NIGERIA MUST PREVAIL (adopted from Onwuasoanya Fcc Jones)

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In the evening of yesterday, I got a call from one of my longtime friends who is now a lieutenant with the Nigerian Army and one of the foreign trained counter terrorism officers in the Nigerian Army. Nonso(not his real name) has always been a lively and fearless young man right from our days as up-comers. Nonso has always been daring and completely committed to any course he believes in. He was in Somalia on a peace keeping mission, and he returned with his heads high. He believes in Nigeria. And on one occasion when he called from Somalia to tell me about his impending return to Nigeria. These were his exact words: “Nwannem, we cannot be keeping peace in another man’s land, while our own country is in pieces. We are coming to restore peace to the Northeastern part of our country.”
He returned like he promised, and the call of duty certainly reduced the calls we shared. Most times his number will be switched off, and I was always afraid for his life. I kept praying for him. He just got married last year and his firstborn arrived earlier this year. Whenever I hear of another officer fallen, I silently prayed it isn’t my beloved brother, Nonso. But the silence was torturous.
Yesterday he called from Maidugri. And I was happy to hear his his voice, but he wasn’t his lively self. After the half-hearted courtesies of asking out about family and work, he switched to vernacular. He was not in a safe place, and he needed to pass this vital information:
“I heard that this Party of the violent oligarchs is making inroads into our part of the country. You people should resist them. They are our enemies. They are enemies to anything Christian, Igbo or South-South. I am in the war front and I can tell you that it hasn’t been a good experience. Our divisions as a nation is so glaring here. You are marked out for death as long as you do not speak Hausa, or you do not pray like they do. We are betrayed by our own comrades. They are so desperate to take over power, and they do not care a hoot how they succeed at it. They only want to succeed, and they are united by that goal, as illicit as it may be.”
“I sympathize with any Christian, Igbo or South-South man who supports them, because we will all live to regret it if these people should find their way back into power. I am here and I can tell you what they think, I can feel their animosity towards us. Do you know that eighty percent of soldiers who are killed in this war are mostly Christians, Igbos or those from the Southern divide? Our strategies are revealed to the terrorists shortly after it is marshaled out, and our biggest secrets are always in the hands of the insurgents. We are ambushed on routes that are hardly known. How did they get to know that we are taking such routes? Fellow soldiers and officers inform them on everything we do. Let me tell you this; we shall be worst than tissue papers if we make the mistake of allowing these people back into power. Tell whomever you can tell, mobilize our people against this Muslim agenda, against this Northern agenda.”
“This has gone beyond a war between the Nigerian State and some scattered insurgents, this is a war between Christians, Southerners and the Arab world. Do you know that most of the terrorist fighters are Arabians? Their drivers are also Arabians. Who sponsors them, if not these politicians? This is not just a religious war, it is a political cum religious war. However, it is more political than religious, because their primary aim is to take over political power as a surer way of imposing their religion on us.”
For the first time my friend of so many years talked about surrendering. He told me that he will leave the Army if nothing changes. He told me that he has escaped death by the whiskers many times, most of the times he was set up by fellow soldiers, some of the times he was being shot at by his fellow soldiers. He was certainly disillusioned. He still had things to tell me, but I heard him barking orders to someone driving a motorcycle by that time of the night. His voice betrayed his fears and I got a distant picture of the level of mistrust within the Army. The line was on for a while, but he wasn’t talking to me. What I kept hearing were orders and fearful altercations of anger. I tried calling his number after then, but it has been switched off till this time.


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