ENCOUNTER WITH SERVING SOLDIERS
I hate soldiers. Or rather, I envy soldiers. As a young boy, influenced by reading Major Gen. Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, soldier come de hungry me. But my friends kept saying, na coup de hungry me and that Buka Suka Dimka plus Bisala, go die better pass me.
Irrespective of their jealousy and envious concerns, I attempted writing NDA once but couldn’t make it.
I was a short, fat like rake looking young man, so going through other means of recruitment would’ve been suicide.
Despite this inability to enlist, my administrations for men and women in uniform, has not died. As a rule, I give free ride to any uniformed personnel I see; I also walk up to them and thank them for serving Nigeria.
It is always a thing of joy, to be with them, hear their tales.
Last night was no different. But before last night, I have been with a high ranking Infantry Officer, who commanded troops in the fight against insurgency in the North East. He told us soul wounding stories and showed us videos. He glowed with pride when describing how his boys gallantly did well in battles.
Without notice, he started shedding tears.
We were touched but allowed him to express himself. Done with his grief, he bursted, angrily telling us of fine officers, who had lost their lives, leaving young widows and infants behind.
He started mentioning their names of his course mates and we joined him in prayers for them and thanked their spirits for paying the supreme price for us bloody civilians, to be safe to drink beer, make love and snore off in the comfort of a brothel.
Against this backdrop, it was a thing of joy, when I got a call from my friend, serving and actively involved in engaging Boko Haram and Bandits. He said Bishop, I am in Abuja, I have a Pass.
I shutdown. Called my wife not to bother, this bloody civilian husband of his, has joined soldiers to Mess. I went with a stick of vintage Cohiba as burnt offering to welcome him.
You need to see how happy he was just to be free to enjoy most of the things we take for guaranteed. We stopped them from telling us tales of war but let us enjoy life.
These soldiers are putting a lot on the line for the continued safety of Nigeria. The war against insurgency is under reported by mainstream media in Nigeria.
A good number of Boko Haram and Bandits are not Nigerians, he declared and bemoaned the lack of political will by top echelon of Nigerian government to give the right Order for them to engage, flush and liquidate.
We started night crawling from an undisclosed location, falling spirits and made sure we limited our political discussions but concentrated on getting drunk, just to bury our sorrows.
But the scars caused by bullet are not just flesh wounds; they are constant reminder of there fellow men and officers who died. A sad reality, that their lives are not theirs but on the line to make yours meaningful.