Okay, I am not joking, at a point in my life, I wanted to be a soldier.
Looking back, I can not exactly pin-point if it is the regimented life that appealed to me, or the fact that their kids paid less school fees (I went to a Military Sponsored Secondary (High) School)…but rest assured, it had neither to do with The License to Kill, nor actually serving my Country (back then…lol).
Ironically, as a kid, I fed poorly because I felt it was an ‘African thing’ to eat too much, snubbed a good number of the morsel-based meals that are characteristically African (before you hang my lack of Afrocentricity, just remember most of our Parents were the Colonial era kids who grew up thinking that everything British is superior), and ended up with the Gangly-Slim frame that would haunt me for life. In any case, slim is cool nowadays, and I still flaunt my ‘lack-of-pot-belly’.
Okay, I did not dare the
It was also my way of getting back at King’s College,
A little bit of explanation for Non-Nigerian readers (audience, I mean; after all, I am ranting). The Nigeria of the 1980s to early 90s witnessed the ‘Golden Age’ of Military Dictatorship and the only way to get ‘good education’ complete with facilities was to read yourself silly so you can pass the entrance examination to ‘Unity Schools’ which were the Federal Government Colleges (High School to Americans)/King’s and Queen’s College, Command Secondary/Day Secondary Schools (CSS, and CDSS), Nigerian Military School, Zaria, and Nigerian Navy, and Air-Force Military Schools.
As students of Command Secondary School Jos, our experiences were intensely harrowing. Once you were in the school, there was no going out without an Exeat which took forever to get, and could still be turned down the way those dudes at immigration stamp their rejection on Nigerian passports with frenzy.
I still wanted to be a Soldier, skinny or not.
The senior students stripped most of us nude at one point and asked us to roll on the ground while they poured water on us and ‘messed our hides with whips’ while we chanted ‘I am a Toad, I have a long tail, cut it for me’ , we were beaten with semi-machetes; I STILL WANTED TO BE A SOLDIER!
Then came the Christmas Eve of 1989; Civil War broke out in
But there were those that didn’t. There were those who went through the ordeal of the
In any case, back to the Liberian saga. The English speaking members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decided to intervene in the Liberian Civil War and a Monitoring Group of Soldiers were sent as troops (ECOMOG). Some have alleged it was all in a bid to save Samuel Kanyon Doe’s sorry butt, (considering the fact that as at 1989, Military Dictatorship was the norm and it was an esprit-de-corps thingie) in any case, the Troops went anyway.
Unfortunately, Samuel Doe died at the hands of Prince Johnson's Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia on 9 September 1990 and since that was not part of the plan, the drama had to continue. Stories were told of organized looting to the extent that the ECOMOG got renamed: "Every Car or Movable Object Gone". There was an incident of the total removal of the Buchanan iron ore processing machinery for onward sale while the Buchanan compound was under ECOMOG control.
The soldiers went to ‘serve the Country’; were they appreciated?
What would have made rebel troops hate
The macabre show had to continue. In 1997, troops were sent to
For whatever reasons, God knows what had been going down that we may never know based on Military Omerta, 27 soldiers decided to break the code by protesting the non-payment of their allowance; the Proles dared to speak! (Antz; anyone?)
The Masu Sarauta (aristocrats) have a weapon: the Pseudo-Talakawa (refer to TRANCE COP in my June Blog)! I find it particularly annoying that the weapon is in the hands of the Pseudo-Talakawa but the Power remains the exclusive preserve of the Masu Sarauta!
That is why an old man was running the politics of
That is why a slob (excuse my manners) of an Inspector General, whose tummy would seriously impede his combat skills would steal a record 103 Million dollars Police fund and be walking free after some brief VIP detention whereas he gave orders for his men to massacre petty thieves! Bernard Madoff must be wishing he were Nigerian!
The sad part of it all is that these 27 soldiers (female inclusive) were arraigned for mutiny and sentenced to Life Imprisonment! Now you all would probably give me that cliché: “A soldier obeys the last order” etc etc and I would just ask: Why on earth is Al Mustapha under trial if all he did was obeying the late General Sanni Abacha? What about the female soldier that got detained for two months and eventually dismissed for not being a sex-slave to her commander during the
Alas! No one is going to be bothered. The Omerta has been served on us all during the spell of mass hypnosis that is currently gripping the nation. After all, we are not related to those dudes, and we didn’t ask them to enroll in the army.
One day, it will be a crime for the Talakawa to do the dookie (use the Restroom), and someone is going to be hung for protesting….that person would be better off, because he would be delivered from the toxins that has accumulated in his system, while the rest of the Talakawa would have damaged kidneys, one after the other, after all, they had no guts in the first place.
*Sees two soldiers decorating him with an Eagle, a Star and Crossed-Swords, shudders and mutters aloud: GOD FORBID!!!*