The Nigerian Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai has continued to draw plaudits and commendations from Nigerians on his efforts at decimating and finally dislodging the once dreaded Boko Haram sect.
Before Lt. Gen. Buratai was appointed the COAS, the Abubakar Shekau led insurgents had held sway and even had the temerity to seize and control over 14 local government areas in Borno State.
They went as far as hoisting their flags in the captured areas and began making laws. Their bombings and killing sprees were becoming legendary as they killed with impunity and at will.
But the well-trained warrior decided to take the war to them and in a short while, all the areas they had annexed were recovered and the insurgents began scampering for safety, knowing that their days were numbered.
The retreated to their fortress in the Sambisa Forest but Lt. Gen Buratai and his men were on their trail. It was just a matter of days before the Sambisa Forest was captured and the terrorists dislodged with their remaining rag-tag foot soldiers driven out.
Thousands of them have surrendered, thousands more have been killed and what we have now is a disjointed and disorganized sect.
One of such encomium was poured on Lt. Gen. Buratai by Esther Okpabi, a researcher in peace and conflict resolution, in this poetic masterpiece where she eulogizes the Army Chief, for his efforts in conquering the Boko Haram sect and indeed, terrorism in Nigeria.
She captures what the once dreaded Sambisa Forest would look like when the COAS is done with clearance operations currently going on.
Enjoy the poem here:
“The Chief Armour bearer gazes out,
At the impenetrable midnight darkness,
On his sofa in the makeshift camp in Sambisa Forest.
His lenses sights sparkling lights,
Blistering halogens artificially illuminated the night,
At a distance close to his heart.
Sounds of raving engines, tar, bitumen, concrete mixers,
And howling orders, perforated his eardrums,
Nodding severally in contentment, as Army engineers,
Cracked rocks and cleared the mesh of trees and, grading paths.
At last, windy labyrinths, were neatly unfolding,
For human and vehicular traffic,
In the Sambisa Forest, the colonial game reserve,
And famous safest sanctuary of ‘Book’ Haram terrorists.
The devious deviants remember end of the year 2016,
With pain and nausea,
As Nigerian soldiers humbled the sartorial pride,
Of prancing terrorists,
By freely spilling combat might on their damned souls,
Midwifing a forced divorce from ‘Wife’ Sambisa Forest.
Pleasant images blitzed the Army Chief,
He recounted the initial battles,
The piteous wails, captures and scampers of insurgents,
At the once fortified terrorist camp,
Zero humbled by military bullets,
It invoked his poetic instincts.
He grabbed his pen and jotter,
And scribbled an epigram poem,
Wittingly titled “End of the Road”,
Indeed, “End of the Road”,
For Abubakar Shekau and his apostates of perdition.
Reminiscing terrorists rage two years earlier,
Time then, and time now,
The war Emperor remembers, the killing,
Atrocities, anguish, and pains,
Induced by insurgents.
His heart pierced with pain,
At the blood of Nigerians, recklessly spilled by insurgents,
The basketfuls of sorrows, inconsolable cries of families,
Fears, day and night, in forlorn camps and homes.
The incredibly Shekau’s seeming,
Invincibility and iron-cast haughtiness,
The crows of his top commanders and foot soldiers,
Have eclipsed into defeat and begging submissions,
Of many renegades, couched in flurries,
Of renunciations of the devious sect, penitence.
Now a new Sambisa city, not forest has emerged,
It is the final erasure of relics,
Of Boko Haram terrorists,
Sambisa is new training field for military personnel,
It symbolizes the last technical reclamation of Nigeria,
From terrorists; a sure path to the final end of the insurgency.
The Chief Armour bearer,
Envisions this final termination of remnants,
Of terrorists, as the road spawns through Sambisa,
As reflected in his epigram poem,
“End of the Road”,
It is Shekau and his bloodcurdling beasts,
Freedom for Nigeria; resilient peace for Nigeria.
And these grandeur vision,
The Army Chief,
A war prodigy, conqueror and admirable polyglot,
Versed in Portuguese, much as English,
Conveys to Nigerians,
In a plain and simple English, epigamic poem,
Enriching in style and diction,
Instead of Spanish language,
His favourite medium for ventilating literary ingenuity.”