Insurgency: Prayer is Key to Success, Army Commander Tells Soldiers, Parents

Lt-Col Nehemiah Yakubu
•Lt-Col Nehemiah Yakubu
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By Sam Kayode

The Commanding Officer, 73 Battalion, Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri, Lt-Col Nehemiah Yakubu, has called on officers and men to always pray before starting their war days in the theatre.

He said that there is nothing anyone can do without prayers even within the valley of the shadow of death where they are facing the common enemy Boko Haram or ISWAP.

Col Yakubu, who addressed the Christian community in the barracks during last Christmas celebration of Nine Lessons and Carols said that he wants soldiers under his watch who are equally parents to be watchful in the course of moving within and outside the barracks.

He noted that if parents from both sides of the religious divide were ultra sensitive as they should be in the war theatre, young people will not be lost to the insurgents who have been fighting the country for the last 12 years.

“My advice to you all is that as we fight the common enemy, you must always be praying without slumbering. This is because there is nothing you can do without prayers to succeed in this world. Pray anytime to God and He will surely answer us and grant us upper hand over the enemy.

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“At the same time, I want all of you who have children to be watchful and keep regular vigils to ensure your environment is safe. Some people in this part of the country are fund of saying children will be children so they take their eyes off their kids while the enemy feasts on them. We all know the end result,” he warned.

Col Yakubu went on “There is nothing like ‘ yara ne’ meaning they are children in the situation we face now. We should all be very vigilant with our children so that what happened in at Bowen College in Lagos will not happen to them. We all know what happened to our kids when they go astray in this war theatre. This is why you must shine your eyes by watching and praying regularly,” he stressed.

On the lingering nature of the war they are fighting, he cautioned, “Residents should not say the war is not for us. It’s for the soldiers who fight the war. Every one should be involved in the war until a final end is put to it. It concerns all of us as citizens” he maintained.

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“If a child can defeat adults during an ordinary Scrabble game, it tells a lot of how their brains are wired. I repeat watch your kids and don’t allow them to go astray.”

He further warned that any young person caught violating the laws of the land will be made to face the full weight of the law.

“There is a lot to monitor them for so that they do not commit offences which have been labeled as wrongs in the statute books of Nigeria. While you do so always remember that a child cannot be bigger than his/her parents, so ensure that you are steps ahead of their thoughts,” he concluded.

Highlights of the occasion which was the first in almost seven years were special presentation by choir groups which included the combined choir and the Bishop Kanamani foundation group which was watched by a combination of all the clergies in all the churches in the barracks.


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