Today is Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
Our soldiers are us. They are brave strong and ever ready. They are the expendibles who clean up our mess. In the manner unequaled, unrivaled and lethal. They give their lives for us.
While they have not had reasons to engage in international warfare in our defense, they have had to grapple with intense battles particularly in the Northeastern part of the country. There, an army of insurgents with surprising military power and intelligence sought to overrun our nation. Thank God for our fairly motivated military.
Typically, warfare takes huge toll on any nation that gets caught by it. Money, infrastructure and lives are spent.
One would have wished no more war faced Nigeria after the heavy loss incurred in the last civil war that almost consumed us in 1967-70. Sadly this misfortune still visited Nigeria just 50 years later.
Just as the Nigerian Civil War was avoidable, the BokoHaram war, in which scores of our brothers and sisters in arms have died, is also avoidable.
Thank God we are winning the war – its costs in human and financial resources notwithstanding.
While we honor our gallant armed forces today, we, particularly our leaders, must make a diagnosis of what the causes of these costly misadventures are. We must prevent anything that will make citizens take up arms against the state. This must be a deliberate course of action.
We must recognize that the biggest honor we can give a person – dead or alive – is to give them quality of life while they yet live. Therefore, I call on the government to look into how the personnel of our country’s armed forces will enjoy better working/living conditions.
Recreational facilities, wages, accommodation, prompt payments of their benefits etc. must be given adequate attention.
Happy Armed Forces Remembrance Day
Oshaloto Joseph Tade.
Photo: courtesy Cool FM