LETTER FROM A SOLDIER IN THE FRONT LINE
As the fight against insurgency gets to a climax across the different theatres of operation across the north east, the need for Nigerians to support their troops in all ramifications comes to the fore.
This is against the backdrop of the unnecessary politicisation of the military aspect of the campaign against the insurgents which has over the years manifested in the form of unfriendly media propaganda against the military and public ridicule of the military.
The architect of this unpatriotic acts and authors of the media criticism against the military might not know that such acts have a way of negatively affecting the psyche of troops in the front line who interpret the actions as a nation’s demonstration of ingratitude to the efforts and sacrifices made by the troops to keep Nigeria one, safe and strong.
In spite of these draw backs, the troops’ morale remains very high as observed during a recent visit to the front line, in fact, one of the dangerous spots in the north east.
The location in Kangarwa, a border community in northern Borno is one of the new battle ground in the fight against terrorists.The area and other communities on the radar of the advancing troops combine the ruggedness and toughness of a typical Sahel region with the scorching heat and sandy terrain of the sahara desert. Such is the terrain where fellow compatriots fight day and night; rain and sunshine, to rid Nigeria of the terror group known as Boko Haram.
The import of this write up is to emphasise the need for Nigeria to support their troops. This is premised on the fact that even the troops in the front line yearn for the support of their fellow countrymen.
As a soldier, name withheld, in the front line recently remarked, troops in the front line are not begging for money, all they require is prayers and messages of solidarity and love rather than echoes of condemnation and ungratefulness.
Another soldier, Cpl Famoroti Femi, of the 119 Task Force battalion, in his trench at the unit’s temporary harbour in Kangarwa, on Thursday July 6, 2016 wrote a short letter to his fellow countrymen, urging them to support President Buhari’s drive to end insurgency and to cooperate with the Chief of Army Staff to defeat the insurgents.
Cpl Famoroti Femi’s letter is a clear manifestation of the spirit of a true Nigerian soldier in the front line. He is in the thick of the action but yet finds time to urge fellow countrymen to support the war agains terror. Femi’s letter is also a clarion call that must not fall on deaf ears, it requires urgent action and response from Nigerians. If any actions or decisions by the military authorities require criticism, skeptics on the streets and in their offices in Lagos or Abuja or elsewhere in Nigeria are not better placed than this soldier to pass judgement. His action is an indication that things might not be exactly the way many critics of the present administration’s war against terror have presented.
Femi’s letter is divided in four parts, the first calling for support and prayers as the operations enters its critical phase and winds down. The second commends the leadership provided by president Buhari and Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai while the third part indicates that Nigeria is winning the war and that government forces are in control and the last part offers suggestion on how to better motivate the troops as the operation winds down.
The gallant soldier urges the authorities to hasten the ongoing rotation of troops in the front line as a way of injecting freshness in the operations and motivating troops in the theatre.
The issue of troops rotation is being addressed as the Army is injecting fresh hands in the theatre.
According to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai at a pre NADCEL press briefing, the rotation in ongoing and five batches have been rotated already with the sixth unit undergoing training at the Army’s counter terrorism training school.
Obviously, Femi’s suggestion on troops rotation is already being taken care of, the onus now rests with Nigerians and the media in particular, to respond to this noble call by a soldier in the front line, whose plea represents those of many others, for Nigerians to support their troops through prayers and solidarity messages.
Truely, Femi’s call is unprecedented, it is a testimony that the troops in the theatre are committed and determined to save Nigeria from the grip of blood thirsty terrorists called Boko Haram.
The revelations in Femi’s letter are phenomenal, they indicate the fearlessness of a true Nigerian soldier and the undying spirit of a patriotic Nigerian, as already stated, his call represents the views of many others in the front line, the call is no longer coming from the ‘so called’ elite officers as many critics will like to put it.
Below is Femi’s letter, in his own words. Also attached is a scanned copy of Cpl Famoroti Femi’s hand written letter.
[12/07 18:42] +234 905 351 8500: It is Femi’s wish to let Nigerians know how he and his likes in the front line feel about the operation.
[12/07 18:49] +234 905 351 8500: Thanks be to Almighty God for our successful operation, I also thank Nigerian government for her support in curbing insurgency most especially our great COAS for his inestimable effort towards the operations.
We succeeded in capturing Kangarwa from BHT within few hour. Oh great Nigerian soldiers! Great 119 Task Force Battalion. However, Mr president and our able COAS should not forget to draft out means of rotating troops because it is another means of motivating troops.
God Bless Nigerian Army.
Cpl Famoroti Femi