A Day In The Life: The Soldier Eagerly Looking Forward To Civilian Life

August 11, 2020

“A Week In The Life” is a weekly Zikoko series that explores the working-class struggles of Nigerians. It captures the very spirit of what it means to hustle in Nigeria and puts you in the shoes of the subject for a week.


Today’s subject is a soldier in this mid-thirties who walks us through fighting bandits in the North, corruption in the military, and his plans for civilian life once his military service is over.

I wake up as early as 5 am. I say my prayers and listen to some gospel messages [from my pastor] on my phone. As a soldier, I can’t really predict my day. I might get to work and be told that I’m going to Lagos or Kaduna. I might also be told to go home and report to Kafanchan or Jos the next day. I only ever know what my day is like when I get to work. As a result, it’s difficult to surprise me because I’m always prepared for any scenario. If you call me now that my mum is dead, I won’t be shocked. I’ll just be like “mummy die.” I’ll feel the impact but the pain won’t linger because I’m used to moving on quickly. 

So, after I finish listening to my gospel messages, I dress up and go to work. 

At work, we get a distress call that bandits are robbing people. In the North, where my barracks is located, there is a high prevalence of banditry and it’s our job to protect the civilian population. Today, hoodlums are robbing on the highway linking Abuja to Minna, so we are going to clear them. 

The life of a soldier man is dedicated to maintaining peace and order. Many times it is at our own expense. This distress call reminds me of a day I’ll never forget; December 1st, 2015. That’s one of the fiercest battles I’ve fought in my entire life. We responded to a call as usual but those idiots [bandits] kept on exchanging fire with us. They’d fire at us and we’d fire back at them. Then we had to use our military tactics to flank them and put them in the middle. After which they had no choice but to surrender. Some even ran away with gunshot wounds but we were able to capture their weapons. 

Another thing that made that day memorable was that a colleague got shot beside me. On the battlefield, when someone gets shot, you no fit just rush help am because they [bandits] will shoot you too. So, you go just dey look am dey give am words of encouragement: “Guy don’t fight it.” “Just breathe easy”, “Take it easy.” As you’re watching him, you’ll also keep fighting so that your enemies don’t close in on you. If you’re lucky to be on covered ground with barriers, your colleagues will cover each other while they come to you to apply first aid.  However, if it’s an open ground and they can’t make it in time, they’ll throw you a first aid box – That’s if it’s an injury that you can apply first aid by yourself. 

We’ve had so many cases, at different locations, in different areas where we watched our colleagues and friends bleed to death. It’s painful seeing soldiers dying on a regular basis because, at the end of the day, we’re all human. But what can we do? – we bear it and life goes on. Someone you saw this morning can be gone the next minute. It’s not a thing of joy.

Thankfully, we were able to rescue my colleague and he didn’t die.

It saddens me that corruption is also part of the reason soldiers die. Imagine risking your life and getting substandard weapons to use in battle. I’ll rather not talk on the matter because it’s just so painful. I keep saying that if we want to totally eliminate corruption as a whole in Nigeria, we should start from the military. The armed forces as a whole – paramilitary, everybody. They are the main groups of corruption in Nigeria. If they can tackle the corruption in the armed forces, then corruption will be reduced if not eradicated in other sectors. 

Omo, it’s been a long day and I can’t stress myself thinking too much about these things. For now, I just want to go home. 

I look forward to civilian life when I retire from the military – I’ll enjoy my gratuity, flex my wife, and watch so many American films with her. By that time my kids would all be grown up so my wife and I can enjoy ourselves.


Editors note: The image used was randomly taken off the internet as the interview was conducted anonymously.

Check back every Tuesday by 9 am for more “A Week In The Life ” goodness, and if you would like to be featured or you know anyone who fits the profile, fill this form.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

August 17, 2021

A Week In The Life” is a weekly Zikoko series that explores the working-class struggles of Nigerians. It captures the very spirit of what it means to hustle in Nigeria and puts you in the shoes of the subject for a week. The subject of today’s “A Week In The Life” is a club hostess and […]

March 20, 2020

Coronavirus is changing a lot of things. From work to travel to worship. I was wondering if some of this change could trickle down to email culture. Especially seeing as social distancing is the new rule. Email culture can be is very passive-aggressive. With its innuendos and doublespeak galore. I was inspired by Ufuoma to […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

May 20, 2022

Nobody will pass off a chance to win an all-expense-paid trip to KENYA with the winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7. So if you are still thinking, dreaming, waiting, or thinking you have enough time, then you are wasting time because this promo is ending on the 7th of June. Do we have your attention? Here’s […]

Recommended Quizzes

December 3, 2019

Are you a professional Yoruba demon? Are you walking around in search of whose life you can wreck at any given time? Well, this quiz knows exactly how many hearts you’ve shattered to date, and before you lie that your result is inaccurate, just remember that Zikoko is never wrong. Now, take it and be […]

November 7, 2019

These days, everyone is always talking about how much sex they’re getting, or how little sex they’re getting, or how disgusting sex is etc. There’s just so much talk about sex, it’s almost impossible to know who’s lying and who’s telling the truth. In anticipation of our new series about the sex lives of young […]

November 12, 2019

Are you a single pringle, stuck in a complicated situationship or happily married to the love of your life? This quiz is here to guess your current relationship status, and as you know, Zikoko quizzes are incredibly accurate (don’t quote us). So, give a shot:

More from Hustle

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X