Once again, it emerged about 8 people were on Friday 20/09/2013 indiscriminately killed in an uncompleted building supposedly belonging to an Army General at Bamanga Tukur Street, Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja, by Nigeria’s Security Operatives. This déjà vu, finger-pointing is playing out 8 years after the infamous unprovoked extra-judicial killing of some Igbo traders by overzealous Policemen in what became popularly known as ‘’Apo 6 massacre’’.
Ms. Marilyn Ogar, Nigeria’s State Security Service spokesperson claims those killed were Boko Haram members while eyewitness account and confessions from survivors assert that the victims were a mish mash of destitute comprising of Tricycle Operators (popularly called Keke/Maruwa), truck pushers, scavengers, ‘pure’ water vendors amongst others.
While we hold no iota of brief for the activities of Boko Haram and their ilk’s, we strongly decry a penchant for Government Security Operatives to wantonly gun down supposed suspects without first ascertaining their culpability or extracting sensitive information from them. A while ago, alleged Ombatse Cult suspects were summarily hacked to death in Nasarawa state, now it is suspected Boko Haram members in Abuja.
The issue of the 60 bodies that were reportedly sighted floating on Ezu River in Amensea, Anambra Stateis yet to be unraveled. Who knows whose turn it will be tomorrow? We profoundly believe in the sanctity and right to life of innocent Nigerians irrespective of their ethnicity, religious and political affiliations. Life expectancy in Nigeria will continue to shrink if such blanket killings are not checked.
Typical of events in Nigeria, this latest incident must not be swept under the carpet. We call for a meticulous investigation of this incident and prosecution of the remote and direct masterminds of this act if it is ascertained that they overstepped their bounds.
Some poser: are the inhabitants of this uncompleted building truly Boko Haram members? Have they earlier been warned by the owner of the building to vacate the premises or risk extermination? Who gave the SSS a tip-off that Boko Haram members occupy the said building? The public will also like to know how many of the Security personnel that carried the brutish Operation sustained injuries or died in the process since the occupants of the building were said to be armed.
How about Nigeria’s Security Agencies cordoning off the said uncompleted building; use a public address system to warn the occupants to come out, surrender or risk being shot? Is it only offices of breakaway factions of political parties that these geezers know how to cordon off? It beggars belief that the Security agencies will throw caution to the wind and storm a building where supposed terrorists are hiding without considering the inherent risk to their own life.
It is this same unnecessary gung-ho, kamikaze approach that led to the Ombatse Cult killing 95 of their folks earlier this year. A while ago, a group that goes by the moniker ‘Egbesu Mightier Strike Force’ reportedly issued a 7 days ultimatum to the Muslim community in their domain to leave or risk massive attack. The Security Agencies must look in this direction if they are bored.
A penchant for extra-judicial killing of suspects and innocent people invariably creates mutual distrust, hate and dichotomy between the security agencies and the citizenry that are supposed to volunteer nuggets of sensitive information. Such a proclivity is definitely counter-productive to the fight against insecurity and terrorism. No wonder people failed to volunteer useful information aftermath of the killing of SSS and Police officers by the Ombatse.
We immensely appreciate and commend the sacrifices, unconventional and precarious nature of the onerous task that Nigeria’s Security Agencies are encumbered with in their fight against insurgents and terrorists. We respectfully implore them to stick to international best practices, be less pugnacious, very discerning and surgical, more proactive and invest more resources in intelligence gathering so as to nip insecurity and terrorism in the bud.
Due diligence and utmost care must be factored in before embarking on such operations so as to forestall indiscriminately gunning down innocent people or operatives endangering their own lives in the guise of fighting terrorism. With all due respect, Nigeria’s Security Establishments must not metamorphose into terrorists in the guise of fighting terrorists.
Rather than chit-chat paper-tiger committees, we humbly reiterate that it is high time Nigeria articulated a ‘’Coherent and Comprehensive Terrorism, Counter-terrorism Policy/Strategy’’. Since it has become a fad for terrorists and insurgents to target schools, churches and other public institutions, security-conscious individuals, private and public establishments in Nigeria must proactively carry out sporadic ‘’Extensive Vulnerability/Resilience Analysis and Security Audit’’ of their domain and take appropriate steps to nip insecurity in the bud. The recent bombing of a popular shopping mall in Kenya must be an eye-opener.
Let us not wait until after the rainfall to start bringing out kegs to fetch rain water. Please let us give peace a chance. Peace is a sine qua non for development. No country or individual will actualize its/his potentials in a miasma of insecurity and unpredictability. Nigerians Unite Against Insecurity and Terrorism. See it, hear it, say it, stop it!!!
God bless Nigeria and Nigerians!
NIGERIANS UNITE AGAINST INSECURITY AND TERRORISM (NUAIT)
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