Blood Runs Through Veins: An Overlooked Episode - By Shuaibu Kabiru Usman
The whole Nigeria seems to be on the verge of total derangement as we are being absolutely stultified and brainwashed into the false and misleading belief that democracy is the best system of governance to practice. Majority of Nigerians cannot understand that the spate of insecurity being experienced which has proved to have adverse effects and claimed alot of lives in Nigeria is due to the fact that democracy backfires on the state. However, it is neither my preoccupation to belittle or denigrate democratic style of governance, nor is it my aim to accuse or apportion the blame or berate any partisan politician or political party. Rather, I feel compelled by necessity and kindled by a particular fated incident to write about an issue, majority of us do not give a damn to, not much concerned about, not touched and even not sympathetic towards the victims.
When I received the sad news, I almost had shed tears as I began to reminisce my first and only encounters with him. I had to fight my emotion before I conceive the news and shock I got, and then started to view the ordeal from their lens and that of their families. He was indeed a kind, humble and a friendly Army Captain, the Black Gold NYSC Camp Commandant, 2018 Batch A. It was around 1400hours on Thursday, that I received a phone call just to be informed of the death of my Camp Commandant. Your Camp Commandant is late, he was ambushed together with his team of soldiers, on the phone, I was told. As a mandatory part of the NYSC scheme I was at Black Gold NYSC Camp for 20day-Orientation Course, whereat Captain Abimbola was the Camp Commandant. My beloved brother being an Army Captain too, I simply and without giving out a penny secured relocation from Kaduna state to my state of origin, Jigawa state. Rest In Peace, Captain Abimbola and all others that lost their lives in the face of the fight against insurgency in Nigeria. I pray may Allah help and protect you Captain Abdulmajid Kabir and all those military personel that put their lives at stake in a bid to ensure safety of Nigerians and unity of Nigeria and be assured that your unremitting fervency in fighting insurgency means light at the end of the tunnel. Captain, do not forget you are a breath of life to me and light of my life. God willing, you shall remain rugged and stay safe and alive throughout your military career; never shall death strike you until I am no more.
I decide to write differently today; the thrust of this piece would engage with the overlooked ordeal of the Military Personnel, fear and palpitations of their families.
Desolate Chickens Versus Owls
Soldiers leave their various homes and families and go to far places where they cannot whatsoever have or see any of their relatives. They work in such aura, their hearts full of missing memories, they barely get to visit or see their relatives twice in year, they no longer live usual human life as they must always be vigilantly alert to any possible dangers or suspicions. Nevertheless, the spirit that has been instilled into all the professional soldiers is that of national unity and safety of the citizens and freedom from any pernicious forces. This is obvious as soldiers have been at the frontline of the fight against Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, and they have showed seamless dedication and determination in such escapade.
However, soldiers are not any naturally different from the civilians; the entire biological constructs remain the same. It is natural to feel afraid and scare whenever a danger approaches or is perceived.
Likewise, everyone has natural attachment to their families and relatives, meaning that you feel missing whoever you love when you are not close to them. In the same vein, it is natural that humans just want to live with their families around as it gives some common feel of being secure. Contrariwise, soldiers do pursue factual and perceived dangers in spite of that natural fear they have as human beings; they are used to missing their families and relatives though they would have always wanted to be with them and be around them, play and have cheers with them. Sure thing, human wants enjoy life by living in luxury house and having luxury cars, but soldiers do scarcely have that chance or have not at all, as it is in the jungles they sleep, in the rivers they sail, and in the sky they fly. Soldiers undertake all the risks by virtue of only having received some regiment trainings which must not have changed their natural faculties and sensitivities.
Moreover, as their mandate soldiers fight insurgency, militancy, kidnapping, Cattle Rustling, and any armed groups threatening the state. This will mean that, and not only that soldiers have regular and constant enemies all around the country, they have often been baits or stakes in the game of politics in Nigeria, considering how their lives are being put in jeopardy or offered in the name of fight against 'politicized insecurity'. Supposedly, from the undated start or upsurge of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria to date, over three thousands lives of soldiers have been lost.
What the trend of unabated insecurity in Nigeria betokens is that soldiers are recklessly being killed by trained guerrillas in ambushes and war of attrition, a gimmick which must not be disconnected with political connivance.
As soldiers hardly visit homes or spend much time with their families, not mention making it to social occasions or ceremonies such as wedding and festivities, their families have always felt missing them, their presence in the family and even in their lives. Pathetically, the families live in fear due to uncertainty that grows on their mind about the situation of the soldiers. This disallows the families have perfect peace of mind, rather mixture of fear and doubt which compels them to be in prayer session often. Worst of all, when soldiers are killed, the bereaved families face alot of hardships. Their wives become widows, children become orphans, mother, father, siblings and other relatives are all bereaved of such soldier as a member of the family, and this could probably cause traumas to the family. Whereas, in some instances, that soldier might be the sole breadwinner, and as a result, the family is bound to suffer for meager subsistence and other satisfactions.
In addition, the children of the bereaved might lack proper nutrition, healthcare, education, home training and fatherly care they would have, had it been the bereaved is alive. Absence of this values would negatively affect lives of the children to the worst extent of becoming social miscreants and become threats to the society.
Indubitably, you cannot extricate anybody from death, not even yourself. However, we should have sympathy to the children of those who lost their lives in the fight for us to be safe. And government shall take the burden of the children of the soldiers killed in the fight against insurgency and further furnish military with better equipment to continue the fight and that government set up an investigative committee comprises of political, strategic and security experts to operate secretly in finding the politics behind the nonstop insecurity in Nigeria.
Furthermore, as usual, the main objective for writing is to convey a message worthy of note. This is a phenomenon, overlooked by Nigerians, particularly the most critical part of the population, the youths. Nigerian youths seem to have more interest in controversial political discussions which more often degenerate into fights and enmity.
My aim is to ensure that the youths have better thoughts and full knowledge of Nigerian politics and enigmata thereof. The plight of Nigerian soldiers shall not be disregarded or be seen unworthy of careful sifting; we must understand that unadulterated insurgency in this country could never have nearly overpowered our military strength; we must understand that we will be in control of Nigeria tomorrow. Thus, we should have more interest in political research, observation and participation than brainless political argument and brinkmanship and shape our political ideologies in line with the better political environment and atmosphere we will look forward instituting.