Monday, April 19, 2021 8:43 am
It is a universal practice since ancient times for people in power to go to the war front to boost the morale of troops. That was what Bashir Magashi, the Defence Minister, tried to do on Sunday, 18 April, when he addressed the troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, the Theatre Command headquarters.
He was there with the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor and other service chiefs.
The only trouble is that he showed himself as a demoralising fatalist, telling the fighters not to fear any bullet from the terrorists. This is because if they are meant to die by a bullet, they would.
Magashi was quoted by TNG: “Don’t fear any bullet, the bullet will come and it will go. If you are not meant to die by a bullet you will never die but if you are meant to die by a bullet, even in your bedroom bullet will come and reach you, which is what I experienced during service.”
According to the Minister, the motive of the visit was to assess the fighting spirit of the troops of operation Lafiya Dole and also to motivate them.
The retired general revealed that the Federal Government would soon bring recruits to shore up the force in order to be able to defeat the insurgents.
He revealed:, “Very soon we will embark on the recruitment of other soldiers and officers so that we improve the manpower holding of our armed forces.
“We will bring new equipment, new skills in which I will like all of you to benefit.
“There are many other operations that we are doing in terms of banditry and other things in this country and I am sure that given the right tools, you will do this country proud. We believe in you, your training, professionalism and we believe you can do the country the requirements of beating the Boko haram as we have it now.”
In February, Magashi caused a stir when he advised Nigerians not to be cowardly when bandits invade their communities.
His words, “It is the responsibility of everybody to keep alert and to find safety when necessary. But we shouldn’t be cowards.
“At times, the bandits will only come with about three rounds of ammunition, when they fire shots everybody runs.
“In our younger days, we stand to fight any aggression coming for us.
“I don’t know why people are running from minor things like that…”
Bashir Magashi is a retired Nigerian Army Major General. He was appointed Governor of Sokoto State from August 1990 to January 1992 during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. He was appointed Nigeria’s Minister of Defence by President Muhammadu Buhari on 21 August 2019.