My parents live in Plateau State and some time in January, I took my children and to spend some time with them. While we were there, a village not too far from where we were living was attacked. The effect spilled over to where we lived and for several days, we were under siege. Gunshots day and night and no one could go out.
On the day it started, I ran to the school where my children were, and tried to get them out because the shots were coming from that area. I had my baby on my back. Eventually I led the entire school into my father’s compound; these children took refuge in his sitting room and seeing them cry their hearts out in fright was heartbreaking. At one point as we were running from the school premises, I suddenly discovered that I was no longer holding on to my daughter..I was saving other people’s kids and I couldn’t find mine. Thankfully, I saw her again and we rushed into the house to wait out the shooting.
Later that day, the men of the Nigerian military came to my dad’s house and escorted the other children back home. They stepped into the situation and eventually, the shooting stopped. It took me several months to get over that experience and even now, I’m not sure I’m completely over it.
Our country is not perfect, but we have men and women who consistently put their lives on the line so that we can be safe. We know that if our military were not out there fighting terrorism, Nigeria would have been over run with terrorists. They would have spilled over to Lokoja, and then Enugu and Port Harcourt and Lagos… in other words, these people are the only reason we’re not all strapping our babies to our backs and running for safety, like I did earlier this year.
If you are one of those who has been bad-mouthing our military, shame on you! They need our support, love and encouragement and by God, I for one will give it to them. Let them know that they are not fighting (and dying) for people who do not appreciate their efforts.
Whenever you go to your place of worship, pray for our men and women in uniform. And if you’re on Twitter, send out encouraging messages to them using the hashtag #VictoryforNigeria. It will get to them.
Let’s all practice patriotism so that we and our children can live in a Nigeria that is free.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!