also agreed that attacks of such calls for serious security concern.
According to President Buhari, “No responsible Commander-in-Chief would rest on his oars or fold his hands to allow terrorists to endanger the lives of its military personnel and other citizens. Our loyal forces have proved their strength over the terrorists and we are ready to give them all the needed support in terms of equipment and manpower to succeed in ending the renewed threat. In the coming days, I am engaging the Military and Intelligence Chiefs in extensive discussions on the next steps we shall be taking.” The President noted that fighting terrorism has taken a global dimension, which necessitates international collaboration among states facing similar security challenges.
From generations to generation, heaven had been our eternal home – all human being originated from very first man, Adam and Eve. “I am a descendant of Abraham, just like Bishop Crowther @MBuhari quoting President Muhammadu Buhari when he agreed to the fact that we will all return to almighty Allah. Many believe that a smart commander does not abandon the defensive advantage; you don’t just need army, but just few good men to win the war. World over, there is no bad army but bad generals. Power corrupts they say, imagine what absolute of it can do in term of erroneous leadership. We all knew how the world works; often, two ways, the wicked and wealth beyond the weak, justice.
Often, you don’t need wealth when you can make a woman laugh and happy. Our mothers are crying for urgent and decisive ways out of the unfortunate, untimely and callous death of their sons and husbands. The life of every Nigeria security officer and men matters and should be of great concerns in future. Adequate funds and proper utilisation should be the focus, if true, can Mallam Shehu defend the balance of the $1bn security fund to buy Super Tucano fighter jets and others meant for Boko Haram war valued at an estimated huge $500m with many other known and unknown of such?
Truly, traitors are worst than enemy as it requires wisdom to understand wisdom, Toyin’s twit put in plain words – when men in authority surcharge their nation, then only the maker, our guard that has brought Nigeria this far. We should run back to him, ‘our creator’ in whom there is peace was the message from Nigerian mothers as Toyin Saraki twitted.
*Ayobrown, Senior System Analyst, National Pilot Newspaper, writes via email@example.com