How gallant

By Abdulmumin Giwa
I still cannot comprehend why the Nigerian Army will spend a period of 48 hours in a killing spree of unarmed civilians with a lot of them being women and children.
What could be the justification of this kind of inhumanity and animal behavior? Imagine using war machines on civilians; machine guns, AK 47s, RPGs and APCs killing young men, women and children.
During the December 2015 Zaria massacre, those that were shot and taken to safety were chased and killed at close range in just the same way as some were also burned alive. One of the eye witnesses mentioned how a soldier used a digger to kill an unarmed civilian simply because he is Shi’ite. He hits him with it randomly until his colleagues told him to stop he is dead. Only an insane person would do this to an animal not to talk of a human being.
I still can’t imagine the level of devilishness that would lead a human being, simply because he is wearing war attire, snatch an infant being breastfed from the hands of the mother and swing it into a pile of dead bodies. This is unimaginable. But the Nigerian Army did this to members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) in Zaria. The victims and eye witnesses keep coming out to testify and nobody seems to see anything wrong with this terrorism simply because the victims were Shi’ites.
Who is he that is in his normal senses that will stab young girls on their breasts with bayonets and hit them with sharp objects on their private parts? Such must be a lunatic. The victims are still alive mentioning what the Army did to them.
Imagine soldiers gathering unarmed civilians inside a mosque and raining live bullets on them until the bullets magazines become empty and everywhere quiet. They then entered inside the mosque checking on those who are still breathing and finishing them up at close ranges. The Nigerian Army did this to members of the IMN at Darur Rahma in Zaria during the Zaria pogrom.
The Army put together corpses in Gyallesu and called on thugs to scavenge them and steal their personal belongings like pocket money, phones and even removed rings from their fingers. Hoiw animalistic could one be.
Where is it a practice of the nation’s formal Army to attack unarmed civilians in a civilian residential area using heavy weaponry and killing incessantly and even setting a stopwatch for those that have taken cover telling them they would burn them down if they don’t come out? When some of them came out they were killed and those that didn’t come out were burned alive in the place of refuge.
The attack on IMN by the Nigerian Army in Zaria from 12th to 14th of December 2016 was a display of practical terrorism by a state Army.
Imagine cutting the throat of an unarmed thirteen year old boy by shooting him consistently with a machine gun on the throat at close range and also blowing off the brains of his brother all in the presence of their father lying in a pool of his own blood. This is how the Nigerian Army killed two of the second set of three children of the IMN leader killed by the Nigerian Army.
To even prove that it was an intended genocide, the Army was seen in broad daylight pulling away corpses of the IMN victims as they shot them and made piles of them. Some of them were not necessarily dead but had bullet wounds but were all gathered and taken in the middle of the night to unknown locations and mass buried. What kind of crime would one commit to deserve this inhumanity? Imagine yourself surviving a terror attack with a bullet wound and being buried in a mass grave with corpses. This crime was committed by the Army and the Kaduna state government and yet they are working hard to justify it and sweep it under the carpet as though nothing had happened.
The wife of the IMN leader was shot severally in the womb and was taken away by the soldiers who forcefully removed the bullets from her body without anesthesia. Just imagine this kind of cruelty.
They killed over 1000 of the IMN unarmed members driving their Armored Personnel Carriers on the corpses of those they killed to get to the war machine closer to the residence of the IMN leader.
There are just too many war crimes committed by the Army in the Zaria massacre and all the witnesses and survivors still alive are ever ready to testify on these acts of terrorism.
It is now clear to all that it is with the intention of covering up these crimes that the Kangaroo Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) was formed by the Kaduna state government which never bothered to investigate the Army terrorism in Zaria.
The JCI did a surface job to cleanse the real perpetrators of the crime and reduce the entire crimes into a surface mention that would discourage further digging into the terrorist acts committed by the Army. They deliberately refused to hear the side of the story of the IMN as they deceive the public that they were investigating the incident.
How can the Nigeria Army commit such a heinous crime against humanity without the knowledge of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces? If he didn’t order the massacre what stopped him from arresting and prosecuting or even asking for explanations from the Chief of Army Staff?
If the massacre was not plotted, definitely the Army would not have engaged in a series of cowardice, jumping from one lie to the other on the defensive. The Army claimed that there was attempt to assassinate the COAS, they claimed that his motorcade was blocked, they claimed that the IMN members were gathering after the initial road blockage, they claimed that they were on a codon and search operation, the Nigerian president that commanded them claimed for them that the IMN was running a government within a government and the Kaduna state Governor helped to claim for them that the IMN had placed residents of Gyallesu in bondage for several years.
No genuine reason that would justify this human massacre and genocide has so far been given by any of the parties that are guilty of the crime. In fact they are still in search of what to say to justify the crimes. After abducting the leader of the IMN Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and placing him in illegal detention they are joined by the boys of the president in the DSS to lie to the public that the IMN leader is being kept in protective custody with his consent and that they have spent N5.1 million looking after him. This blatant lie also never held any water as it is now clear to all that they are keeping him in a deteriorating health condition hoping that he loses his sight before he comes out.
To digress a little, the Nigerian army and the presidency knew very well that the IMN was unarmed even before they decided to massacre its members. If they knew the IMN was actually armed they would never have attempted that reckless attack on it because more than half of the soldiers that took part in the operation would have perished. One could judge this from the morale of both the two parties. The soldier is striving to survive and enjoy his allowances after finishing with his opponents while the IMN member is striving to be victorious in his course or attain martyrdom in the process. Definitely the morale of the IMN is higher. If it would take the Army over 48 hours on a killing spree of UNARMED IMN members made up of men, women and children protecting their leader, how would one imagine the situation if the IMN was armed? Definitely they would thrash the Army in bits.
With all the retrogressions caused and attacks on state interests perpetrated by the NDA in the creeks that include sabotaging the Nigerian economy through the bombing of pipelines the Army had dared launching a crude attack on them as on the IMN simply because they knew the militants are armed. The government wants to dialogue with the militants because they are armed. One wonders how gallant an army could be.
We in Nigeria have grown to know that the mentality of the uniformed personnel especially the Nigerian Army is that of a superior citizen to other Nigerians. He could do anything extra-judicial and go away with it simply because he is wearing the army uniform. He could molest and harass a citizen, trample upon his fundamental rights and even crudely torture him in the name of punishing him for offending him. It is with this same military mentality that the Nigerian President is ruling the country. They even arrogantly and egocentrically describe other citizens as ‘bloody civilians’. Imagine this terrible and uncivilized mentality. A unit of the society that generates virtually zero income to the country whose job is to be paid by tax payers to protect the territorial boundaries of the country turning out to be killing innocent unarmed civilians. It is only in Nigeria that this incivility can take place unchallenged. It is also only in Nigeria that you find the military doing police work.
These Army brutalities have gone along way creating resentments and hatred for them in the larger society in such a way that arrogance, suppression, inhumanity and terrorism have turned out to be the new definition they have given to gallantry of the Army. With this kind of new concept of gallantry one would not need to be told that the country is heading towards a doom as things are moving from bad to worse and from worse to…..? Somebody said hell. Funny, soldiers fighting unarmed civilians, how gallant.

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