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Communion of Sinners.

The primary responsibility of any government is the protection of lives and properties. Atop the security tree bestowed with this responsibility is the military of which the army is the numero uno. However, the state owes the military the first duty of protection. The protector must be protected to protect the vulnerable. The failure of the Buhari administration to ensure the safety of our uniformed men and women is the greatest calamity it visited on the nation entrusted into his hands.

Nigerians share in this Communion of Sinners directly or indirectly. I never imagined that a day will come when supporters of Buhari will boldly ask Nigerians to zip their lips in the face of Boko Haram terrorism. Instead of mourning the dead, the supporters of the President are busy combing the cyberspace in search of those politicizing the killing of our gallant soldiers.

It’s insane to ask Nigerians to keep quiet in the face of this horrendous killing of our soldiers. These young men and women only signed up to defend their beloved country. They did not sign up to be murdered en mass. With over 70 young men dead, their families and loved ones need consoling and whether we like it or not, security of a nation is rightly positioned as number one political matter that concerns every citizen. We must interrogate what led to their demise and reassure their loved ones and those still in service that we appreciate the difficult task they are executing on our behalf. This is different from politicization of the killings that took place.

The big question is this: who committed the original sin of politicization of the war our gallant military officers waged against Boko Haram? The answer is not far fetched.

Then candidate Buhari boldly told a bewildered country that the attack against Boko Haram was a war against Northern Nigeria. This was at a time Boko Haram was committing mass murder of both civilians and uniformed officers.

Just a week ago, the military high command was part and parcel of the launch of President Buhari’s 2019 Campaign manifesto while their field officers were battling with Boko Haram terrorists. Who is really politicizing our military and war against terror?

I think we play too much in this country. It’s even more disheartening that the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces waited for days before a terse statement was released in his name. What’s wrong with the President addressing the nation and ordering that flags should be lowered in honour of our fallen heroes?

The bitter truth we must tell this President is that he has failed to secure the lives and properties of Nigerians. The Boko Haram that was a rag tag insurgency group has metamorphosized into a highly coordinated, motivated, sophisticated and murderous terrorist group under his watch and command.

It’s apparently obvious that the change of tactics by the group was not borne out of incapacity or defeat it suffered under the Buhari administration. From what’s happening, it’s clear that Boko Haram has transited from an attention seeking group as witnessed in the past through their attacks on soft targets to a deadlier terrorist organization seemingly ready to invade our country and annex territories permanently. This must not be allowed to happen.

The first step is to reposition the military strategically and the starting point should be the change of guards at the highest command. The Service Chiefs have done their best and this is the time for them to move on. A new set of leadership with fresh and workable ideas is required to permanently free our land from Boko Haram.

A “Communion of Sinners” cannot change to a “Communion of Saints” unless there is repentance.

May the souls of our departed heroes rest in perfect peace. We must make sure that they did not die in vain.

Kelechi Jeff Eme
Owerri, Imo state

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