THE UNTOLD STORY OF OUR FALLEN HEROES
The mayhem unleashed by insurgent group(s) right from 2009 mostly in Borno and the entire Northeast of Nigeria has engulfed so many lives and property. The victims cut across all strata of the society. The inferno knows no boundaries. However, there are some heroes brutally hit by these cruel phenomena-the security personnel.
These unsung heroes whose lives were taken in a devastating manner, and in the line of duty by Boko Haram, have not been adequately acknowledged till this day. In a quarterly publication (The Reformer, 2015) by the Nigeria Prisons Service, the number of personnel killed as reported, is quiet alarming.
As a rule, any time the insurgents come into a town, the first port of call were the security formations, most importantly, the prison. The reasons being that a state of anarchy has to be established for a perpetration of violence to take place unabated, and of course the prison has a ready converts among the awaiting trial inmates whose long stay without conviction in the prison made them aggrieved.
About 50 prison staff were murdered in cold blood out of which five (5) were very senior officers-1 Chief Superintendent of Prisons (CSP), 3 Deputy Controllers of Prisons (DCPs), and a retired Controller General of Prisons (CGPS) — The Reformer, (2015). The stations mostly hit are Bama, Gashuwa, Maiduguri, Ganye, Sokoto, Azare, Bauchi,Damaturu Potiskum etc.
The world seems mute about the untimely and gruesome demise of these fallen heroes. They left families who depended solely on them for survival. They were not only breadwinners to their immediate families, they were public servants whose services were most needed. They died while serving their motherland. They deserve all accolades and their families needed to be given some sense of belonging by reaching out to them in every way humanly possible.
The North East Regional Initiative (NERI) should be applauded for the giant stride they are embarking upon in the area of bringing succor to the families of soldiers killed in the North East. Even though NERI does not always make their services public, they are doing wonderfully well in rendering humanitarian services to those affected by the activities of violent extremism. Others need to emulate this, especially in remembering our gallant prisons officers’ families that needed reintegration in the North East and other regions affected by the insurgency.
#NotAnotherNigerian family will feel neglected as a result of the demise of their breadwinner. Let’s all join hands in #CounteringViolentExtremism in the Northeast by showing love and care to the families of our fallen heroes.
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