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Tribute to Borno’s slain aid workers

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 THE media was recently awash with the most chilling news over the gruesome murder of five Nigerian aid workers who had remained in Boko Haram captivity since early June, 2020, in the war ravaged Bornu State.

  Indeed, it was a horrifying spectacle as T.V Stations relayed the video report on the barbaric execution of the harmless aid workers who were forced to pay the supreme price in the course of rendering selfless service to humanity. This unfortunate incident had once again portrayed Nigeria as a nation that has little or no regard for human life.

  It is equally a sad commentary that the present Buhari administration seriously lacks the capacity and political will to confront and eliminate Boko Haram terrorists who had tenaciously held Nigeria hostage since the inception of the present administration. It is extremely disturbing and worrisome that the rampaging Boko Haram terrorists seem to be gaining more strength each time the Nigerian military claimed to have dealt devastating blow to the insurgents’ fighting capacity to strike at the Nigeria targets.

  The gallant Nigerian soldiers in the front line had continued to bear the brunt as many of them had constantly paid the supreme price in the hands of these unrepentant terrorists who had adopted the military tactics by often laying ambush for the Nigerian troops in the war fronts.

  It was recently reported that more than 300 soldiers serving in the war torn region of the North East had tendered their resignation to disengage from the army. This rather unfortunate development apparently could be attributed to the low morale of the fighting soldiers occasioned by the lack of adequate motivation from the military authorities. The current rate of casualties suffered by the army in the front lines in the North East as well as the notorious banditry in the North West is totally unacceptable and had portrayed the military high command as grossly incompetent and as such had over stayed their welcome.

  Suffice to say that the barbaric execution of the five aid workers by the Boko Haram terrorists after the insurgents had reportedly demanded a ransom of about $100, 000 from the Nigerian government for the release of their captives had indeed further exposed the military as totally lacking in tactical modern warfare as well as totally ill equipped in intelligence gathering which is a vital component in the fight against cross border or international terrorism.

  It was indeed a terrible emotional and psychological trauma for many Nigerians who had watched the video tape where the five slain aid workers were passionately pleading to the Nigerian government to rescue them from the Boko Haram captivity.

  In other climes, the government would have moved swiftly and used all powers at its disposal to rescue the innocent aid workers and save their families and loved ones from this monumental tragedy. Furthermore, in a more humane society that values human lives President Buhari would have promptly cancelled his diplomatic trip to Mali, last Thursday, 23rd July 2020, as a mark of respect and honour for the slain aid workers who were reportedly executed by the Boko Haram terrorists just a day earlier on Wednesday, 22nd July, 2020, as contained in the video tape released by the heartless insurgents.  It is therefore the height of insensitivity on the part of Mr. President to have embarked on the foreign trip soon after the unfortunate and terrible tragedy. 

  This monumental national calamity would expectedly serve as a moment for sober reflection on the part of the government to re-appraise its current strategies and the journey so far in this seemingly unending war against Boko Haram insurgency, banditry as well as other criminal elements that seem to hold the entire nation hostage for too long.

  The nation must therefore rise to the occasion and say never again to the mindless slaughtering of innocent citizens like the aid workers who unfortunately had paid the supreme price in the course of rendering humanitarian service to the needy and vulnerable in society. The Nigerian government must equally honour the five slain aid workers as well as other aid workers before them who had also paid the supreme price while rendering humanitarian service to the refugees in the war zones.

  Adequate compensations must equally be paid to the families of these fallen heroes and heroines and the education of their children left behind must be guaranteed by the government as a mark of honour and clear demonstration that their unfortunate deaths were not in vain.

  It has become imperative therefore that the Buhari administration must listen to the voices of the Nigerian people who had unequivocally expressed their utter disgust over the current state of general insecurity in the country as was already echoed  by their representatives at the national assembly to the effect that the current leadership of the armed forces had outlived their usefulness  and as such should gracefully bow out in order to allow fresh blood to be injected into the armed forces to enhance the military capability for the prosecution of the current war against insurgency and other criminal elements terrorizing the Nigerian people.

The government must as a matter of national priority adequately equip and motivate the gallant soldiers in the front lines whose morale and fighting spirit had rapidly gone down owing to lack of motivation coupled with the lack of modern and sophisticated weaponry in the fight against insurgency.

  It is rather unfortunate and a matter of serious concern that the insurgents appear to possess superior and sophisticated weaponry supplied by the Islamic State of West Africa or ISIS as well as from Islamic terrorist organizations across the globe.

  The Nigerian people have spoken and the Buhari administration owes the nation the singular obligation to listen and abide by the wishes of the people in the overall interest of the nation.  

  It is a matter of deep regret that in the face of the current alarming security challenges in the country, the Presidency had the penchant for engaging in publicity stunt by always condemning the Boko Haram atrocities and often offering condolences to the families of those killed by the deadly terrorists group which could rather be described as a mere symbolic gesture.

  Nigerians demand immediate end to this embarrassing situation and continuous bloodletting which had been going on for more than a decade now.  

  It is the humble opinion of this writer therefore, that three days of national mourning should be declared and the Nigerian flag flown at half mast in honour of the slain five aid workers as well as all those killed by the extremely heartless terrorists in recent times. And that is the least obligation the country owes the memory of these departed compatriots who had paid the supreme price for the survival of the nation.

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