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A Tale Of The Nigerian Armed Forces

“To serve our fatherland,
with love and strength and faith.”

Not many hold dear and actively carry out the words of the Nigerian anthem like the military, people who surrender their lives willingly for the protection and glorification of the state.

At its height, the Boko Haram insurgency not only threatens to decimate Nigeria as we know it. It also seeks to bring large swathes of land under its absolute control.

According to the 2006 population figures, the sect reigned with an absolute impunity over about 1.7 million people. It declared a caliphate that spanned 11 vocal councils in states such as Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

A Nigerian soldier awaits instructions during Flintlock 2016, a U.S.-led international training exercise with African militaries in Thies, Senegal, February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Sylvain Cherkaoui

Insecurity was profound in the Northeast, infrastructure destroyed, farmlands were deserted, markets became desolated, schools were constantly violated and large-scale humanitarian crisis that still bites very hard planted itself in the region.

But that despicable part of the Nigerian history is fading away, giving room to a rising hope. And the country has its military—often maligned, yet celebrated—to thank for that.

Brutal attacks on soft and military targets are becoming infrequent. Markets and roads are enjoying a new lease of life. Schools are welcoming back students and smiles are returning to faces that have shed too many tears for the loss of loved ones.

With the military’s recently launched mission, Operation Last Hold, it is hoped that the task of totally decimating the insurgents will be achieved.

Pick up a copy of Guardian Life this Sunday as we take a look into the role this symbol of authority and power has played in our nation as a way to honour the Nigerian military.

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