Saturday 8 October 2016

Boko Haram: Friend weeps as young Major is killed in ambush

The very bitter story of one young and brilliant army Major Erasmus whose life was cut short in a Boko Haram attack, has been told by a friend who in shock cannot bear the news of his buddy’s demise. According to the horrified friend named Raphael Edem, the sad news of Major Eramus’ demise, filtered in yesterday, October 7.Edem, who is an aide to Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, took to his Facebook wall to pour his heart out regarding the irreplaceable loss of his friend and a Nigerian hero in his own right.

According to Edem’s account, Major Erasmus was at one time the Second-in-Command at the Nigerian Army Brigade in Ibagwa, Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state, until he was posted to Maiduguri, some months ago, to join troops in the eye of the storm, where the Boko Haram war raged the most.

Erasmus unfortunately lost his live to the insurgents, having fought gallantly; leaving tears to flow endlessly like rivers.
Below is an account of the tragic loss as narrated by Raphael Edem.

The beginning of friendship
“I met Major Erasmus in January this year. We were preparing for the annual ritual of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day. He was the 2/ic at the Brigade in Ibagwa and was coordinating the activities and introducing me to the nuances of military parades and traditions. Friendly, welcoming, affable, very polite, ever-smiling and soft spoken. It was difficult to believe that this young man of about my age, with a baby face and an innocent, almost clerical demeanor was an army officer. I don’t think I have ever met a more friendly and gentlemanly officer! We struck and instant bond and kept in touch after the ceremonies.

Brilliant in mind and strong at heart

“He was very intelligent, well schooled within and outside the country where he shone like a millions stars, and going by the testimony of his colleagues that I got to meet at different times, he was an excellent officer who was very professional and good at his job.

He invited me to the tombola night at Ibagwa, and we kept in touch despite his frequent trips to Kaduna to finalize his Masters degree programme. Anybody who met him while not in uniform would be hard pressed to believe he was a military man, let alone an army officer.”

A hint of death

“He told me about his transfer to Maiduguri, but my apprehension about that posting was tempered by the Government’s assurances that Boko Haram had been routed in the North East. Erasmus assured me that we will get to see sometime soon.

Alas! That is not going to happen as I woke this morning to the tragic news that he had been killed by an ambush in Maiduguri. And that is how we have lost this young, fresh-faced, bachelor officer.”

Heroes forgotten

“Today, the enormity of the task and sacrifices made by our armed forces stares me in the face. The career path they have chosen is something everyone should respect and appreciate.

Adieu Major Erasmus, Adieu my friend! Adieu officer and gentleman par excellence. The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained. May God rest your soul and may your ultimate sacrifice not be in vain”, Raph wrote.

The war against Boko Haram has taken too much from Nigeria, so many young, brilliant and gallant soldiers have been lost in the course of this baseless war. Like Raphael hinted, it is been Nigeria’s tradition to forget the efforts of our fallen heroes and we rarely get to properly reward those who are still living.

It is the prayer of Nigerians that the insurgency within the northeast comes to quick end, having lingered too long already. For the friends and family members of the late Major Erasmus, we can only pray that they are granted the fortitude to bear the loss, extending this also to all those soldiers lost in the cause of this war.

The Nigerian government must also see to it that the families of this men who stand at the frontline, defending this nation with sweat and blood, are properly taken care off.

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