SIR: It is with unimaginable tears of joy that I express my hearty congratulations on your victory against the deadly Boko Haram sect.
The entire country has been thrown to a hysterical moment with the news of this victory. Big congratulations to you and our gallant soldiers who achieved this great feat. Words really can’t thank you all for your sacrifice and will to protect our fatherland at all cost. The timing of this triumph is perfect as we edge closer to a new year of renewed optimism.
For some years now, we have endured horrendous carnage in the hands of those terrorists. People, especially in the North-east, particularly Borno State, have been rendered homeless, businesses and properties shut down and vandalized, kept apart from their loved ones and psychologically living in anticipation of the worst.
It is pathetic how we lived in fear, run at a fast acceleration with the strike of a flat tyre, filled with trepidation in market squares, viewing centres and social cum religious gatherings as our safety was under constant threat.
Perhaps it was a long wait. It is now fully deserved. The patient dog eats the fattest bone. Before now, many of us have ruled out the possibility of winning the war. And for those that remained hopeful for long, it faded gradually till the odds became apparently not in our favour. It looked as though Boko Haram have come to stay ad infinitum.
But as reports emanate about the final assault by operation Lafiya Dole to invade the stronghold of their fortress: Sambisa forest, we grinned, prayed and had renewed hopes. And as such, we salute your efforts, for masterminding the final push that disgorged the sect to their demise.
You and your men alone knew what ensued at the battleground that purged them to the embrace of your bullets and for that, we remain in your awe. This is a victory we have craved for, dreamt of and lived for!
While we continue to celebrate your triumph, it is imperative for us not to rest on our laurels and do the needful. The security conundrum has always been lack of preventive measures cum consistency. More often than not, we are not proactive; we wait to arrest the situation after the worst has been done.
We are caught off guard in most cases because we fail to instill consistency in detecting, preventing and sustaining effective security measures. Now, this has to change. It must change. Boko Haram may have been defeated, but we must not slumber for a return to dark days. We must not give room for any terror group to ensconce themselves in our territory again.
The reward of your sacrifices is with God. May He reward you in plenitude. I also congratulate and appreciate the man whose strong will, alacrity and resolve to eradicate Boko Haram remains second to none since taking the mantle of leadership: President Muhammadu Buhari. Thank you. Wishing you all a prosperous new year ahead!
By Jamila Usman
Usman wrote from IBB University, Lapai, Niger State.