National respects being offered today to the four soldiers who died in a plane crash last month is a mark of appreciation and encouragement.
Cameroon is witnessing a memorable event today 3 February, 2017 at the Headquarters Brigade in Yaounde. The Military funeral honours taking place in the presence of the Head of State; Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces gives an added dimension to the occasion in terms of the calibre and mantle of the valiant soldiers involved. Brigadier General Kodji Jacob, Colonel Nkameni Alphonse, Lieutenant Souloukna Ngrassou Basile, Lieutenant Chinda Mu Tankam Brice, who will be raised to higher ranks posthumously made the supreme sacrifice for the nation on 22nd January 2017 at the locality of Tchofo near Bogo in the Diamare Division of the Far-North Region at 6:45 P.M. A helicopter crash as they returned from a routine surveillance mission brutally left them in the cold hands of death.
Since the Head of State declared war against the Boko Haram sect on 17 May 2014, Cameroonians have seen several scenes of military honours to soldiers killed at the war front with either the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, senior military officials or Governors presiding at such events depending on the place and circumstance where they took place. Such events have always been characterised by sad emotions from family members and the entire nation given the selfless sacrifices made by the fallen soldiers. Each time the State has organised such funerals, the message has been to honour the dead and encourage those left behind not to relent until the enemy is completely wiped out.
Thus, news of the demise of General Kodji and his collaborators sounded like another bombshell in terms of victims that the country has counted in the offensive. A situation that has been interpreted as a catalyst for greater combative posture and determination from the defence forces on the ground in the Far-North Region. So far, onslaughts by the sect have been reduced to sporadic hit-and-run suicide bombings. This shows a visible departure from their initial tactics of all out military attacks on Cameroonian soil.
Given the level of soldiers being honoured today by the Head of State at a time when the war is witnessing its closing phase, it is indicative of national resolve to ensure that the war is taken to its logical end. The brutality so far demonstrated by members of the extremist sect has been such that no second thought could be given until their fighting power is completely eradicated.
As leader of the troops since the fighting started and even throughout his career, Brigadier General Kodji has variously been qualified as a real soldier who symbolises the defence for fatherland by never hesitating once it came to his professional challenges. Transmitting such professional and purposeful sense of duty to his colleagues is evident in the morale of the troops that he has left behind and the victories recorded by the forces on the ground since his brutal demise are all signs that his spirit of determination has not left the soldiers. Consequently, the loss of charismatic soldiers that Cameroon is commemorating today can only serve as a booster for the defence forces to better cover up for their absence.
The symbolism of resilience shown by the four soldiers being honoured was already evident yesterday 2 February 2017 during their coffining ceremony and the wake keep which took place in prelude to today’s National Honours to be chaired by the Head of State.
Another significant point to mark the services that the valiant soldiers have rendered to the country throughout their career is the opening of a condolence book until 10 February, 2017 for people of goodwill to put down the loving memories they have of the fallen soldiers.
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