A Word For Our Gallant Troops

A Word For Our Gallant Troops
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“FG’s decision not to prosecute repentant insurgents is in line with global best practice”- Lai Mohammed.

These are the words of the Minister of Information and Culture, and what many consider as a slap to the face of the gallant soldiers that died fighting insurgency and their grieving families.

Many Nigerians were shocked when the insurgents suddenly started surrendering, but imagine their surprise when the government announced that the repentant insurgents will be pardoned and reintegrated into the society.


There was also the issue of some social media users that the government will supply the repentant terrorists with capital to set up businesses and also train them on skills to help them become productive members of the society.

There are multiple ways to look at these recent developments. While these efforts are laudable I am sure the hundreds of soldiers that lost their lives fighting these terrorists are looking down on the government’s decision with disdain, and this is absolutely understandable considering that just recently, widows of our gallant departed soldiers cried out about the army/government abandoning them and they not being paid their entitled pensions and gratuities due to them. One can say that the priority of the government is misplaced as they seem to be more interested in the welfare of the insurgents rather than the families of the soldiers that were trying to save and protect the ordinary civilian from the havoc the insurgents were trying to wreak.

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According to Barbara F Walter, a hundred and forty-six ethnic groups in seventy-eight countries demanded independence or greater territorial autonomy. The majority of the government refused which resulted in armed rebellion. Some governments had a sit-down with the rebels/insurgents to find a common ground like Canada and former Czechoslovakia did while others such as Russian and the Chechens went into full blown wars. With the tremendous amount the Nigerian government is spending on the war against insurgency,

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The idea of them surrendering and dropping arms is indeed news worthy of celebration but the fact that the government is prioritizing their welfare over that of the families of our soldiers is highly disturbing. Imagine being internally displaced in your own country for years and just when things are starting to get normal and you finally return home to settle down, you walk outside and come face to face with someone who killed your family members, friends, and neighbors. Imagine losing your beloved spouse, son, and sibling and months later, you switch on the news to find the government pardoning their killers and setting them up in comfort when you can barely afford your necessities.

The insurgents surrendering and repenting is surely welcome news, but the government needs to think twice about pardoning and immediately reintegrating the repentant insurgents into the society. What measures are the government taking to ensure the insurgents are indeed repentant and are not just back to gather information for more deadly attacks? And how do they plan on preventing more citizens from joining the ranks of the insurgents?

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The government and the army should also cater for the families of our fallen heroes and put a system in place that makes sure they are duly compensated to prevent them having to cry out on social media causing embarrassment and disgrace to the government and our respected army.

* Mubarak Ahmad writes from Abuja.


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