THE 'TAIL BETWEEN THE LEG' TALE OF OUR FLEEING SOLDIERS
It is all over the social and traditional media that Nigerian soldiers 480 of them are presently taking refuge in Cameroon over 'overwhelming' powers of Boko Haram. The circumstance leading to the soldiers fleeing have only managed to further lower the flag of our armed forces to its lowest
Corruption, cyclical impunity has made it so easy for the military to be overpowered - even a non-violent protest in Zaria became too scary, leading to the felling of Shiek Zakzaky's son's. The military has become politically polarized and financially domesticated most of the personnel have managed to forget what the gun is meant for.
Interestingly, if Nigerian soldiers could contain terror cells in its neighboring country's so much so that the country earned for itself the name “Giant of Africa” then it is a shame that our soldiers with tail in-between the leg scamper off to a country with lesser might in finance, men and armament.
The level of corruption, financial impunity and demented crave for political primacy and its attendant saber rattling has indeed permeated so deep into the psyche of Nigerian soldiers in high ranking positions to seek the pockets first before paying lip service to their primary duty which is to protect and preserve the territorial integrity of the country.
The floodgate of security vote on account of insurgency has only made a few top ranking officers extremely rich at the expense of the lives of their subordinate officers and that of Nigerians in flashpoint areas where insurgency hold sway. It is common knowledge that in Abuja, the top spenders are military officers and politicians.
Though the rumored annexation of Gwoza has been seriously refuted by the military command, but even on rumor level and the subsequent fleeing of our military men is a glaring indication that corruption has weakened the Nigerian military and the territorial integrity of the country is compromised.
While we have gone past the era of territorial wars, it is strategic for a nation to remain powerful in the estimation of other countries to avoid unnecessary diplomatic sarcasm, repugnant intrusion and disregard to our people and the very existence of our existence as a nation.
Nigerians complain of administrative impunity from the center by the center for the center but its often forgotten that a chunk of our problem is also caused by the so called masses especially those who accept handouts from products of impunity and those who sneak to partake from the omnipotent feeding frenzy.
Our top raking soldiers are supper fed, eating what would have been used to supply modern day weapons to match the globally recognized insurgency Nigeria is presently yoked with. The military discipline is dead and gone, the morale of solders has waned and what is left of them is loath for their superior officers.
In Nigeria, anything can happen, at one time police threatened to go on strike, now soldiers mutiny with impunity because that's about the only law in the jungle over their feasting commanders if they must get them succor, no matter how elusive of short-lived.
The Nigerian way has certainly set in. The fear factor shouldn't border around Boko Haram alone but on question of sanctity of those who should have been our “men of war” who are now “men and whore” specialized in doing business with crisis.
Considering the climbing level of impunity in the country among members of our armed forces, the future of true concept of their constitutional role of defending the territorial integrity of the nation is in jeopardy, a myth and a fallacy despite the constant promises.
How can the zeal, competence, selflessness needed to rouse troops to route national threats ever exist under the feeding frenzy of our armed forces? Truth some time is not “…what you can do for your country…” - according to J.F. Kennedy, but when your country fails to do the constitutional, the concept of patriotism wanes and the zeal to seek to cut corners become the most tempting agenda.
Under this type of situation, where is patriotism? How would anybody with sanity ever make sacrifice for a country where only a few eat and bloat while the rest groan and weather away? For many, the move towards the future has reached a cul-de-sac.
Nigeria has indeed lost more than name on account of a system programed by the greedy to fail. The nation is now exposed as a country without protection, a country with a ragtag military, a country in constant mortification on account of impunity and the viral infection of corruption.
It is indeed extremely sad that Nigerians in opportune positions have decided to steal as much as they can. Their reasoning is that since the corporate integrity of Nigeria flake off on account of our dubious political dramatis personae, they believe there isn't much to hope for except what they can heave to their pockets.
Nigeria can die for all what some people care, the military can call it tactical withdrawal to Cameroon for all we care, but what is real is the fact that Nigeria has been mugged by its own security commanders and the innocence of the citadel of defense is compromised.
The only issue keeping the military from snatching power is the sentiment-based disposition of Nigerians, ethno-religious diversity, politicization of the military and the new 'business from crisis' situation among commanders over the choking insurgency.
Those security personnel who are genuinely aggrieved may not have same ethnic bias among themselves.
Harmonization of ethno-religious affinity is key in Nigeria as our own federalism, our own direction of democracy has grown over the years feeding on cleavages ethnic and religious North and South divide.
Interestingly the same problem that tears Nigeria asunder keeps it from falling into another junta. What the military lacks in unity, they gain in mutiny. Curiously the art and science of 'tactical withdrawal' will soon be the new battle ethics of our once gallant Men of War.
Written by Ayegba Israel Ebije.