The pain in Kukawa: The sad exit of CJTF commander, Yusuf



When in a war, losses, destructions and displacements, among other things, are always to be expected. To think otherwise, is same as expecting not to be wet, beaten by rain. The sad reality of war is that, in the course of it, many will die, innocent or not—and no matter how recurring this is, we do not have the ability to learn it. Nothing can take away the pain caused by death, not even getting used to it.

Understandably, the pain is even more severe when those who fell are the ones involved in ending the war, such as the troops of the 123 Special Forces of the Nigerian Army at Cross Kauwa and the four members of Civilian Joint Task Force, who were killed by terrorists last Saturday in the line of duty. The foursome of Tukur, Tahir, Sanusi and Yusuf Baba Idris, the chairperson of the CJTF in Kukawa, a local government in northern Borno, were killed in the course of a clearance operation around Gudumbali, another local government in the northern axis and one of the deadliest dens of Boko Haram.

Those who know the territory and how volatile it is say that it is a tough bet to carry out any land operation there without an aerial support. But the gallantry and daring bravery of our troops, driven by their budding desire to put the subject of terrorism behind, for all of us, led them to dare the terrorists in their own stronghold with the resources only readily available to them. Of course, the operation was largely successful; for, the troops have successfully expelled and sent several of the terrorists to the great beyond, only to fall into an ambush on their way back. That the terrorists had to resort to an ambush to take out such determined young men, speaks volumes of their gallantry and bravery.

True, death is a wartime phenomenon; but despite that, Yusuf’s was one truly numbing to all those who knew him. For, he is the type who would be described as having lost himself in the service of others, and in this case: motherland. Were it to be a thing to reduce to words, it can be said that the people of the axis entrusted themselves first to God, troops of the Nigerian Army and then, of course to Yusuf, along with his team of equally brave young men.

No doubt, the greatest capital in a war is bravery and it takes conquering the fear of death to imbue oneself. Yusuf had it in abundance; and it was one of the biggest investments in the widespread sense of safety created in and around Baga. If he had allowed the fear of death to conquer him, last Saturday would have anyway become his time of death, only that it would have been as a coward; not a hero worthy of universal recognition. And here lies our consolation: every drop of the blood of a martyr germinates the soil for thousands more who are even more eager to die for peace and freedom, to emerge. May the souls of the deceased rest in peace.

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