Lions are entitled to be afraid

Soldiers

Sir: Soldiers all over the world live in troubled times in a stormy world caused by the activities of insensitive politicians. But their live and job can be made better if politicians make them understand the ethical basis and need of going to fight the wars they (civilians) help create. The life of a soldier can be made better if politicians do not create a mess in the polity and subordinate it to the soldiers to clean. It could also be better, if politicians do not rationalize crime in the polity because rationalization leads to social injustice.

Why wouldn’t lions be afraid? Especially in a country where senior officers put their snout in the trough of a gravy train and refuse to procure 21 Century armaments for soldiers in the line of deathly duty. Many soldiers have died due to the procurements of substandard helmets that bullets penetrate, others as a result of tactless commands from generals. Soldiers die for many reasons, many unforgivable reasons.

Lions are entitled to be afraid. A soldierly-spirit binds soldiers in the war front the same way Sheshat does to writers, we stay till the death or flee: Soldiers flee when they see their comrades die without reason it could have been them. They stay when the order of detached commanders in the field isn’t out-maneuvered by a commanding officer in the war room.

When the top brass break the army strict code: lack of respect for critical decision reached by a chain of command, second-guesses and overrules decisions of officers taking bullets in the field: then Lions would run.

The Army must not continually embarrass its own. The armed services is the last unit holding the unity of Nigeria. It should continually inspect members not fit to serve and discharge them in time and not pass the buck.

The Army may become another sleeping giant if the welfare of serving soldiers is left unattended to, if monies for armaments are shared for senseless cavortings, and if there is no veteran department to take care of retired, and families of deceased soldiers.

This is for Dare Babarinsa, Yes! Lions are entitled to be afraid’

• Simon Abah,
Port-Harcourt.



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