THOSE WHO KILL OUR SOLDIERS MUST DEARLY PAY FOR IT
By Jude Edeh-Attah
Nothing signposts the perilousness of the times we are in more than the recurring attacks and killing of federal agents deployed to restore security, law and order across the country by organized mobs and the so-called ‘unknown gun men’. This heinous crime has gone on so repeatedly that it almost no longer elicits shock and consternation from the society. It is becoming a new normal!
In fact, in the last three months alone, not less than 57 security personnel including 5 naval personnel have been reportedly killed and their firearms taken away in surprise attacks by unknown gunmen, and this is in south east and south-south region alone.
Just forth night ago, the Nigerian Army cried out that an officer and ten soldiers who were on their way to quell a communal crisis in Konshisha local Government Area of Benue State were ambushed, killed and their bodies burnt beyond recognition. Institutions of civil authorities including custodial facilities, courts and police stations are also not spared as they have come under vicious attacks almost on the daily. Of course the most daring and controversial of such crime was the attack on Correctional centre (prisons) and Nigeria Police Command both in Owerri, the Imo state capital on the night of Monday, 5th April 2021 in which about 1,800 prison inmates were released and the police command razed down.
Now, we are talking about surprise attacks on the security forces deployed or operating in civil spaces and not those who are in the theatre of military operations or combat zones. Even at that, most of the times when our soldiers and security agents are killed in action, the activities of saboteurs who leak troop positions and movement to the adversaries are usually responsible.
Whatever may be the reason behind these reprehensible crimes, the truth is that, no country or government or military worth its name can afford to watch idly while its law enforcement agent and soldiers are hunted like games by the same people they stake their lives to defend and protect.
While it bears reiterating that government reserves the right to go to any extent to protect its agents and institutions from bandits and so-called unknown gunmen, permit me to ask the following pertinent questions: those who are committing this heinous crime, I hope you know that the long arm of the law will definitely catch up with you?
Communities that are condoning this sort of evil or hiding the perpetrators, I hope you know that the Day of Judgment is imminent and that you are staking the peace and security of your people?
Those who are providing justifications for this evil, I hope you know that no government anywhere in the world will sit by and watch its security agents taken out for no just cause and that it reserves the right to stamp out such evil?
Those who are killing our soldiers and carting away their rifles, I hope you know that a rifle to a soldier is like wife to a husband and that the soldier would go to any extent to recover his rifle?
As for the horrible incident that took place in Konshisha, Benue State where soldiers on legitimate duty were murdered in cold blood, I join the military authorities in demanding that the perpetrators of the crime must surrender all the weapons in their possession. Our military must not tolerate jungle justice attitude and deliberate acts leading to the gruesome murder of its troops by the same locals that the troops were out to protect. Benue State Government must keep its promise to support the security forces in fishing out those who killed our troops and took their weapons.
Nigeria is not a Banana republic or a lawless jungle where such mindless crime will be allowed to fester. All men and women of goodwill must join hands and add their voice in total condemnation of this heinous crime. We should be as strident in our condemnation of these odious acts as we often are while reacting when the military or other security agencies take measures to bring perpetrators of such criminality to book.
*Jude Ede-Attah, a military enthusiast and journalist wrote in from Lugbe Abuja.