Tribute to our Troops

Today is January 15, Nigeria’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day. It’s a day set aside to remember the men and women of our armed forces who have given their lives in the service of this nation. Today, we look at the conflicts, both within and outside our borders, where we have lost valiant men, valiant women, our brothers, our sisters, our officers.

I’m not a poet, but I offer these lines as my tribute to our fallen heroes.

Nigerian Military

Tiny cries are heard

A baby is born

“It’s a boy”, they scream

Here begins his story


From the cradle, he is nurtured

Day by day, he grows

First steps, first words

One milestone after another


Move forward a couple of years…


Yesterday’s baby is now eighteen

He says he wants to join the army

He wants to serve his country

With love and strength and faith


His parents are adamant

“Our son would not join the army”

He’s our only child

Finally, they concede, he’s free to join


So he enlists

Nigeria Military School

Nigeria Defense Academy

Where heroes are forged


He believes in his country

His country would value him

His country would be there for him

His compatriots will respect him


Then an insurgency breaks out

It’s time to defend his country

He gladly accepts the call

To serve his fatherland


He lines up for his equipment

One rusty AK47, 30 bullets

What would he do with these?

Against RPGs, M16s and suicide bombers


Still he obeys

The labours of heroes past

Shall never be in vain

He enters the battlefield


The radio is dead

The tank is immobile

There’s no air support

The situation is hopeless


Yet he bravely fights on

His bullets are expended

He fights with his hands

His knife, the only friend left


A bullet hits his left leg

He remains standing, fighting

Another bullet hits his right leg

He falls to his knees


Where are his comrades?

Where is the medical team?

Before he finally blacks out

He thinks about the country he loves


His name is Unknown

His country is Nigeria

The government may forget him

But in our hearts he will always stay

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