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Implications of Government’s Inaction Over Killings in Nigeria

This week’s work explores the natural implications and possible consequences to Nigeria and Nigerians of government’s inability to curb the excessive suffering of tens of millions of Nigerians who, if not maimed or killed as a result of tribal or religious reasons, wallow in poverty, penury and frustration.

Shortly before the outbreak of COVID-19 diverted the attention of world leaders from the day to day administration of their countries to saving the lives of their citizens, President Donald Trump of the United States Of America commented on the persistent and un-abating religiously-inspired killings of Christians in Nigeria and the surprising inability of the government of Nigeria to either stop the killings or bring the perpetrators to book.

Members of the American Congress and many Americans echoed Mr. Trump’s feelings about Nigeria. These feelings of President Trump, members of the American congress and many Americans were widely aired in the CNN (Cable News Network).

About the third week of June 2020, the British Parliament threw their thumbs down in a group opinion as they decried and vehemently condemned what they said looked like selective killing of Christians in Nigeria by both the Boko Haram asymmetric insurgents, the marauding Fulani Herdsmen, and the notorious armed bandits.

The circumstances and politics surrounding the non-release of Leah Sharibu, the Christian school girl who refused to denounce her faith, and the government’s dangling and uncertain position in respect of what has undoubtedly attracted the attention of the international Community, is a matter of grave concern to all Christians around the world.

The global Terrorism Index (GTI) for 2019 released recently ranked Nigeria the third most affected country in the world by terrorism.

Nigeria took his unenviable position following after Afghanistan and Iraq which took the first and second positions, respectively, in the report.

The report noted that, “Violence between Nigerian herders and farmers intensified in early 2018 with approximately 300,000 people fleeing their homes”, adding that the primary driver of the increase in the region was a rise in terrorist activity in Nigeria which the report attributed to Fulani extremists.

To us living in Nigeria, the GTI report was an understatement, a tip of the Iceberg when compared to what Nigerians witness daily. This is so because more killings and the sacking of entire villages have actually taken place in Nigeria after the years considered in the report that Nigeria, a country that is supposed to be in peace really have more IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) camps scattered within and outside the country including Cameroon, Chad, and Niger Republic, than many countries experiencing war around the world.

In a related report published by the United Nations on Friday, 24th July, 2020, it was revealed that 801 Children and another 632 adults were maimed by the Boko Haram insurgents within 24 months in Nigeria. This, again, is a very conservative figure compared with what eye witness accounts of victims and their families, friends and relations narrate in the print and electronic media.

This particular revelation came on the heels of the release to the Nigerian community of 601 “repented” Boko Haram insurgents by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Perhaps, the government in the spirit of late President Umaru Yar’adua’s gesture, compares the Boko Haram insurgents with the Niger Delta foot-soldiers who were granted amnesty by the late former President.

I think the government was ill-advised to embark on this line of action because there should be no comparison between a group who fought to take possession of her crude oil resource with another group which has plainly told the government that it is fighting a holy war of displacement in favor of one out of the many religious groups in Nigeria, to install an Islamic state in Nigeria.

The so-called integration is suspicious and incriminates the government the more, throwing light on possible reason for government’s inability to stop the insurgency, in spite of the huge human, financial and material resources that have gone in the battle to secure Nigeria.

There could be possibilities that some of these Boko Haram retirees may actually be on espionage and the reconnaissance mission on Nigeria and how the security apparatuses work in order to infiltrate and burst it.

As a matter of fact, they may have infiltrated the security network because it is only through the perspective of the presence of moles in the military services can one explain the repetitive pattern of the missing Nigerian soldiers after every combat with the insurgents. Those missing soldiers may actually have been Boko Haram members within the Nigerian camp who only utilized the opportunities offered by the battles to escape to where actually they belonged.

The intractability of both the Boko Haram insurgents and the armed bandits in Nigeria may be a fall-out to the fact that some of the personalities presently in government in Nigeria had unknowingly opened up the country for the criminals when, as the opposition to the previous government, they had found certain uses in the elements within the Boko Haram, to press the hatred of the opposition against the government in power.

This line of thought becomes more plausible with the consecutive suspicious death of some of the Nigerian military officers who have been known to do great jobs in routing out the insurgents, including, the untimely and sad death of Miss Sarah  Tolulope  Arotile , Nigerian first female Air force combat flying officer in what the Nigerian Air force authority  described as a motor accident within the vicinity of the barracks!

The scenario being created looks like the proverbial  “the more you look, the less you see”, as the unfolding drama which present generation Nigerians have the misfortune to be watching  playing out in our lifetime, seem to have been summarized in a statement credited to one of the Nigerian military Generals who officiated the re-integration of the insurgents.

The General was quoted to have said that one of the Boko Haram  retirees may actually rule over us as a President (Head of State and Commander in Chief!) some day. That was a dangerous remark and a bad precedent being created against the law of arson and treasonable felony for which those so-called ‘repentant’ Boko Haram members, who confessed of many killings and maiming of innocent Nigerians, would have made to face.

Be that as it may, the Military High Command needs either to disown this informant and his information or clarify to Nigerians what the man actually meant if they understand better than the rest of us.

One of the major reasons the present government was voted or found its way into power was the promise to fight insecurity of life and properties. As a campaign promise, that item was well laid out by the APC political party. But since 2015, no week passes in Nigeria especially in parts of north eastern Nigeria, Kaduna and Benue states, without reports of gruesome murder of Christians in Nigeria.

On the basis of these inexcusable and unexplainable riddles of death of Christians in Nigeria, the killings can only point to one thing which, though I find it difficult to believe till I am given another opinion to the country, may be true: The evidence on ground gives evidence to the suspicion that there is presently a religious cleansing going on in Nigeria.

Obviously, the country learnt nothing from the event of the 30-month fratricidal war, and it is my prayer that the country does not wait to learn her lesson through another, most undoubtedly, more gruesome war, before it puts its acts together.

The great philosopher, Santayana, says that, “those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it”.  Nigeria seems to be walking along the path of repeating a hideous history.

The people who want to twist Nigeria to dance to their ethnic and religious whims and caprices must understand, and should not be under any misguided illusion that they are still masked. Nigerians know all of them and are ready to fight them to recover and protect their ancestral home.The time bomb they installed in the polity is ticking by the day, waiting  to explode.

There was a public outcry in Nigeria sometime ago when attention of Nigerians was drawn to the fact that Nigerian government officials signed documents presented to them written in the Chinese language.

Let me quickly remind us that it is a historical coincidence that an English and predominantly Christian country, Britain, colonized Nigeria. That historical fact is the only reason Nigerian adopted English language as a lingua franca forced on her by Britain, to do government business. It is unfortunate that ethnic sentiment have robbed Nigeria the opportunity to choose one of her numerous languages as a second lingua franca to do government business, the way some Southern African countries adopted the Swahili language as second lingua in franca.

Secondly, the historical fact of colonization by Britain is the only reason for the preponderance of Christians in Nigeria, many of whom are descendents of slaves – Samuel Ajayi Crowder, etc brought to the country through Sierra leone and Liberia under the auspices of the British and American governments when slavery was banned in the two later countries.

We cannot change this history neither can we seek to balance a non-existing scale on colonial foundation built on Britain with any other country that had no pristine relationship with the origin of Nigeria.

Unfortunately, some people in Nigeria with crafted intelligence do not see it this way. Nigeria had held no colonial link previously with China unless for the engagement in international trade in response to the shift in global economic order from America and Western Europe to China and some Asian countries.

The public outcry against signing a document written in Mandarin, the Chinese language, was necessary as a caution to the government authorities not to encourage a second re-colonization by Peoples’ Republic of China.

This same outcry is tenable and should be applied across the board to other countries or their agents in Nigeria seeking to change the history of Nigeria.

What I want to say here is that Nigeria had also held no previous colonial link with Saudi Arabia, with whom consecutive governments of Nigeria have been hobnobbing overtime.

It is therefore wrong and unacceptable that Arabic, a foreign language that got to the shores of Nigeria in 1804 through the Jihadi forces from Western Sudan should find space in a Nigeria currency or any other official document. If it was mistake, that mistake should be corrected now.

I am not even in support of defacing any Nigerian currency with Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba languages because the action tantamount to injustice against the other more than 400 variants of languages of the more than the 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Englishlanguage as a lingua franca for Nigerian is enough for everybody till Nigeria, if they decided to continue together as one country, agree to use one of her numerous languages as a second lingua franca.

The Arabic language in the Nigeria currency should be expunged from our currency to douse the suspicion that is being fueled by the complicity of the Boko Haram insurgents in the instability in Nigeria and their claim that they are fighting for the Arab-originated religion.

Unless the government has a different agenda from what Nigerians are told, it deludes itself in believing that granting amnesty to the ‘repented’ Boko Haram insurgents and re-integrating them into the society will make them turn new leafs.

Extreme poverty in Northern Nigeria is the most potent factor that maintains the supply chain of rebellious citizens to Boko Haram. The early masterminds of Boko Haram in the country who invited them to make Nigerians ungovernable for the previous government are actually reaping the fruits if their labor. They must be biting their fingers now because Nigeria has actually been rendered ungovernable under their own watch. They stabbed themselves with a sword of attrition with a pierce the end of which is not in visible sight.

Death, disease, poverty and penury have become the daily companions at Nigerians as corruption and rivers of blood seem to be the flesh and fluid respectively that guarantee the continued existence of a government that has long lost the confidence and support of Nigerians.

Nigerians had never had it this bad before. Watching the picture of five heavily-armed men standing behind five fellow human beings kneeling down, and the armed men waiting to be given instruction to snuff out life from fellow human beings is disgusting and reels of reversing all the gains of civilization. What was their offence? Who has usurped the power of God to put to death? .And humanity is watching this play out before our eyes.

Nigerians should stand up against terror. The systematic ethno-religious cleansing and the creation of Emirates on indigenous ancestral strongholds in Northern Nigeria which cost a first class indigenous Christian traditional ruler his life on his way   back to his house after a meeting with the Kaduna state government, indicts the complacency of both the Kaduna and Federal governments in protecting the property and life of Christians who are the indigenous land owners of Southern Kaduna.

It could be anybody else. We seem to be watching a script the direction and duration of which we may not fathom. The Nigerian Songstress says, “There is fire on the mountain and nobody is running”. This is very serious. Death, death, blood, blood everywhere in Nigeria “There is God o o o”, cried a Nigerian mother who experienced the pains of a mother during childbirth in a video recording that went viral.

Why has the Nigerian leadership not stopped this bloodshed? Or, is the leadership kept alive by a continuous flow of these rivers of blood?

It is disgusting. Very disgusting. I feel both dehumanized and ashamed to be in Nigeria where these things are happening. Nigerians in the Diaspora should come to our assistance. We are all incarcerated in Nigeria and cannot help ourselves.

The International community should not keep quiet anymore. Please help us, everybody.

God, I can’t be crying for the country everyday when I wake up to pray for her and you keep quiet…

God, please forgive our trespasses and help us. We need your help in Nigeria!.

ABUCHI OBIORA
abuchiobiora@gmail.com

For: Global Upfront Newspapers
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