Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, General Bashir Magashi (rtd.) has called on Soldiers in Borno state, fighting Boko Haram terrorists not to fear anyone but God as they carry out their duties in defence of their country.
He also reminded them that death was a necessary end for all humans, including soldiers.
General Bashir made the call Sunday when he visited the Nigerian military Soldiers in Borno fighting the war against terrorism to ginger them up against the desperation of the Boko Haram insurgents who have been trying to seize Damasak, headquarters of Mobbar council area of Borno state.
The call also obviously came to stem the tide of the troops against running away each time the insurgents attacked them to create maximum casualties among the uniformed personnel especially the Army who are more than the others in the war theatre.
The minister himself a retired Major General of the Nigerian Army said that death is a necessary end of all mankind including himself so they must never manifest the spirit of cowardice against their enemy whoever they are.
The General noted that death can meet anyone anywhere including his bedroom, so since the soldiers had signed to pay the supreme sacrifice on behalf of their country, they must never manifest fear for anyone while engaging the common enemy in the Lake Chad region.
“Only God…Only God…Only God you must fear” he repeated three times while addressing soldiers led by a Naval officer during his visit to the war theatre on Sunday after the hullabaloo over Damasak, one of the agro rich council areas of Borno state.
The General, who went philosophical, noted that while in service, he had come into close shaves with death several times but he believes that if God has destined anyone to come out of any war theatre alive so be it but if you must bow to death so be it adding that God has the final say how we will all exit the world, it is not by our power or dexterity.
He revealed how he once tried to stop a young soldier from travelling while he was still in the service but the young man refused to accept his No only to encounter death somewhere else outside his professional calling; “when I was a serving officer in the Nigerian Army, a soldier coerced me to give him a pass against my will, I said no but he did everything to convince me so we approved because the soldier insisted he must see his sick mum before she passes.
“Sadly the same soldier never made it to see the old woman as he encountered armed robbers on his way so by the time they realized he had a weapon and was going to get it, the armed robbers shot him on the way to Benin and that was the end of that soldier. So I beg you fear no one while on duty, be resolute in your resolve to end this war, find the enemy and kill him, that is why you are here”, he posited.
Major General Magashi regretted that the country has lost time and lots of human resources to the war which has gone beyond ten years.
Boko Haram, in conjunction with Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents, had attacked Damasak severally with over a dozen gun trucks throughout the entire last week before Governor Babagana Zulum visited the town to commiserate with the people.
Residents, who spoke with METROWATCHONLINE.COM on anonymity said that the insurgents were particularly bothered about the booties of war within the civilian population in the town but were never seen heading towards the Army base throughout the several attempts they made sending locals observing Ramadan flee the town to nearby Kareto for those who are mobile, Kalusali, Lawalli, and many other safe communities while many went off to Niger republic by foot.