Monday, December 6, 2021

When war is not a tea party…, by Abdullahi Haruna Haruspice

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Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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By the time shots are fired either by the belligerent army or the defending army, the duel becomes fierce hostility where the ultimate quest is the triumph of ideology. At this point, the end result is destruction, deaths and sorrow. This has been the reality of war in human existence, including the ongoing war between Nigeria and the deadly Boko Haram sect.

The world over, citizens rally around their countries in war, but here in Nigeria, citizens provide tacit legitimacy to the enemy camp. Reports of casualties are hastily reported and amplified by citizens, sharing in torrents the pictures and videos of decimated soldiers, not in sympathy but in mockery of the government, forgetting that soldiers are not tied to any government in power but to the state called Nigeria. From citizens, you hear feeble but ebullient justification of warped stances like, ‘shebi they say they have technically defeated boko haram?’  ‘With all the monies budgeted for security, soldiers are still being killed?’ Only a nation with the dearth of nationhood laced in deep patriotism faces this kind of unpatriotic utterance. We are a people defined dangerously on the trenches of prejudices where everything is coated in the prism of a warped mentality.

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Victory over Boko Haram is not a personal fulfillment to President Muhammadu Buhari but a collective triumph for all Nigerians. A war-free Nigeria is a huge advantage to our aspirations as citizens where lives are protected, where monies meant for arms are channeled into education budget, where the lives of our security forces are not endangered. War should never be used as chess game of political engagement, any nation that politicizes its security situation suffers immediate and extended calamity. Let’s not go that way, a lost war is a heavy calamity for us as a nation.

War is not a football match; it’s a dangerous duel where only God protects the survivors. The North East debacle is a full-fledged war; don’t expect beautiful testimonies from the war front. Soldiers are humans like us, bullets fired from a mere Dane gun can wreak a lot of havoc, not to talk of the dangerous weapons of death in the hands of the enemy soldiers. Let’s appreciate the gallantry of our soldiers with national appreciations; let their sufferings and sacrifices oil the patriotic zeal in us.

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No matter the plausible evidence of the ‘enemy’ army, do not believe their stories. In warfare, self-pity is a booster to the belligerent camp. We cannot continue to amplify the propaganda of the enemy camps; they have no victory in our sight because they murdered the peaceful sleep we enjoyed when they triggered the war we are in today. Time we stop sharing their messages; we give them legitimacy when we embolden their resolves.

The government must in all sincerity continue to do the needful by providing the necessary supports to our troops in the frontline. Besides the provisions of equipment, psychological and emotional logistics should be put in place for our soldiers and their families. More heroes are made when heroes past are eminently recognized and immortalized.  The military authority should act swiftly in addressing the discordant tunes coming from disgruntled soldiers at the war-front. Nothing wreck national psyche than the waning enthusiasms of soldiers fighting to keep the nation intact.

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