Femi Fani-Kayode: A Tribute to the Warrior
The warrior is noble and strong. His resolve is firm and his commitment is total. His is to kill, to shed blood and to be killed. His is to die for his king and for a worthy cause. His is to protect and lay down his life for his faith, his nation, his people and his loved ones. What manner of men are these whose spirit speak of such valour and nobility?
Consider the ancient Spartans and the Roman warriors of old. Consider the fearsome Vikings who believed that it was a curse to die a peaceful death and that the only way to heaven was to die violently and heroically in fearsome battle. Consider the greatest of all warriors that ever lived, the noble and gallant Achilles. Consider Alexander the great who conquered the world with his sword. Consider King David, the greatest of all the kings of Israel , who was a man of blood and war and yet whom God so loved and who loved God more than any other. Consider Davids "strongmen" who stood with him through thick and thin and who fought for and protected him to the very end. Consider their gallant captain, the mighty Joab and the others, Abishai, Asahel, Eleazer, the Tachomonite, Shammah, Benaiah, Eliam, Igal and Uriah the Hittite. These were David's men: all great and valiant men of war whose courage was legendary and whose loyalty to their God and their king was unflinching and unquestionable.
Consider Shaka the Zulu, Beowulf the Nordic king and William Wallace the liberator of Scotland . Consider King Henry the fifth of England who routed the French at the battle of Agincourt even though he was outnumbered by fifty to one. Consider Julius Caesar who came, who saw and who conquered. Consider the great Herecles who was a descendant of the mighty Hercules himself. Consider Samson, who slew a troop with the jaw bone of an ass and yet who fell at the touch of a woman.
Consider Gideon who slew the Midianites, Jeptha who sacrificed his own daughter, Joshua who brought down the walls of Jericho and Jehu, who drove his chariot like a madman and who slew the witch Jezebel at Jezreel and, in fulfilment of prophecy, ensured that the dogs ate her flesh and licked her blood. Consider those that laid down their lives for our great and noble Christian faith: Paul of Tarsus, the greatest of all the apostles, who brought the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to the gentiles. Peter the disciple, who became the rock on whom the Church of God was built. Matthew, Mark, John, Isaiah, Daniel, Samuel, Abraham, Jacob, Elisha and all the other disciples and prophets of old. For martyrs and heroes that lived and died for God are also gallant warriors who feared not death and who stood firm to the end in defence of their faith.
Consider George Washington who led his troops into battle and whose battle cry was "victory or death". Consider the charge of the light brigade, the sheer courage and discipline of the famouse 600, at the battle of Balaclava . Consider General Lee at the battle of Gettsyberg, Oliver Cromwell at the battle of Nasby, Admiral Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar, General Adekunle at the battle of Ore and General Obasanjo at the surrender of Biafra . Consider Generals Marshal, Patton, Eisenhower and MacArthur in the bloodiest battles of the Second World War. Consider Marshal Zhukov at the siege of Leningrad and his courageous exploits at the battle of Moscow . Consider Field Marshal Montgomery at the battle of El Alamein, General De Gaulle at the siege of Paris and General Chiang Kai-Shek in the war against Japan . Consider General Custer at the battle of the Little Big Horn. Consider the Duke of Wellington at the battle of Waterloo and consider the great Napolean in his fury, in his glory and in his power at the battle of Marengo.
Had these great men all not stood their ground and had they all not played their role in our collective history, where would we all be today? They sacrificed their today so that we may have a better tomorrow. They lived and died for the sake of others and asked for only one thing in return: that their names should live forever and that we should never forget their noble deeds and worthy sacrifices. And we must not forget, nay we dare not forget, for as another great and inspiring soul by the name of Martin Luther King once said "if a man is not ready to die for something then he is not worthy of living for anything". The warrior is prepared to die for his cause. That is what makes him so noble and that is why he will always have a special place in our hearts.
May the spirit of the warrior and selfless courage fill us all and, like the true warriors that we are meant to be, when death comes may the Lord give us the strength and boldness to fearlessly look at it in the face and treat it with the contempt and disdain that it deserves, knowing that it has lost its sting and knowing that, by the power of Christ Jesus, it has been conquered and crushed forever.
And when death comes, as come it must for all, let us be men and let us die a good death, not cringing and crying like puppies, but like true warriors, fighting to the bitter end. For it is never for the warrior to ask the why: it is only for the warrior to do or die. The warrior does not vanish into the night, the warrior will not go down without a fight.
Poems by Chief Femi Fani-Kayode: A Tribute to the Warrior… www.femifanikayode.org