FEATURE ARTICLE

E O EkeTuesday, October 24, 2017
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CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE AS NIGERIA ARMY MASSACRES IGBO YOUTH
AND AID FULANI HERDSMEN ETHNIC CLEANSING OF NIGERIAN VILLAGES

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have written about the heinous crimes against humanity, which Fulani herdsmen are committing all over Nigeria, the silence of the Nigerian government and brutality with which the Nigerian army, often approaches its responsibilities.

Since the election of Mohammadu Buhari, a Fulani, as president of Nigeria, the Fulani herdsmen have become embolden and evidence of the complicity of the army in the atrocities they commit is growing.

The most surprising part of this evolving night mare is that, instead of the government to direct its military to address the threat, Fulani herdsmen, one of the deadliest terrorist groups in the world pose to the people, it channelled its resources against IPOB , a group that is going about its self determination in non violent ways.

Since the army attacked the residence of Nnamdi Kanu, destroyed the compound and murdered nearly 40 people, Nnamdi Kanu has not been seen nor heard from.

It is suspected that the soldiers murdered him and took his body. If this, is true, it is a serious crime that will undermine the future of Nigeria as a United country. There is no reason whatsoever, why the Nigerian army should murder Nnamdi Kanu. This would be state execution, the worst form of impunity.

Many weeks before operation Python dance, I raised an alarmed, when Nigeria army chief declared that the army is loyal to Buhari. This was while Buhari was sick in London. In all democracies, the army is loyal to the nation and not to an individual leader. It is only in dictatorships that the army is loyal to the dictator.

Nigeria now has an army that is loyal to the president and a law unto itself. An army, whose professionalism has been destroyed by corruption, nepotism and sectarianism.

Nigeria army has become a very brutal and sectarian army, and if operation Python dance is example of the level of professionalism in the army, Nigeria is is in serious trouble.

There is no other democracy in this world, which produces army generals, who retire as millionaire as Nigeria. There has never been audit of how Nigeria defence budgets are spent. Even the current army chief could not explain how he got his houses in Dubai. The corruption in the army stinks to high heaven.

Only a corrupt, unprofessional and despotic army turns on its people, the way Nigerian soldiers have turned on Igbos in the name of operation Python dance and look away, while Fulani herdsmen commit crimes against humanity.

Their high handedness, intimidation, extrajudicial killings, extortions at check points and looting of invaded homes are evidence of the army's unprofessionalism, sectarian attitude and contempt for Igbos and non Fulanis.

The fact is that Nigerian army has never really fought any real formidable enemy. All they have done is kill Nigerians, who ask for justice, self determination or speak the truth.

They only thing soldiers like Buhari Obasanjo, Babangida and co., ever did in their careers as soldiers was kill Igbos. In power, their reign were characterised by marginalisation of Igbo region, unsolved murders like those of Dele Giwa, Bola Ige, etc.

The Nigerian army could not stand up to Cameroonian soldiers and Nigeria gave up Bakassi, a part of Nigeria. The first test of their strength was Boko Haram and they have not given a good account of themselves.

Rather, they are proud to kill unarmed Igbo youth, make flimsy excuses why they stand by and allow Fulani herdsmen to murder defenceless villagers and intimidate Nigerian citizens going about their business.

Today, most senior positions in Nigeria army are occupied by northerners who are Sunni Muslims because of who they are and not what they know.

Professionally, Nigerian army is no where near where a professional army should be. Every week, several soldiers are killed by Boko Haram. Videos of Nigerian soldiers sent to fight Boko Haram lamenting lack of equipment and resources are all over the World Wide Web.

Nigerian army employ brutality and dehumanisation in training soldiers and thus turns many soldiers into brutes, who resort to force and intimidation in dealing with civil problems.

No serious army will start operation Python dance against an unarmed protesters, when there is an armed insurgent group, who are taking territories and displacing people and terrorist Fulani herdsmen cleansing villages of its inhabitants.

One wonders where all the hard military wares displayed in south east were, when Boko Haram abducted the Chiboki girls and sacked several villages in north east.

Nigeria needs to have a serious conversation about how we should exists peacefully as equal nations of different ethnicity, and end the current attempt by Buhari to build a Fulani empire in Nigeria.

The status quo is untenable. It is time to have a difficult conversation about the future of Nigeria to end the looting of Nigerian treasury and resources and abuse of power to pursue sectarian objectives by the federal government.

What is most painful in this evolving tragedy is the silence of Nigerian elites, senate, House of Representatives and opinion leaders.

They have all remained silent, while this war to eliminate some ethnic groups from Nigeria and convert their land into grazing grounds for Fulani cows is going on.

President Buhari needs to be reminded that Nigeria is a democracy, and under the rule of law, even though he has shown contempt for democracy and despised the rule of law.

No country can know peace, when it has a sectarian minded leader like Buhari, who is unashamed in the vindictive use of state powers and agencies to pursue sectarian objectives.

I call on president Buhari to realise that he is not president of Islamic Republic of Northern Nigeria and the Nigeria army to produce Nnamdi Kanu so that he can be subjected to due process.

No people should accept a government, which acts in these unconscionable manner, by keeping silent, while a terrorist group conducts ethnic cleansing and an army, which either abducts citizens or kill them extrajudicially and hide their bodies.

Is Nigerian army now a law unto itself and at liberty to brutalise, kill, and loot? I am both outraged and appalled.

Nigerian government and the army must end Fulani herdsmen terrorism and produce Nnamdi Kanu alive to face justice, or if they have killed him and expedite the independent inquiry into the crimes against humanity which the army is accused of committing in Abia state under the guise of operation Python dance. It is time to enforce the rule of law.

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