BY: NWEKE SAMUEL CHINONSO
When the news of the secret burial of over 1000 Nigerian fallen soldiers broke early this week, I forced myself not to believe it was true. These fallen soldiers were patriotic citizens who risked their lives daily to defend and protect us. They lived in the battle fields and in the wild forests fighting visible and invisible forces. Yes, they knew it was a risky venture, but because of their love for their country, they took the risk just to keep us safe.
Why would anyone want to treat such precious souls so unfairly? Why should those who sacrificed their lives for their nation be buried in unmarked graves at the dead of the night? Why?
Unfortunately, we live in a nation that have no value for human life. Blood letting have pathetically become the order of the day. People are beginning to get used to the news of deaths and massacre and the government itself seems to be frustrated about the situation.
In civilized countries around the world, fallen soldiers are often treated as heroes, and are buried with dignity and honour. In most cases, they’re given posthumous awards and their families often receive preferential treatments from the government and the public at large. But here, the reverse seems to be the case.
How can we expect our soldiers to remain absolutely dedicated to service when their fallen colleagues are treated with disdain? Why should a soldier continue to put his life on the line when he knows that if he eventually fall in the battle field, his family will suffer?
It’s time for the government to prioritize the welfare of our soldiers and other security agents, especially those at the battle fields. It’s time to start paying absolute attention to the war in the Northeast. The government must ensure that every soldier in the battle field is properly accounted for and all our fallen heroes must be adequately honoured and buried with dignity and respect, while their families must also be properly catered for.
The allegation that some Nigerian fallen soldiers were buried in unmarked graves at the dead of the night in Maidugiri should be investigated and those found guilty should be prosecuted. This will help to bring closure to the families of the deceased soldiers and also promote sanity in the Force.
Finally, the idea of evicting the wife and children of fallen heroes from the army barracks without the provision of alternative abode must also be discontinued. Let’s accord these fallen heroes some respect for goodness sake. They deserve the best from us all!