A soldier is trained to defend the territorial integrity of his or her nation or state. Soldiers undergo a lot in the process of training to become soldiers and even after becoming soldiers. Soldiers suffer in the training process. This is because they are being trained to confront life and death issues which requires endurance, agility and strength. Some countries with weak soldering manpower send their recruits to other stronger countries for necessary training.

Soldiers go to war and it’s a 50, 50 between coming back alive and not coming back alive. Soldiers can go on for days without food during war. Its not that they are fasting but its because the battle is so fierce that it calls for escape from enemies rather than seeking for food. Every sovereign nation has its own share of soldiers. Soldiers that operate from water are called navy. Those who operate in the air are referred to as air force while the ones that work with vehicles or operate on the ground are called army.

Soldiers are courageous. They are rugged, they think ahead and are fast. Soldiers are trained to disarm and render the enemy impotent. Soldiers are gentle when they are among civilians. They can go unnoticed. A real soldier will usually not show himself as one. A real soldier will never provoke anyone. They can endure provocation to any extent. However, the provocation has a limit. When it gets to its limit, no Jupiter can deter the soldier from punishing The culprit one way or the other. The issue of the Nigeran chief of defence staff in Kaduna some 2-3 years ago comes to mind. The nations number one soldier begged and begged the men causing obstruction on the road to allow him navigate the road with his convoy but they refused and even cursed and abused him. He pleaded on and on but it fell on deaf ears. The repercussion of that disobedience to the number one soldier in the country left agonizing tales behind. Don’t joke with a soldier. The gentleness of a real soldier must not be taken for granted.

Some years ago a company bus was moving staff back home after closing hours. They got to Ikeja, Lagos and took ONE WAY because of the traffic. Some soldiers were around the place and simply asked the bus to turn back. The driver refused and other top guys in the vehicle also encouraged the driver not to obey simple instruction of the soldiers. That’s actually the usual route when there is a traffic. Nevertheless, the soldier asked that they park the car overnight somewhere around for the simple ac of disobedience. It sounded funny. People in the bus made calls to who is who in the military parlance as far as they know. The soldier stood his ground. He did not shout, he did not beat anyone. He did not threaten anyone. In fact, he focused on something else on the road, but that last word that they must leave the bus and come for it the following day was final. The passengers and driver pleaded for about three solid hours to no avail. That’s a real soldier.

Soldiers are powerful. Power is the word. They operate with decrees. Their decisions are not subject to opinions of others. When General Sani Abacha was head of State in Nigeria over two decades ago, some pro-democracy groups and others were always opposing him. Newspapers write about him daily. Petroleum workers went on strike with Frank Kokori as the Secretary then. Frank Kokori and others were popular names those days. They shook the nation. The General said and did nothing all along until one day when he came on national TV to say “enough is enough” in a national broadcast. He deregistered all perceived opposing forces, including PENGASSON, NUPENG, some newspapers and Concord airline and Concord press (which belonged to the late Chief M. K. O. Abiola) to mention a few. Just that address and everything went pim. Everyone became firm, firm. Deregistered or unregistered Newspapers that were published secretly were seized in large quantities. Don’t mess with a real soldier. They are trained to defend you but if you allow them to go against you, you will regret it!

Soldiers are well dressed. They wear clean, starched, smart and ironed uniforms. Soldiers are respected in many countries. I did not say police o! I said soldiers. In the United States for instance, a soldier will be served coffee free if he is in uniform. It’s a way of saying thank you for protecting us and risking your life. I hope Nigerians will be able to give their soldiers some zobo or pineapple for free for their great work in protecting you and the nation.

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