I was privileged to be a member of the governor Ugwuanyi’s 4 man electoral committee appointed to laise with representatives of ministry of defence to conduct elections into the leadership of Nigeria Legion, Enugu state chapter. It was an experience that I will never forget in a hurry.
Nigeria Legion is an association of retired, ex service men drawn from the Nigerian military and navy. They have state chapters, made up by members at the area council or LGA council. They 17 area council chairmen came for the delegate election.
I made some observations.
First , I observed that most of the current ex service men and retirees who joined the armed forces immediately after the Biafran civil war did not move past the rank of Master Warrant Officer.
Secondly, many had good education along professional discipline like engineering but were pegged because of their tribe.
They joined the force by sheer love. They loved Nigeria Armed Forces career, gave their best through service at young age, but could not grow beyond a fixed cadre. Their sin? They are Igbo men of the south east.
Among these old soldiers are three categories of people.
1. Those who saw the glass ceiling placed over their career and accepted it as their fate.
2. Those who saw the glass ceiling and retired very early to do something else with their lives.
3. Those who decided to take destiny into their hands and surmount the embargo by mentoring their sons to work around the glass ceiling and emerge as success story
Of this last group is an interesting personality, Master Warrant Officer Peter Okoro. This slender, light skinned man with athletic build came in and received cheers from his colleagues as father of two generals. He is from igugu community in Udenu LGA, Enugu state. I held him and took pictures with him.
His two sons are currently BRIGADIER GENERALS in the Nigerian Army. It’s an uncommon feat. The glass ceiling stopped him but not his children.
What are his secrets
1. Work harder if the system is rigged against u to become unstoppable, indispensable.
2. Remember that ur children is ur future joy. Invest in their future through formal and informal education.
3. Know that opportunity comes to many but only the prepared can benefit greatly. Be prepared
4. Self discipline is a must to avoid old age REGRETS
5. Pray always. Envy is real. Learn to jump hurdles not to sit and complain.
Believe it or leave it, some denials done to Igbo race toughened their minds to become achievers while the rest of the country developed entitlement mentality, struggling to keep up with the success story of the Igbo race. We are champion achievers.
The Nigeria Legion election was a family affair. It was a peaceful gathering. I pray our 2023 elections in Nigeria will be a family affair to reflect equity, fairness and justice.
The old men poured encomiums on the governor of Enugu for his humility and peace loving nature.
They made two requests
1. For privilege to get their children into the military / navy in recognition of their service. Their children should be given priority before these REPENTED whatever who end up as murderers in official uniform.
2. For early retirees below age of 60 years to be included in security services to serve and protect the Homeland. These men may have better experience and discipline for such services.
With the rising spate of extra judicial killings in Nigeria, Background check and Psychiatric evaluation should be a mandatory pre qualifier to getting enlisted in the Nigerian Armed Forces.
I wish u a restful weekend
Enugu is in the hands of God