Thank you soldier by Yunusa Bunu


BY YUNUSA BUNU, JANUARY 06, 2022 | 01:06 PM

Now come to think of it, in this cold weather, while everyone is trying to confine in the comfort of his room, a soldier; is somewhere in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees and grasses, all in the name of serving his motherland--no, is it called motherland? Yes I think so--no he/she is serving you, shivering on a watch post as the breeze hit hard on him to see if anyone is coming to disturb the peace you are enjoying in your room.

This same guy is a brother, father or husband to someone.

I could remember in 2014 when everyone is a civilian JTF in Maiduguri--before it turns out to be what it is today--as my father sends us out with my late brother, may Allah grant him Jannah, to join other members of the community to be on guard before he joins us with his bow/arrow and sword just as we did. We all at first converge at the majalisa of Mohammadu Mai Shago popularly known as Kwadim, an officious man who runs a provision shop, autodidact engineer in all fields and the victim of love to take tea before taking position.

Gashaw Grema Usman with his team hybernate under Terri Mai Shayi's shade (another character who only Abdulhamid Al-Gazali knows best as they share walls) with their arms and security touch lights. After every 20-30 minutes, we flash the light twice or three times depending on the signal of the day to tell that 'I am still awake and all is well here' and then it is flashed back, and so it goes, every group flashes until the whole line is filled with rays of lights. The cycle continues until it is time for fajr prayer when some members are assigned to guard those praying from potential suicide bombers.

This was the situation then. Anyone that survives to see the next hour is congratulated. If there isn't a bomb blast in the market, they will be a suicide attack in a mosque, or at the university, schools or even at a security post or police station.

Funeral prayers became the order of the day, death visited every family, hospitals got filled with victims, graveyards got saturated, so also mortuaries.

Businesses and motor parks were closed down, all we wished for then was peace, this peace we are enjoying now, the peace of going to mosque, market or school without the fear of suicide bomb or an attack from the terrorists.

I wish I can tell my late brother that we no longer stay on guard all night or experience bomb blasts in Maiduguri and virtually all parts of the state, we now enter taxi without fear and even, no more road blocks or checkpoints within Maiduguri; in fact, the impossible has happened: people now travel to Bama, Gwoza, Damaturu, Monguno all these places without military escorts--isn't this a miracle?

No the miracle is that there are people who still have the guts to criticise the government and the Nigerian Army about the security situation in the country.

The funny part is that they are full time cowards who cannot kill a rat at their backyard let alone standing up against the bandits, kidnappers and terrorists who disturb their peace like how the people of Borno did. They rather side with the criminals, yes, I call it siding with the criminals because they rather criticise the government and military openly than condemn in both action and words the atrocities of the criminals.

Alhamdulilah, Allah has answered our prayers in Borno and there is a remarkable improvement in the security situation in the state and we pray that peace rains in every nook and cranny of the country.

To our military, we love and thank you for all your sacrifices. Countless among you have paid the supreme price and are still doing so just to keep this country. May God reward you abundantly our heroes!

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