by Murtala Nyako
The adverse security situation in Northern Nigeria in particular and Nigeria in general is being felt by all of us. While every State Government is doing everything possible using virtually all its resources to stem the tide of near disaster facing all of us especially in the North, it is a well-known fact that the present Federal administration has now become a government of impunity run by an evil-minded leadership for the advancement of corruption that is apparently enjoying the protection of the Federal administration as a citizen of this country should enjoy but is being denied by the administration using its mass murderers/cut-throats imbedded in our legitimate and traditional Defence and Security organisations. It is very clear that the protection of life and property of innocent citizens in Northern Nigeria and recognising their Human rights and Voting right in the forthcoming general elections is no longer a cardinal principle of the administration.
The beginning of Genocide:
Clearly the victims of the Administration’s evil-mindedness are substantially Northern Nigerians. The administration is bent on bringing wars in the North between Muslim and Christians and within them and between one ethnic group and another or others in various communities in the region. Cases of mass murders by its bloody minded killers and cut-throats are well known, but it attributes the killings to so-called Boko-Haram. Thousands of our young girls and boys have been kidnapped by clearly organised militia in the last few years and kidnapping is now a random affair all over the far North. These organized kidnappers must have the backing of the Federal administration for them to move about freely with abducted children just as those who convey ammunitions and explosives from the Ports to the safe-houses of so called Boko-Haram in the North. Hurrah we are no longer being deceived!
We no longer accept let alone believe that our prominent Mallams in the Mosques in Kano and Zaria have been killed by ‘innocent’ Boko-Haram members or Christians in the North, nor do we believe that the killing of the Pastor and other worshippers in the Christ Apostolic Church in Jimeta-Yola was done by any Muslim or Boko-Haram members. We know where we are now pointing our fingers. There have also been attempts to assassinate the Senate President (Northerner) in Imo State, two Executive Governors of States in the North (the Governor of Benue State and my humble self), two of our most prominent Traditional leaders (Shehu of Borno and the Emir of Kano), Senators and others too numerous to mention, all from Northern Nigeria. This is in line with the demonic policy of the evil-few in and around the administration that have advocated how Northerners, both Christians and Muslims, are to be so dealt with, ill-treated and oppressed!
No wonder, we in the Northern Nigeria are now facing an organised ethno-religious campaigns of hate fuelled by the Federal administration to make communities which hitherto have remained peaceful for centuries to start killing the minorities in their midst and to facilitate mass killings of the innocent and the arbitrary arrests and torture of elders of minority ethnic groups in the various Northern communities. The reader is please requested to note what has been happening in Plateau State and the recent happenings in Benue and Nasarawa States. We, in Adamawa State, have been battling this heinous machination in the last 3 years. Yes, we noticed it! We also saw it as the Beginning of Genocide. Genocide kingpins are now on prowl in Northern Nigeria!
Fulani communities in parts of the North who have been in their locations for over 100 years are now being raided and uprooted by paid killers within the Nigerian Army for the satisfaction of the Federal administration instead of being protected as citizens with their rights and dignity safe-guarded. This has happened to those communities at Keana L.G. in Nasarawa State and Laddoga and Kachia in Kaduna State. It is presently extended to Benue, Zamfara and Katsina States. Furthermore it is a well-known fact that virtually all the soldiers of Northern Nigerian origin recently recruited to fight Boko-Haram have been deceived in that aspect. They are being poorly trained, totally ill-equipped, given only uniform and are killed by their trainers in Nigerian Army training centres as soon as they arrive in the Nigerian Army camps being used by so-called Boko-Haram insurgents. Virtually all the Nigerian Army soldiers killed/murdered in these operations so far are of Northern Nigerian origin. The Administration has also hired militia from all across especially North Africa who have been deceived into accepting to come because they were made to believe that they would be fighting infidels.
The Federal administration’s affront to frame Northerners is also an open secret. Senior Special Assistant to Mr President tried to hoodwink us into believing that Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was kingpin of Boko-Haram. Typical bullshit from the Federal administration. Mr Henry Okah, the convicted leader of MEND also stated under oath that he was being put under pressure by the administration to implicate senior Northern elements such as IBB and Buhari as financiers of Boko Haram terrorism. We are in deep trouble. We have begun to sleep with ‘both our eyes widely open’!
Let me paraphrase what humanity has been humming over the ages:
A call to Action
When they killed the Jews, we watched unconcerned because we were not Jews.
When they murdered the Blacks we were still unconcerned because we were not Black.
When they massacred the Asians we kept mute because we were not one of them.
Then we saw the Marauding Murderers coming and we realised they were coming for us and we were not safe.
That was when we knew that if we had collectively protested the Killings of the Jews, the Murder of theBlacks and Massacres of the Asians, we would all have been safe.
Right here at Home
They started killings in Borno State we kept quiet.
They hired killers got to Yobe State we remained mute
They proceeded to Adamawa State we watched
They attacked Kano, Katsina and Sokoto we said nothing
The North-East is under occupation
The North-West is under assault
Now their tanks and marauders have begun rolling into the North-Central
The North is under occupation
Yet we are still silent!
Nigerians stand-up and talk! Injury to one is injury to all!
It is fortunate that the people of Northern Nigeria and indeed Nigerians have friends namely the good people of this country and other nations, International Court of Justice and NGOs dealing with the protection of humanity against Genocide etc. The International Criminal Court Charter broadly defines genocide as:
Mass killings of human beings
A deliberate action by a government that embarks on a policy that denies a group basic social amenities.
A deliberate action by a government or group of people who embark on campaign of hatred against the innocent.
The International Criminal Court Charter also empowers any aggrieved person(s) or NGO to approach the Court to intervene when a Nation/State party fails to prosecute perpetrators of genocide or grave human right violation or human right offences.
One must confess that all these elements of genocide have been perpetuated by the present Federal administration against the people of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States and is beginning to rapidly spread to other 14 States of Northern Nigeria. The dead bodies being dragged daily from the Nigerian Army hitherto armouries now turned into killing chambers as identified by Human Right organisations and the last weekend massacre of inmates of SSS cells in Abuja speak volumes on genocide being committed in our country today. Mass killings of students and children in their schools’ dormitories and on their way to take exams are now virtually daily occurrence in Borno and Yobe States. Below is the chart on numbers and percentage of people killed in key trouble spots of the world (Courtesy of Sunday Trust of April 6, 2014) and some of the gruesome pictures of the dead in our country recorded by the Nigerian media and international NGOs.
We in the North must now have an open agenda to protect our people from acts against us similar to those in the foregoing. We should demand our Human Rights; we should demand protection against the evil acts being done to our people and environments; we should demand the Right to Vote in forthcoming General Elections as the people of war-torn Afghanistan did and were able to vote in smooth General Elections on 5th April, 2014. If it could be done in Afghanistan, it should be done in Nigeria, the whole of Nigeria!
It is overdue for us to commence the very serious business of purging all Northerners and fellow Nigerians of mutual hatred and suspicion against fellow countrymen and to inculcate true love and patriotism in the minds of all of us. How could we be nonchalant to the activities of the Federal administration which is involved in the daily massacre of our young men and women, selected elders and eventually all and sundry?
It is also time to mobilize International NGO to bring to an end all the atrocities being committed by the evil-few in Abuja against millions of our innocent people. We need international support to compile an accurate data on the dead, maimed, wounded, displaced and missing in the North-East Zone especially Borno State and Yobe State and now other Northern States for payment of full compensation for the loss of life and property. We need the Red Cross to help us set up an efficient medical and ambulance services etc. We need the services of other international organisations such as UNICEF to assist us trace the whereabouts of our abducted children and return them to their parents. They should also assist us to rehabilitate all those who have been adversely affected by the evil machinations of the Federal administration and those evil-few around it.
We also need the services of appropriate NGOs to help us arraign all those involved in the genocide before the International Criminal Court at The Hague! We urgently require the services of all those that could help us achieve the objective of the UN Millennium Declaration 2000 where all parties agreed viz “We recognize that, in addition to our separate responsibilities to our individual societies, we have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level. As leaders we have a duty therefore to all the world’s people, especially the most vulnerable and, in particular, the children of the world, to whom the future belongs”. Nigeria is a signatory to this Declaration.
WE NEED ONE ANOTHER IN NIGERIA
Nigerians, this is the first time we have collectively elected a citizen of this country from the former Eastern Nigeria as a President. Dear citizens of Eastern Nigerian origin please note that this Federal administration under your son is giving you a very bad name! He takes wrong decisions and seems to be heading us to the abyss. Let’s therefore team up to save our freedom, dignity and rights.
The issue now is not between North and South or Northern Nigeria vs Eastern Nigeria or Western Nigeria. We must save our communities, State and Nigeria from the Hitler-like evil-mindedness of a few. Let me remind ourselves that when Hitler walked out of the 1938 Olympics because a Blackman was winning all his events, humanity pretended it did not notice the beginning of genocide; when he started tracking and killing the Jews, it talked glibly about it as if it did not concern us; when he embarked on his racial cleansing, humanity then began to shiver, but it was too late to avert disaster that engulfed our world. The 2nd World War became a reality! We have the duty not to allow our country to be taken to the abyss! We should always condemn any action by any group of people that would set our communities and nation aflame. One is quite sure that if you had condemned the cold-blooded murder of political and military leaders of Northern and Western Nigerian origins in the night of 15 January, 1966 by your sons it would not have led to the subsequent massacre of the innocent and the Nigerian Civil War. We should never be silent or tolerant of such action by anybody. We have the duty not to be nonchalant or dormant on the fundamentals of our life. We should never take any ethnic group however small or unorganized for granted!
The Federal administration under present leadership has truly become absurd in its approach to vital decision makings as it could be seen in its declaration of State of Emergency and the deployments of the Armed Forces! How could such decisions be made without Exit strategies? The administration should know that declaration of State of Emergency is a very serious affair requiring proper analysis on all items of its Check-list. Nigerians are wondering why the administration has not yet declared a State of Emergency on FCT Abuja in view of the numerous explosions attributed to phantom Boko-Haram, one at Eagle square on the 50th Independence anniversary and others at United Nations Headquarters, Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, ThisDay offices etc. and terrorist attack at SSS Headquarter since the administration did declare such on Adamawa State where there was not a single incident of explosion! Perhaps this would happen soon; the absurdity of the administration’s conflict resolution is such that it is wise for Nigerians and foreigners residing in Abuja to braze up for a Declaration of a State of Emergency on Abuja in view of another carnage there at Nyanya District a few days ago! God help us! We seem to be led by a bunch of ‘HuHun-ma-ahun’ (courtesy of Kwankwasiyya which is being led by the one and only Dan Musa who was the former Minister of Defence).
Let me say, on the final note, with all seriousness that each and every one of us whatever is our religious or ethnic background and regardless of where we were born, needs this country, Nigeria, for self-actualisation and greater possibility. The various ethnic groups too by their individual traits require the space and the great population of this country; such ethnic group as Fulani, who are nomadic by vocation, require pasture and grains for their cattle; the Hausa and Igbos require further reach to fulfil their commercial ambition; some other Nigerians e.g. Yorubas require higher job opportunities for employment and profits that should exist in a united Nigeria; the aristocratic Kanuri/Shuwa who are presently under siege need the vocal amongst us to save them from further destruction by deliberately recruited murderers embedded in our traditional Defence and Security forces/organisation; and other groups would like expanding markets for their yams (the Tiv/Munci) and other farm produce far beyond the boundaries of their domains.
Quite a number of us should simply be happy to have an erosion-free area where we could build houses and offices of our desire and enjoy the liberty to partner with persons of our choice regardless of primordial divides! Even my father who by today’s standard could be said to be untutored fully realised the need to seize the opportunities a greater Nigeria offered him from the 1920s. His cattle business and commercial activities were spread to all the big towns in Eastern Nigeria operating from Adamawa and northern Cameroon. So let us please sort ourselves out and stop at all levels wicked leaders from venting their evil hearts and committing genocide against fellow Nigerians. We must not ‘walk together’ with the evil-few especially those located in Abuja. Our late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo once said something to the effect that the consequences of breaking up of Nigeria would be too traumatic to even be contemplated. We all should therefore perish the thought of Nigeria falling apart. Let’s enjoy the opportunities Nigeria offers to all!
Fellow good people of Nigeria, we must now seek the intervention of the international community, NGOs and all to save us from the evil before us! Mother Nigeria, the leader of the Black race, is on the verge of disaster. The matter concerns all of us; we must save it and save ourselves!
Fellow Governors and Citizens of the North, we must face the daunting challenges of security and development before us; we must face them squarely and must not remain dormant. In addition to the aforementioned courses of action, should we not, after due consultation with the families of the victims of the atrocities and appropriate members of various communities, consider a declaration of Northern Nigerian Amnesty to the culprits and consequently squarely address all other matters connected with the Amnesty and Boko-Haram syndrome? It is my sincere opinion that the Federal administration has no plan and Exit strategy for the Boko-Haram disaster! Northern Nigeria is on its own. I am glad to state categorically that so far there has never been a single Adamawa person caught involving himself/herself in Boko-Haram; we have ensured that we have been doing everything possible to reduce the poverty and the frustration facing the youths in our State. Furthermore, let us all pledge to support maximally all those who have been adversely affected by ‘Boko-Haram’ to sue the Federal administration to Court for full compensation for any loss of life and property as per existing Laws of Nigeria including those enacted from 1915. Enough of impunity and induced calamity by the Federal Administration. We should in addition launch a Trust Fund to effect this with donations coming from all and sundry however big or small is the donation.
May the Almighty Bless our Country and our effort with success, Ameen!
Murtala Nyako is governor of Adamawa State and member of the All Progressive Congress (APC). He presented this memo to Northern governors on April 16, 2014
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.