The extraordinary bravery of Col. Ali in the battle against boko haram terrorists has been told by his superiors, equals and subordinates. The major role he played in recovering territories held by boko haram terrorists from Adamawa to Borno will be reechoed for many years to come. Last week Col.Ali and others paid the supreme price like many before them. His life and death reminds us all of the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in the military. They stand between us and the enemies of our civilisation. They fight, bleed and die for us not because we are their family members but because we are Nigerians.
For some it is their corpse that return to their family and for others their body will never be found as they are declared MIA(Missing In Action). There are still many who return with missing limbs, one eye, broken bones, shattered dreams, nightmares, broken homes and as a liability to their family. There are stories of our soldiers who returned home with no hands, no legs and no eyes. Some returned home after a very long time to find wife and daughter pregnant for God-knows-who. There are stories of soldiers who slept and never woke up and many have lost their mind. They pay so high a price for us to be safe.
Behind the news headlines and statistics on the fight against the insurgency in the northeast are our brave men and women in the military who have left so much behind to ensure people are able to go back home. Many will never return to their family and for those that will make it home, life will never be the same.
Today as we mourn another fallen hero, let us use this opportunity to remind the government and all organisations participating in the rebuilding of the northeast that without the extraordinary bravery of our military it could not have been possible. It will be unjust to give no attention to the well-being of soldiers who have lost limbs, eyes, mind and family to get victory for us all. There are so many of them scattered all over the country in different hospitals who need prosthesis to replace their missing limbs or surgeries to save their lives. There are many families in mourning. There are stories of injured soldiers who have been abandoned by government and their family are paying their medical bills. It is only right we begin to pay more attention on how we can help them. It is important to give them the needed help.They should be a priority. We shouldn’t turn our back on them and their families after they have sacrificed so much for country.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln “Honour to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honour, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause”. It will not be right if we take for granted the huge sacrifices made by the brave men and women in the military. I pray for God’s protection upon our warriors still in battle and may the soul of Lt.Col Abu Ali and all our fallen heroes rest in perfect peace.
Bemdoo Hulugh is an Active citizen and he writes from Makurdi
You can also interact with him on twitter @bumy04