aturday, May 30, 2014 will remain a very gloomy day in the lives of Command Secondary School Kaduna (CSSKD) old students. We lost one of our dear one to Boko Haram. It was sad because Abdulrazaq Ibrahim Umar met his untimely death in the line of duty, answering a call greater that self. He was a gallant Nigeria army officer, I believe, always putting the defense of his country top. Strange and complex as it may seem that soldiers are trained to expect everything, including death in battle fields during war times, but we will never reconcile the death of Abdulrazaq. A fine gentleman who was on a mission to restore peace and order to Nigeria, but taken by wickedness, is certainly never a dignified way to end a good life.
I known Abdulrazaq, my old friend, as an upright and a very good man. He has always been a very religious man. He was a devoted Muslim, one of the finest you will fine around. He believed in Allah and his prophet -Mohammed and he made sure he served them right. I remember our days in CSSKD, despite how young we were then, Abdulrazaq would never miss the Muslim practice. He prayed. To the best my memory can recall, he observed all of the Muslim fast. I remember how he would always wear his belief with pride. Not unto persuasion, but making sure everyone understood that our separate believes, Christian, Muslim, non-believers, that none was in anyway superior to the other. It's a shame that a good religious man like Abdulrazaq would fall to the wickedness of an evil group -Boko Haram that now shames his faith.
4th of April 2014, Abdulrazaq had marked his 4 years of marriage but he's no more with us to celebrate another one. He loved his wife dearly which is evident from his numerous posts that were full of loving words on his Facebook page. "My sugar", "sweet mango dumabi ", some of the names he calls his beautiful wife. He was a good family man. He loved his family dearly and he wanted his wife and children to grow in a peaceful country. It was with this conviction which was to "pursue peace at all cost" that Abdulrazaq decided to stand-up and face this wickedness perpetuated in the Northern-most part of Nigeria. It was for the preservation of the unity of Nigeria that is fast disintegrated that he gave his life.
Irrespective of ethnic background or religious believe, every good citizen of Nigeria should feel this sadness that we are feeling. Together with his other trained soldiers, Abdulrazaq went into harm's way to overcome, but fate thought it differently. They've sacrificed themselves, martyred so that Nigeria would have peace. Our brothers confronted wickedness on our behalf. Abdulrazaq took one for us so that this merciless bloodshed would end. The killing and the destructions to our normal way of life, it's time every man and woman realize that it's no more "their problem", it has become "our problem". Enough already!
Abdulrazaq's sacrifice we will always remember. We will remember his selfless sacrifice for motherland. His passing will be a light to our zeal to propel us to seek peace and justice at all times. The beautiful family he left behind mourns him, but we will always pray they find comfort.
How many more people do we have to lose before justice catches up on Boko Haram? I know terrorism has become a global problem. I get all that. However, that is not a justification why Nigeria should be in the news for all the wrong reason. If only Nigerian government, present and past, have acted responsibly, we wouldn't have been in this mess after all. Our country's government mismanaged everything thereby totally neglecting security. Obviously what you sow you reap. All the many years of recklessness has finally caught up.
The number one challenge Nigerians at home faces, guess what, it's not poverty, or even unemployment, but it has always been issues with insecurity. Government after government had done nothing and insecurity like cancer, has eaten into every corner of Nigeria. What basically started off as common burglars, but was left unchecked, grew into armed robbery, then hired assassins and kidnapping, and now, we have full-blown terrorism. It's all connected. There is no difference between a Boko Haram and that southern boy who perhaps is a "Christian" but takes up sophisticated arms to rob a decent businessman who trades in Onitsha main market. It's all the same. Our government, and not religion extremism as some would want to make us believe, is to be blamed.
This is not a personal attack on the present government, and obviously not a time to start the blame game because it will not bring back Abdulrazaq. But it should be said that it is for the many years of mismanagement, redundancy and corruption, that Nigeria is where it is today, and that is many years backward. To describe Nigerian government in one word -clueless. The Boko Haram saga has revealed a lot and exposed the incompetence that has eaten deep into the system. Still, we haven't seen any government official, central, state or local take responsibility for the mess that has caused us great grief. Dare I say, Mr. President, the bulk lies with you, so buckle up and take one for Nigeria. A country's government that totally neglected its core mandate which is to protect all citizens, but continue to cut corners, should expect what we now see unfolding. So man up Mr. Goodluck, apologize to Nigerians. Nigerians want to see heads of the those guilty to start rolling -both figuratively and literally.
Abdulrazaq got into the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA), and as my classmate in a military school, it was the desire of most of us then to become an officer in the Nigerian Army. He followed his dream, and he achieved what he had set his heart to become. In as much as he left too soon, he distinguished himself the short while he lived on earth. We are sad, but we are proud of his achievement. He's left a good legacy and he will forever remain evergreen in our minds. Abdulrazaq has done his part, he has served Nigeria well, and he's in a better place smiling down on us who grief. Just like many other good men and women who have fallen to the Boko Haram wickedness, we can't reverse. The best we can do is to stay strong and condemn this wickedness irrespective of which part of Nigeria we come from, reside, or whichever faith that we practice. Muslim, Christian, pagan, we should be all united in this. Evil will persist because good people refuse to do something.
In Abdulrazaq own words: "Life consist of 2 days, one for you one against you. So when it's for you don't be proud and reckless, and when it's not for you be patient, for both days are test for you." Abdulrazaq wrote this on a recent post on his Facebook page. As if he knew what sadness we would be, but choose to keep us calm. He also told us to "Pray about everything, worry about nothing.". Abdulrazaq, we will find the grace and fortitude to do so! We will continue to pray for our country that you loved so much and gave your life for. We will pray for your family. Above all we will pay that your sacrifice and the sacrifice of many others will never be in vain.
I end with Abdulrazaq's April 08, 2014 post on Facebook: "Ya Allah make the day I stand before you, the most beautiful day of my life." He heard you dear brother, friend and a loving father - Abdulrazaq Ibrahim Umar. Rest in Perfect Peace!