As Nigerian troops confront the insurgency in the troubled North East States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe headlong, citizens have been called upon to offer encouragement in any form to the soldiers in their quest to restore peace and hope to the region.
A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Put Nigeria First (PNF), noted that Nigerian troops deserve a better welfare package and more support than they are currently getting from the government and Nigerians respectively.
According to the group’s National Coordinator, Mrs. Ijeoma Nwafor, Nigerians should be more appreciative of the sacrifices by the soldiers in the service of the nation.
Besides, she regretted that rather than being appreciated for their sacrifices, the soldiers are being subjected to unfair criticisms and accusations of human rights violation.
She noted: “The soldiers deserve better welfare packages from the government and better treatment from Nigerians, for them to be better motivated in their chosen national assignment, she noted”.
Towards this end, she said that the PNF is set to launch a massive nationwide campaign tagged Support Our Soldiers (SOS), to draw attention to the plight of soldiers and their families during times of conflict and the need for Nigerians to be convinced why the troops must be supported.
She also disclosed that the group has finalized plans to launch an appeal fund to support widows and orphans of slain Nigerian soldiers.
Nwafor added, “In most countries, the military is revered, cherished and appreciated by its citizens, because they are often the unsung heroes of every sovereignty. Nigeria should not be different. In this war against insurgency, they are the ones that are paying the ultimate price to see that Nigeria is safer”.
Nwafor added, “These soldiers have put Nigeria first before their own lives. They go without support and sometimes unnoticed by those of us who are benefitting directly or indirectly from their efforts.
“Our men and women in uniform are faced with real challenges. They leave their families for months at a time; go into dangerous situations, some are injured, others lose their lives and a portion of them are even unaccounted for, all in a bid to put Nigeria first.
“We believe we ought to support our soldiers beyond what the government ministries and agencies do; they ought to know that the citizens are not only aware of them and their efforts, but are appreciative”.
Nwafor also noted that Nigerians should be thinking of proffering solutions to the intractable insurgency rocking the North East rather than pointing fingers.