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Boko Haram is helping in countering the spurious propaganda of the Buhari-led government. They have now taken it upon themselves to make clips of their bloody victories. One of such clips, a horrific drama of mass death, is in circulation, scandalizing Nigerians and passing the disconcerting message that against the narrative of this untruthful government, Boko Haram is undegraded and waxing stronger. What one saw in the video weren’t blockaded and half-pulverized terrorists but gutfilled, unperturbed and superiorly armed fighters.
There was another blood chilling video. It was made by soldiers who were about to die. They sounded tearful and broken. As I write, I can’t tell if the tear-packed voice I heard in that clip still breathes. He could have, in all probability, gone the bloody way of his friends. They were bitterly lamenting the outmodedness of the weapons at their disposal. The weapons were purchased in 1983 and had since ceased to be useful.
Money meant for the purchase of modern and sophisticated weapons, they strongly alleged, is being stolen while the poor boys are barehandedly herded into battle to perish in the hands of bloodthirsty bandits. This is most unfortunate. Nigerian soldiers are not cowards. They are among the bravest and most stout-hearted in the world. They have a reputation as the greatest land force in Africa. But it is just unnatural to take a knife to a gun fight and hope for victory.
This is the most dishonest government since 1960. The most devil-may-care. We know Nigeria enough not to expect any positive development. I feel enormous pity for the young men who are daily being drafted into dark and unexplored forests to die unaccountably. It is sweet and honorable to die for one’s country, wrote a writer I mightily admire. But I don’t know how sweet and honorable it is to die for a dishonest country. For a country whose motive one cannot tell.