Boko Haram: NGO Drums up Support for Nigerian Soldiers
An Abuja-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Put Nigeria First (PNF), has stressed the need for Nigerians to mobilise support for the country’s soldiers currently involved in the war against terrorism in the North-eastern states.
The coordinator of the PNF, Ms. Ijeoma Nwafor, made the call at the weekend in Abuja, indicating that among the three programmes of the NGO, premium was placed on the Support Our Soldiers (SOS) aspect.
“PNF plans to support widows and orphans of Nigerian soldiers; advocate for additional welfare for the soldiers and organize events to raise awareness of the plight of our soldiers and their family members,” a statement by the organisation noted.
“The project is a challenge to all of us because of the peculiarity of the problems in the country,” Nwafor said, adding that the group “would support the soldiers based on their needs,” through donations made to the cause by Nigerians.
“We are banking on the average citizen to support the NGO. Every person knows about the insurgency in the North. We want Nigerians to be aware of the things that are happening,” she explained.
According to her, the choice of the military is because “it is an institution that has direct responsibility to stop insurgency. So, it is important to focus on the soldiers because the army is part of or national identity.”
Asking the soldiers on the frontline of crisis to be aware of their public image, the NGO pledged to engage on what it termed “Orange Ribbon” campaign to support the soldiers. Nwafor said the campaign, billed to take place July 7, will target 1 million signatures on telephone “display pictures.”
The PNF has also lined up other programmes such as “Operation Flag Flying” and “Our Anthem, Our Prayer” to project patriotism as a solution to problems of ethnic bigotry and the use of religion “as a weapon to accomplish evil self-centred agenda.”