"The armed forces are not neutral; they collude with the armed bandits that kill people, kill Nigerians. They facilitate their movement. They cover them. If you are depending on the Armed Forces to stop the killings, you will all die one by one.”
~ T.Y. Danjuma
Are you surprised? Hell no! This is what we have been saying and writing over time. The complicity. The conspiracy. The complacency. The collusion.
There is a military company post in my village of Yelewata in Nyiev council ward of Guma LG of Benue State. Armed herdsmen have, on uncountable times, killed people and razed houses in settlements that are just 200 metres away and the usual excuse of the military for not engaging them is that there was an ORDER not to! Military men too have fallen victims yet there was an ORDER not to engage the assailants.
Just last year, the President Panel set up to investigate alleged human rights violations by the Nigerian Army, reveals the depth of their complicity. Revelations were made by the people of Moon district in Kwande LG of Benue State, and other communities in Plateau and Southern Kaduna.
Some few months ago, hundreds of armed herdsmen laid siege in Numan and surrounding villages in Adamawa. Airforce jets and fighter choppers were deployed. They flew at low altitude and were watching the ongoing act of carnage perpetrated by the herdsmen. Instead of shooting, they were using the cluttering sounds of the choppers' propellers and the smoke from the jets to chase them away even when the armed herdsmen were shooting at the helicopters. The Airforce said they were given ORDERS not to shoot!
Few weeks ago, a courageous section of the military came face to face with Shekau at Sambisa forest and were at the verge of arresting him before they received an ORDER to withdraw!
Some few days ago, armed herdsmen attacked some villages in Mbadwem, Nyiev and Mbayer/Yandev council wards of Guma LG of Benue State despite the presence of the "Ex Ayem A Kpatuma." The soldiers accosted some of them, they shot at the soldiers, and instead of the soldiers to return fire, they resorted to using whistles and shots in the empty air to chase them away. The herdsmen abandoned their motor cycles and ran on foot! The soldiers were on ORDER not to shoot! They happily arrested the abandoned Bikes and plastic sandals/snickers of the fleeing herdsmen.
Recently, the road to Dapchi in Yobe State was manned by army road blocks. Two days to the girls abduction, ORDER was given for the army guys to dismantle the road blocks. Immediately after the abduction, heavier roadblocks were manned on all roads leading to that town. A day to the return of the girls, ORDER was given to vacate the roadblocks. The terrorists brought the girls unhindered, preached in the town and left back to their "hideouts" in a long convoy of marked and flagged vehicles with their bold black colours and inscriptions, driven on a federal highway. The military were thereafter ORDERED to return to the town from where they were obviously on ORDER to intimidate and harass journalists and civilians.
I don't know who give out these 'negative' ORDERS, all I know is that the military hierarchy has just a single Commander-In-Chief who is the custodian of the ORDERS.
There is a popular quote famously attributed to late General Sani Abacha, that, "Any insurgency that lasts more than 24 hours means the military has a hand in it." This remains an undiluted truth. What is happening in Nigeria cannot happen in any reasonable country except failed states like Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Afghanistan. The combined might of the Army, Navy, Airforce, Police and the DSS is enough to wipe off, within FEW DAYS, any terrorist cell operating WITHIN a country such as ours. Apart from the failed states listed above, the case of other countries hit by terrorist acts is a case where the terrorists reside, plan, plot and strike the country from outside and claim credit from the outside! But here, they reside within, brag within, plan within, plot within, strike within, release a video of their claims within, release a press address within and put us on alert for more attacks within!
It is not that we cannot find immediate solutions to this nonsense. It is just that the ruling class, the elites derive so much personal benefits from it and/or satisfy the whims of their sentimental affinity. Our rulers are not sincere to us about the challenges we face, neither are they sincere about the solutions proffered. In many instances, the people in power lack the simple ideas while the people with the ideas remain out of power.
If I, Franc Fagah Utoo, is President of Nigeria and C-in-C of the Armed Forces, I swear that all acts of insurgency will be thrown to the thrash bin of history within five days. All it takes is to have the right attitude, the right judgement, the right will, the right commitment and the right sentiments to bear true allegiance to the country's constitution and laws devoid of parochialism.
This is the time to get up and abide by the statement of General Theophilus Danjuma. This is not about looking at his suspected involvement in past cases. He remains one of the few Nigerians with astute combat credentials. He is one of the country's greatest Generals. He is one of the country's biggest administrators from the military. He is one of the richest men in the country. He is among the country's biggest philantrophists. He is quite reticent. But when he speaks we just have to listen!
It is very sad that our armed forces with all her famed gallant standing would have her stoic professionalism deeply diminished by the misfortune and intervening biases of the ruling class. It may take us time to recover. Certainly not now. As it is, we are on our own and God is for all of us!
#Take Action #Just Believe
"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice"
~ Fidel Castro
Yours In Service,
Franc Fagah Utoo, Esq. LQC (Malaysia); LL.B Hons (Newcastle, UK ); BL (Abuja)
*Former President of the Students Representative Council (SRC), Nigerian Law School, Abuja.
...from Yelewata, Guma LG of Benue State
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