So yesterday’s evening, I was going through SiriusBlack’s PR-enhancing thread for the Nigerian Army on Nairaland. Midway through, I checked his profile and saw his tribute to a fallen hero, Wing Commander Chimda Hedima. The fighter jet pilot who was beheaded by Boko Haram after his jet crashed.
Late last year, a Jordanian pilot was captured by ISIS when his plane went down in similar fashion.
But there is a very sharp contrast between reactions to the two incidences. While the Jordanian authorities pleaded with the captors to treat him well and to release him, the Nigerian military completely denied Chimda. Even after his pictures in the Nigeria Air Force uniform had flooded the social media and he confessed minutes before the axe fell on his neck that he was a pilot of the Air Force, the military top brass still denied ever knowing him. They denied him even in death.
This act by the military is capable of shattering the morale of even the most patriotic. Whatever happened to the military creed of not leaving a man behind! Here, his existence is even denied by his employers, whose obeisance to led to his capture and eventual death.
How do the military expect Chimda’s colleagues to serve to their optimum level, armed with the knowledge that they are just a pawn in the hand of their employers. One who can be discarded at will.
The labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain
SiriusBlack’s tribute can be found here.