Sunday, May 23, 2021 11:15 am
By Oluwole Adesina
Our first three months in Liberia was tough.
The ECOMOG food was nothing to write home about.The operation allowance was quarterly.
While we kept eyes on Charles Taylor’s rebels hunger was “marking time” on everyone of us.
My platoon commander in Camp 8, the then Capt Attahiru, was feeling it too but his reassurance to his boys kept us going.
“Gentlemen, this is the end of our second month in the bush. We will have our operation allowance next month Insha Allah.”
Then from nowhere, breadfruit sprang up on a tree in the camp.
No one knew the fruits except me. I was surprised the few Yoruba in the platoon didn’t know it either. I plucked two to cook when the fruit got ripe for consumption.
Oga Attahiru was afraid for my life as he doesn’t want the first casualty from his platoon, but I assured him.
Sir, they used to fry this fruit for sale in my father’s town on market day. And you can boil it like yam too.
Was my Oga convinced? Never. He looked at me like Ekiti bat while I cooked the fruit.
After three hours I had his baritone voice from my trench.
“Adesi, pluck two fruits, then teach my batman how to cook it.”
Oga, it will run your stomach sir.
“Bloody idiots, when all of you have had it?”
That was how we used breadfruit to augment our ration in the bush until we had first pay.
LT.GEN Ibrahim Attahiru aka “Bloody Idiot”, how do I forget you sir?
I wasn’t myself since Friday, 21 May.
I know you are at peace now.
If there is Army at the other end I know it will be 7th Guards.
Men who had paid the ultimate price from the unit will be happy to have you.
Infantry men like:
Oga Ojulari. Capt Zampa Zukwam.
RSM Buba Pullo.
These were your boys from Alpha Company alone.
You came, you saw and reached the pinnacle of your career.
Rest in Peace, my dear General.
We loved you but Almighty Allah love you most.
-Oluwole Adesina, another soldier, served with General Attahiru in the UN peace keeping operation in Liberia. His tribute was shared by Liberty Badmus Oluwole and Mary Ademola Ayeni Tehinse