A Cliche In Nigeria: Armed Forces Remembrance Day
In the past years, many public analysts and commentators have queried the negligence of the military in Nigeria.
Since the regaining of freedom from Britain in 1960, popularly referred to as Independence, the Nigeria government celebrates its armed forces on every 15th of January, different from the 11th November, global celebration date.
Nigeria choose its date different in other to honor the legacies and memories of soldiers who died in the 1st and 2nd world wars. Those who died during the 1967-1970 civil war of the nation, commonly referred to as Biafra war, Nigeria peace support operations to Africa under ECOMOG and Africa Union cum United Nations, concurrently those who died and are still dying in the Northeast fighting Boko Haram terrorists/insurgents and most profoundly to honor those veterans who retired after their meritorious service to the nation in the military.
Over the years,many public analysts and commentators have queried the negligence of the military because the government seems not to have taken the welfare of the military seriously.
1. No good benefits to those who died during service or those who paid the supreme price.
2. No respect to the families of the deceased military gentlemen. They are send out of the Barracks forcefully, months after the death of the men.
3. No preferential treatment to them even in service and out of service. While other nations respect their military.
4. Low remuneration or poor salaries and allowances.
5. Poor privileges and rights.
6. Lack of accurate documentation of the men that lost their lives in battle.
Invariably, it has been argued that the military, whether death or alive are been neglected, no honour to them whatsoever. Consequently, Nigeria has had many leaders from the military background, yet they failed to fixed the condition and welfare status of the personnel. The civilian administrations seem to have done diligently well in this right. There is need for the government at all levels, citizens inclusive to build the morale of our soldiers.
There is need for the National Assembly to pass a bill called ‘Veterans Act’ that will enable the defenders of the nation enjoy full benefits in and out of service.
Aside the colourful and organized parade on this day(s) and laying of wreaths, what next for the military? Nothing! Parade is over. No honour.
A. Government should build low-cost houses for the military.
B. Citizens should have deep sense of respect to the military.
C. The welfare of the military must be taken seriously.
D. Those died in Boko Haram quagmire, their families should be compensated with houses and jobs.
E. Like governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state, other governors must give jobs to families of the deceased to alleviate their pains and sufferings.
F. Government should buy more supersonic weaponry for them in other to make them defend the nation more gallantly.
G. All documents and names of the deceased should be kept at national archives and a memorial village be built for them.
H. Their wages should be reviewed.
I. Government should buy them uniforms not them using their money to buy uniforms for themselves.
Finally, call a military personnel today, congratulate him or her. Thank them for their services to our nation. Respect them when you see them even at the ATM.
Make them proud with kindness. At the checkpoints, honour them. This will motivate them. Above all,pray for them, the are sleepless so we can sleep.
Happy armed forces REMEMBRANCE DAY TODAY to all our military!
Written in respect of my father, Corporal Stephen Rwang (RTD).
Rwang Patrick Stephen
Federal University of Kashere, Gombe
Faculty of Humanities, Management and Social Security,
Department of Political Science