Connect with us

Opinion

Femi Falana And Lady Justice – By Chidiebere Kalu

Avatar

Published

on

Even weeks after, the haunting ghost of the completely senseless and subversive #EndSARS protests have refused to desert me. I kept wondering why a sane man or woman would take a knife and consciously inflict a cut on his body in the guise of anything or for whatever excuse. That’s the highest grade of self-masochism. But some Nigerians excitedly did it to themselves.

There is no mystery I have found completely very complex to interpret in recent times like the madness exhibited by #EndSARS protesters, particularly in Southern Nigeria. Understandably and for these reasons, the reverberations of the destructive #EndSARS protests have refused to dissipate in my psyche.

It is basically because the overt and covert protagonists of the dubious protests have refused to bow to reason, more especially as they now sit back to take census of the awful ruins, they caused to themselves, states and the country. What is more baffling to me again is the actors’ thoughtlessly ruinous move to the next level of threats and intimidation of the Government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigeria Army, who rather saved the day.

What keeps recurring on my mind is the name of rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) and his clan of street activists on human rights. I have not read of the history of any country where the bargain for the enforcement of human rights of citizens or a drastic change in an unpopular government policy should lead to such public roguery and destruction of national assets. I stand corrected.

But the Falanas are more comfortable with suppressing the truth and elevating lies to officialdom. Meanwhile, these are supposedly senior citizens of the country. In spite of the upbraids and the disfigured idiosyncrasies flaunted by some people, I have no modicum of doubt that justice still exists in Nigeria. Our leader, President Buhari still allows all components and institutions of a democratic nation function maximally and without interference.

That’s why I believe designers of Nigeria’s symbol of Justice must have been wisemen or people imbued with the Solomonic wisdom. The stature displays a blind folded woman, with a sword in the right hand, and scales in the left hand. In the ancient world, the fragrance of truth and innocence of humanity was more expressed by women. Our forefathers of whatever clime were right.

Let me remind that Nigeria’s Lady Justice represents this philosophical thought. Lady Justice derives her originality from the Roman Goddess “Justitia” who shares the same prowess with “Dike” the Greek Goddess. In the ancient Greek world, both goddesses were famed for truth regardless of whoever was involved. They had diabolical or superstitious influence to fish out a liar, extract the truth and severely punish the culprit for lying to the gods.

The contents of 1 Kings 3:16-28 reminds me of that profound virtues of truth embedded in women as reflected in the Holy Bible. In the Holy Scriptures, most episodes we encounter about women signifies them as a creation more amenable to truth and honesty than their male folk. Even in today’s adulterated world, true women of virtue still stand for truth and abhors injustice or falsehood.

A rewind of the expired #EndSARS protests struck me strongly about the Biblical story of the two mothers who lived under the same roof and gave birth to babies on the same day. One of the mothers mistakenly smothered her baby to death. But satanic instincts influenced her and dubiously, in the course of the nigh, she cleverly exchanged her dead infant with that of the woman whose baby was alive. A controversy and quarrel ensued between the two mothers.

The matter came before King Solomon of ancient Israel for Judgement as each of the mothers claimed ownership of the baby alive. The King called for a sword and thus, declared his judgment; “the baby would be cut in two, each woman to receive half.” The impostor mother consented to the decision instantly; while the actual biological mother hotly contested it and preferred her child’s survival in whoever’s hand’s than the killing.

The biological mother passionately begged; “Give the baby to her, just don’t kill him!” King Solomon thus declared the second woman the true mother, as the real mother of the baby alive. King Solomon was nowhere near where the evil was contrived and executed. But he sensed the truth in words and actions of the real biological mother of the baby alive.

These are lessons we must cherish and learn from it and Nigeria’s emblem of justice derives its potency from the purity of a virtuous woman’s heart. At its core is the touchy lesson that truth can never be concealed and buried forever. When the hour of truth comes, it exhumes it unexpectedly like in the case of the two mothers in the Holy Scriptures.

Falana and his apostates seek desperately to bury the truth about the Lekki Toll Gate incident, where they conspiratorially alleged, soldiers of the Nigerian Army opened fire on unarmed protesters; killing scores in the process. But the casualty figure and proof of it have remained a burden to the masterminds of the fake news. Every avenue of combing for evidence has been exhausted by that witch-hunting the Nigerian Army, but to no avail.

My greatest worry has been that for weeks now, no evidence to align soldiers under the leadership of the COAS Lt. Gen. TY Buratai to any killing has been found. Let’s ignore the desperation of other malicious hunters of Nigerian soldiers.

The anger in me bubbles more against Falana for specific reasons. I have noticed overtime that Falana is a clandestine third force assiduously working for foreign forces against the destabilizations of Nigeria. This lawyer freely aligns with any agenda hatched towards the destruction of Nigeria.

He is always ready to give the back-up force and with his credentials as a lawyer, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). And because of him, his doomsday slayers and soulmates believe absolutely of their protection under the law.

Let’s forget his previous malfeasances in Nigeria coated in his darkened and defiled silk and gown. But a reminder to Falana again, that he had no reason to conspire with the lawfully detained leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) or the Shiites in Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky to mislead the country by feigning his severe sickness and endorsing his evil plot to escape from trial in Nigeria to either Iran or Iraq. These are countries globally acknowledged as the fountain and exporters of terrorism world -wide.

We have not known Falana and coy as the first and only human rights campaigners in Nigeria. But rights and social crusaders of the older generation before Falana, such as Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Tai Solarin (both of blessed memory) and even today’s Prof. Wole Soyinka never compromised patriotism to Nigeria despite the anger against Government.

No one is above the law. All of us are subject to the laws of the land, with Falana is also inclusive. Let him show Nigerians concrete evidence of the claimed shooting of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki in Lagos or else, some of us would be compelled to institute a suit against him for instigating national subversion, killings and destructions.

But if Falana fails to find a cogent and certified evidence, he can only return his honour, escape our retaliation and be pardoned, if he bows to nothing less than humility by apologizing for his wrongdoings against his own country. Falana has been getting away with so many instigations of the populace towards violence. So, #EndSARS protests is one wrong too many. He has the right like every other Nigerian to either love or hate President Buhari or Gen. Buratai. But he mustn’t tell injurious and public instigative lies to justify the hatred.

Mr. Rights Lawyer, Falana, time has come for you to take full responsibility for your actions. Already, I have learnt that some people have dragged him to the Internal Criminal Court (ICC) over the #EndSARS scam of Nigeria. It is my conviction that the only path of plain truth left for Falana is to apologize to Nigerians and the rest of the world for this crime and previous ones he has committed against humanity and his country, Nigeria.

Kalu Esq is a legal practitioner and wrote from Lagos.

Even weeks after, the haunting ghost of the completely senseless and subversive #EndSARS protests have refused to desert me. I kept wondering why a sane man or woman would take a knife and consciously inflict a cut on his body in the guise of anything or for whatever excuse. That’s the highest grade of self-masochism. But some Nigerians excitedly did it to themselves.

There is no mystery I have found completely very complex to interpret in recent times like the madness exhibited by #EndSARS protesters, particularly in Southern Nigeria. Understandably and for these reasons, the reverberations of the destructive #EndSARS protests have refused to dissipate in my psyche.

It is basically because the overt and covert protagonists of the dubious protests have refused to bow to reason, more especially as they now sit back to take census of the awful ruins, they caused to themselves, states and the country. What is more baffling to me again is the actors’ thoughtlessly ruinous move to the next level of threats and intimidation of the Government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigeria Army, who rather saved the day.

What keeps recurring on my mind is the name of rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) and his clan of street activists on human rights. I have not read of the history of any country where the bargain for the enforcement of human rights of citizens or a drastic change in an unpopular government policy should lead to such public roguery and destruction of national assets. I stand corrected.

But the Falanas are more comfortable with suppressing the truth and elevating lies to officialdom. Meanwhile, these are supposedly senior citizens of the country. In spite of the upbraids and the disfigured idiosyncrasies flaunted by some people, I have no modicum of doubt that justice still exists in Nigeria. Our leader, President Buhari still allows all components and institutions of a democratic nation function maximally and without interference.

That’s why I believe designers of Nigeria’s symbol of Justice must have been wisemen or people imbued with the Solomonic wisdom. The stature displays a blind folded woman, with a sword in the right hand, and scales in the left hand. In the ancient world, the fragrance of truth and innocence of humanity was more expressed by women. Our forefathers of whatever clime were right.

Let me remind that Nigeria’s Lady Justice represents this philosophical thought. Lady Justice derives her originality from the Roman Goddess “Justitia” who shares the same prowess with “Dike” the Greek Goddess. In the ancient Greek world, both goddesses were famed for truth regardless of whoever was involved. They had diabolical or superstitious influence to fish out a liar, extract the truth and severely punish the culprit for lying to the gods.

The contents of 1 Kings 3:16-28 reminds me of that profound virtues of truth embedded in women as reflected in the Holy Bible. In the Holy Scriptures, most episodes we encounter about women signifies them as a creation more amenable to truth and honesty than their male folk. Even in today’s adulterated world, true women of virtue still stand for truth and abhors injustice or falsehood.

A rewind of the expired #EndSARS protests struck me strongly about the Biblical story of the two mothers who lived under the same roof and gave birth to babies on the same day. One of the mothers mistakenly smothered her baby to death. But satanic instincts influenced her and dubiously, in the course of the nigh, she cleverly exchanged her dead infant with that of the woman whose baby was alive. A controversy and quarrel ensued between the two mothers.

The matter came before King Solomon of ancient Israel for Judgement as each of the mothers claimed ownership of the baby alive. The King called for a sword and thus, declared his judgment; “the baby would be cut in two, each woman to receive half.” The impostor mother consented to the decision instantly; while the actual biological mother hotly contested it and preferred her child’s survival in whoever’s hand’s than the killing.

The biological mother passionately begged; “Give the baby to her, just don’t kill him!” King Solomon thus declared the second woman the true mother, as the real mother of the baby alive. King Solomon was nowhere near where the evil was contrived and executed. But he sensed the truth in words and actions of the real biological mother of the baby alive.

These are lessons we must cherish and learn from it and Nigeria’s emblem of justice derives its potency from the purity of a virtuous woman’s heart. At its core is the touchy lesson that truth can never be concealed and buried forever. When the hour of truth comes, it exhumes it unexpectedly like in the case of the two mothers in the Holy Scriptures.

Falana and his apostates seek desperately to bury the truth about the Lekki Toll Gate incident, where they conspiratorially alleged, soldiers of the Nigerian Army opened fire on unarmed protesters; killing scores in the process. But the casualty figure and proof of it have remained a burden to the masterminds of the fake news. Every avenue of combing for evidence has been exhausted by that witch-hunting the Nigerian Army, but to no avail.

My greatest worry has been that for weeks now, no evidence to align soldiers under the leadership of the COAS Lt. Gen. TY Buratai to any killing has been found. Let’s ignore the desperation of other malicious hunters of Nigerian soldiers.

The anger in me bubbles more against Falana for specific reasons. I have noticed overtime that Falana is a clandestine third force assiduously working for foreign forces against the destabilizations of Nigeria. This lawyer freely aligns with any agenda hatched towards the destruction of Nigeria.

He is always ready to give the back-up force and with his credentials as a lawyer, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). And because of him, his doomsday slayers and soulmates believe absolutely of their protection under the law.

Let’s forget his previous malfeasances in Nigeria coated in his darkened and defiled silk and gown. But a reminder to Falana again, that he had no reason to conspire with the lawfully detained leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) or the Shiites in Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky to mislead the country by feigning his severe sickness and endorsing his evil plot to escape from trial in Nigeria to either Iran or Iraq. These are countries globally acknowledged as the fountain and exporters of terrorism world -wide.

We have not known Falana and coy as the first and only human rights campaigners in Nigeria. But rights and social crusaders of the older generation before Falana, such as Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Tai Solarin (both of blessed memory) and even today’s Prof. Wole Soyinka never compromised patriotism to Nigeria despite the anger against Government.

No one is above the law. All of us are subject to the laws of the land, with Falana is also inclusive. Let him show Nigerians concrete evidence of the claimed shooting of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki in Lagos or else, some of us would be compelled to institute a suit against him for instigating national subversion, killings and destructions.

But if Falana fails to find a cogent and certified evidence, he can only return his honour, escape our retaliation and be pardoned, if he bows to nothing less than humility by apologizing for his wrongdoings against his own country. Falana has been getting away with so many instigations of the populace towards violence. So, #EndSARS protests is one wrong too many. He has the right like every other Nigerian to either love or hate President Buhari or Gen. Buratai. But he mustn’t tell injurious and public instigative lies to justify the hatred.

Mr. Rights Lawyer, Falana, time has come for you to take full responsibility for your actions. Already, I have learnt that some people have dragged him to the Internal Criminal Court (ICC) over the #EndSARS scam of Nigeria. It is my conviction that the only path of plain truth left for Falana is to apologize to Nigerians and the rest of the world for this crime and previous ones he has committed against humanity and his country, Nigeria.

Kalu Esq is a legal practitioner and wrote from Lagos.

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion

Lekki Toll Plaza: CNN Faces Test Of Integrity -By Samuel Omojoye

Avatar

Published

on

The morning after the night when protesters at Lekki toll gate were supposedly massacred by the Nigerian Army, the BBC News hour programme interviewed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu around 6am on whether he invited the army and who gave orders that unarmed protesters be shot. The governor confirmed that he invited the army but that they were supposed to arrive later than the time they came. Did he order the shooting of protesters? “I am not the C-in-C,” he said, adding that the army does not take orders from him. He was then asked if he knew who the people that did the shooting were and he replied, “from the videos I’ve seen, it was the army”.

Later at a press briefing, apparently after having some intel, the Governor announced that there were no fatalities. Note also that the army had already tweeted “fake news” earlier in the day when the social media was awash with videos of soldiers in an armoured tank, shooting sporadically in a direction and scores of videos of bodies with body parts littering the ground had been spread as victims of Lekki massacre.

A certain DJ Switch has released several videos, one LIVE, in which she claims that the military were killing protesters and that a lot of people had died and they were trying to remove a bullet from one person’s leg. She was relaying these events, but not showing a single footage of the most important videos, A. Of dead bodies, B. Of the soldiers shooting at people, C. Of blood stain on the floor, D. Of the process/procedure when the bullet was removed, E. When soldiers were carrying the bodies, F. When DJ Switch and her people were carrying bodies and dumping them in front of the soldiers (as she claimed).

Rather, she was verbalising the narrative she wanted to drive even though that was not what was happening. Then her second video showed her talking to a friend and, all of a sudden, she started running and asking imaginary people to bend down and hold their flags. His friend on then said “daaaamn” after which he covered his face as if he had just witnessed something gruesome.

That, no doubt, was mere acting and a bad one at that. DJ Switch gave an impression that the army or police were still shooting protesters at Lekki even in the morning. Then she said “they shot all night”.

Then she did another video where she apologised for not being online for some time. She then proceeded to reminisce about the fateful night and, at that point, she started to address the issue of numbers. It was then the death toll of over 80 suddenly reduced to 12. She also claimed that the DJ Switch account which posted over 80 deaths was a fake account and not hers.

Really? I am damn sure that if the digital footprint and registered details of that account were searched, they will show that it’s her account, but away from that, she started to narrate her ordeal and how the police fired teargas and described it like “Cotonou pepper”. Someone who has just been traumatised and witnessed a carnage a few days earlier making jokes about pepper? Body language experts have analysed that her behaviour is not commensurate with that of a victim of trauma and her description of how she carried and deposited bodies at the feet of soldiers defies logic. It is fight or flight. Soldiers opening fire and you taking bodies to them seem a drama taken too far; it is highly unlikely.

Now let’s go to the facts. Till today, there are no relatives who have come forward that their family members are missing. A woman in London claimed her son was killed at the Lekki Toll Plaza, but it turned out that she was lying. He died in a motorcycle accident. Also pictures that were touted as victims of the Lekki massacre turned out to be pictures of people who had died in separate circumstances – one from a bike accident and the other a stab wound victim. Those found in the hospitals who got injured from Lekki were as a result of stampede, and the injuries ranged from broken bones, cuts, bruises and slash wounds. No record of death as a result of gunshot wounds from the Army’s weapons, but the social media was awash with people in hospital, who claimed that they were shot by soldiers at the toll plaza.

In reality, there was chaos in nearby Ajah-Badore where gangs were fighting. Some policemen and many innocent citizens died. To make matters worse, because of the lie by DJ Switch about a massacre, a lot of angry protesters came out of their homes and in their bid to retaliate by killing police officers or burning police stations, many people got shot by policemen and a lot of lives were lost. DJ Switch, who was seemingly defiant in the eyes of death, now suddenly disappeared, rather than bring her evidence to the commission of enquiry to help this investigation. Now she’s trying to seek asylum under the guise of running for her life, but when she was confronted with gunshots by the army, she didn’t run away? Isn’t that a cue to show that this woman is an anarchist or a pathological liar? She was probably trying to trend or perhaps there is a more sinister angle into this.

Regarding the shameful way some media houses covered this story, NBC has to keep an eye on such media houses, who have a responsibility to show that they are worthy of their licences. Many of them showed unverified social media footages as “live”, thereby misleading the audience. One newspaper wrote a piece titled “Sanwo-Olu finally admits inviting the military”. At no time did Governor Sanwo-Olu deny inviting the military. He said the military does not take orders from him. It was his interview with Becky Anderson on CNN (days after speaking with the BBC where he confirmed that he sought military help, following the anarchy that had seized many parts of the state) that people saw and decided the governor “finally admitted”.

I suppose this is the same report that the army read for them to have said they were not happy the Governor denied inviting them.
CNN, unprofessionally, did a package in which it attached social media videos to what could have been an educational piece of journalism. A satellite image showed the army leaving their base in two pick-up vans. It showed them fire into the sky, but sadly the unverified social media videos attached to that package ruined it. It reeks of prejudice and bias.

CNN is desperate to show that the Nigerian government massacred young people and, sadly, they neglected their ethos. There was an image of an old man in native attire covered in blood. That man must have a relative somewhere. Did the soldiers take his body away? If he is dead, who was he? He must have friends or family members.
One important question to ask is why the satellite image which showed the army drive to the toll gate couldn’t show the army picking up bodies or dropping them somewhere.

There should be an image showing people on the floor, dead as a result of a massacre. Some observers have said that the Federal Government should not have confronted CNN. I disagree. What Nigeria has done through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is within its rights.

CNN has a duty to investigate its reports thoroughly and present such reports with facts and figures, not mere eyewitness accounts and doubtful social media videos that have failed the simple test of integrity.

CNN must substantiate its claims, not repeating the offence.

Omojoye wrote in from Palmgroove , Lagos

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Opinion

Gen. Buratai: Nigeria’s Redeemer @60 – By David Onmeje

Avatar

Published

on

Time is no respecter of persons. It is the only vehicle of existence which waits for no one on its voyage. On a day like yesterday, November 24, a Nigerian was born to a peasant family in an obscure community called Buratai village in Biu town of present day, Borno state, in Nigeria’s Northeast.

He was named Tukur Yusuf Buratai. No comets were seen on the day of his birth neither did kings nor queens warm his arrival on earth. Perhaps, a handful of neighbours heard the shrill cry of a new born baby and rushed to fete the mother for a successful passage through the pains of pregnancy and safe delivery.

In presumptive accuracy, I dare say, within the same Buratai village, others may have heard about the birth of baby Tukur Yusuf, but were aloof and more concerned with chasing the complications of every day survival. But it never changed anything anyway.

God Almighty sealed the destiny of baby Tukur Yusuf from conception and he was in the world for a noble mission. And @60, he has vigorously pursued this dream of redeemer of humanity; conquered all repressive vagaries and odds to ingrain his identity in history as a liberator of troubled humanity; a professional combatant soldier; dogged fighter, warrior, Nigeria’s redeemer warmonger of global acclaim and an extraordinary Army General of repute.

Even now, most parts of the expansive landmass of Borno state are still rural, adored only with the rustic emblems of countryside. So, I imagined and tried to picture how Borno would have been some 60 years back and, images of a dark void filled my heart. Certainly, it was a forgotten enclave, coloured partly by lush greenish grasslands or vegetations and resourceful swamps which snaked into deserts, forests and caves; where birds, reptiles and wild animals were the only worthy companions of home sapiens.

But it is the place whice bears the ancestral roots of Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the indomitable chief armour bearer of the counter-insurgency operations. Great men and women or what others aptly capture as salvationists of enslaved humanity globally, usually come from such nondescript backgrounds and unassuming homesteads or hamlets. But they trudge the world mightily like dinosaurs. They deposit unimaginable imprints on the sands of time.

I spent a great deal of my formative years with a paternal uncle, Alhaji Aliyu, a trader. He was a passionate Africanist cum traditionalist. Though of African descent, he always told me Africa holds a special fascination for him because of her rich cultural heritage. Alhaji Aliyu had an unbeatable passion for African fables.

The prolific novelist and literalist, Cyprian Ekwensi’s “African Night’s Entertainment,” of children’s series was my uncle’s favorite and classic. He loved African proverbs and was fond of the adage; “looking at a king’s mouth, one would think he never soaked from his mother breast.”

Therefore, when a friend told me Gen. Buratai clocked 60 years of age yesterday, memories of the wits of Uncle Aliyu came back to me. His teachings and the passion he had on African cultural endowments resonated very pungently in me. It compelled me to reminisce his favourite proverb; “Looking at a king’s mouth, one would think, he never soaked from his mother’s breast.”

When I ruminated on the rewarding, enviable and outstanding military exploits of Gen. Buratai, it was hard for me to believe, like most Nigerians, that he came from such an ordinary background. The portrait of Gen. Buratai’s life today sharply contrasts with the reality of his ancestry.

Gen. Buratai was not born into an affluent family or a bubbling city. Fathered by Papa Yusufu Buratai, a World War II veteran of the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF), the younger Buratai toiled and sweated to make his relevance in service of humanity.

In Gen. Buratai’s formative years, life was a stiff competition between tradition and modernity, as expressed by western education and values. But born with a destiny, imbued in him as a zeal to pursue a cause, Gen. Buratai was fired by it to embrace western education. He started his elementary education in the countryside and later, migrated to Nigeria’s mini-cities in search of knowledge.

At every stage of the quest for knowledge, Gen. Buratai proved his innate talents and brilliance until he landed at the famous Nigerian Defence Academy, (NDA), Kaduna. He was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1983.

Only then it became clear to all discerning eyes that Gen. Buratai had settled for a destiny and a career for Military service to his fatherland and humanity. It was his emulation of the warrior spirit in his paternity or lineage, as abundantly expressed by the patriarch of the Buratais.

And looking at Gen. Buratai’s military service today, his progress is incredible. While in service Gen. Buratai exposed himself to further training as infantry combatant in the best military institutions in Nigeria and abroad. He has held countless command, administrative and instructional positions before his appointment as Nigeria’s COAS.

And @60, Gen. Buratai has excelled as a soldier, military leader, administrator, war veteran, tactician and strategist. He is a poet, military historian, philosopher and a distinguished alumnus of the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, with a two Master’s degree.

Gen. Buratai has been decorated with numerous garlands and medals within and outside Nigeria for his excellence, bravery and gallantry. President Muhammadu Buhari did not make a mistake by appointing Gen. Buratai as the COAS and anointing him leader of the counter-insurgency operations in 2015. It was the most auspicious and difficult period of the nation’s tumultuous history of insecurities.

Before Gen. Buratai’s arrival on the scene, Boko Haram insurgents particularly had gone amok and berserk in Nigeria. The insurgents took almost total control of the entire Northeast region and sustained a disturbing stranglehold on the whole of the Northern region, Abuja was not spared its fury. The religious militants launched relentless bloody campaigns recklessly to forcefully establish an Islamic State in Nigeria.

Boko Haram had gained substantial grounds in the Northeastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Insurgents effectively annexed and colonized at least 17 LGAs (others peg the number at 21), established a Caliphate headquarters at Gwoza and a subsidiary administrative unit in Baga, all in Borno state. Insurgents made mince meat of troops at the warfront, who often shirked in the heat of enemy attacks or mutinied endlessly.

Boko Haram gruesomely murdered Nigerians in tens of thousands, indulged in massive abductions, committed acts of arson and displaced millions of locals from their communities. Peace was murdered in Nigeria and the fire of Boko Haram was replicated in similar, if not, greater depth by armed bandits in the Northwest. Violent militancy in the Niger Delta and bile secessionists agitations conspired to cripple Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.

But suddenly, Gen. Buratai sauntered on the stage to command the battles against anti-terrorism and insurrections. And the narrative changed with superfluous speed in rewarding victories against Boko Haram. In spite of their multiplicity into more sects such as Islamic West Africa Province (ISWAP), Gen. Buratai has boldly proved his mettle as a solder, commander, workaholic and warmonger in whom we are all well pleased.

Boko Haram’s factional leader, Abubakar Shekau and his soulmate, Musab Al Barnewi have bemoaned several times, the frustrating pains Gen. Buratai has inflicted on terrorists in the battlefield. Shekau has repeatedly moaned frustrations with the insurgency war wedged on Nigeria because the Army Chief has refused to give them a chance to deface Nigeria with evil or triumph over country. He deserves kudos on this special day of his life.

Behold, this great solder, leader and military strategist has turned 60 years of age. But he had no chance to celebrate this special day of his life with friends and family. Gen. Buratai could not afford the luxury of a birthday toast with his lovely children or throw lavish parties in posh places in celebration of this unique day, like the rest of us do on such days.He spent the whole day in the trenches and caves of the Northeast and forests of the Northwest, personally leading the counter-insurgency operations from the warfront for the rest of us to sleep in bliss and peace. Oh, the life of a soldier is not enviable. I am one of the many Nigerians who would have loved to have had a birthday toast with him on such a special day; but the circumstances would not permit it.

So, I decided to fill a void in my heart for a deprived birthday toast with Gen. Buratai with this tribute to a “Peoples General;” “Boko Nemesis;” “redeemer warmonger;” “the conqueror of merchants of swords” and Nigeria’s most outstanding numero uno soldier and celebrated Army General of his time. This is my token birthday toast with you @60 and may Almighty God continue to shield you in the trenches from our enemies as we wish you the age of methuselah.

Onmeje wrote this article from the United Kingdom.

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Opinion

Shadows Behind The #EndSARS Mask – By Charles Ibekwe

Avatar

Published

on

These days, every Nigerian has noticed the loud silence of the usually garrulous human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana and his clan of minions over preachments on the propriety of the #EndSARS protests in Nigerian. Or even, the inappropriateness of Government actions on the protestors to tame the tide of the destructive violence.

The silence has become very pronounced in the aftermath of the confusion which trailed the alleged shooting and cold-blooded murder of harmless protestors by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate. But Falana and his apostates should make themselves and Nigerians proud by further advancing their claimed authentic polemics before the probe panel.

Initially, almost all Nigerians, including leaders in the country endorsed the exposition that #EndSARS protests was contrived and started as a genuine expression of public anger against the brutality and extra-judicial killings by members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF). President Muhammadu Buhari also peripherally sensed and interpreted the grievances of the protesters as genuine and immediately commenced actions on the five-point demands forwarded to the FGN on the fifth day of the protests – October 11, 2020.

President Buhari’s instantaneous action was his leadership responsiveness and solidarity with the protesters to assuage the anger and pains of the Nigerian youths in order to halt the protests. But quite unacceptably and thoughtlessly, the #EndSARS protestors were satanically influenced and misguided by the Presidential quick reaction to task their conscience to stop the protests.

The protests now shifted to demands to #EndBadGovernance. Thereafter, the actions of the #EndSARS protesters also changed. It unreasonably mutated from peaceful democratic demonstrations to awesome violence, killings and destructions of public/private properties in some states in Nigeria.

Unfortunately, something betrayed the concealed anti-democratic motives or did some disservice to the demonstrators and exposed the planned evil agenda against Nigerians and the Government. It was the protestors sudden and unwise resort to violence; the gruesome murder of security agents and innocent civilians as well as appalling destructions, looting and arsons in parts of the country. National security was on the precarious verge of being compromised and the Government had the lawful obligation to immediately restore public safety and security.

Again, and expectedly ironic, the discovery of some masked powerful forces within and outside Nigeria, which secretly plotted to use the banner of the #EndSARS protests to pursue interests alien to the originality of the mission of the remonstrators was a serious setback. The design was smartly crafted to destabilize Nigeria, cause widespread anarchy, which magnitude would springboard the undemocratic dethronement of President Buhari. So, the incensed aggressors pushed the agenda of unabated insecurity, bloodbath and destructions aggressively even when Nigeria was sliding into complete anarchy before their very eyes.

These voices of dissent resonated on pulpits, within human rights circles, the opposition camps, disenchanted tribal groups, some media houses and foreign elements, disgruntled political merchants and in civilian coup plotters. While these groups relished and regaled in the bloodbath and destructions, they stoutly opposed Government’s intervention to restore public security sanity and consistently sermonized false narratives to the outside world claiming the #EndSARS protests were peaceful.

It gingered President Buhari to impose security sanity to bring the escalating and degenerating violence under control. Nigeria is a democratic state and the rule of law is supreme. Under President Buhari, the sanctity of the rule of law is paramount in all official affairs and dealings. The loud noises attracted by the Lekki incident compelled Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to institute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to unravel the mystery behind the impasse between protesters and the Nigerian Army over the alleged firing of live bullets at a protesting mob.

The #EndSARS protesters, sponsors, campaigners, promoters and claimed victims of the “massacre,” at Lekki gate are expected to channel their legitimate claims and grievances to the probe panel for interrogation. The probe panel has been sitting for over three weeks now. But shockingly, the leading campaigners or advocates of #EndSARS and those who shouted acerbically everywhere about gruesome murder at Lekki gate are hesitant to present their cases at probe panel.

Ludicrously, Nigerians who nicknamed President Buhari, a “civilian dictator,” and cursed the Nigerian Army over allegations of mowing down unarmed protesters now dread the premises of the probe panel to present their cases and also shed light on what transpired at Lekki. Those who threatened to drag the Buhari Presidency and the COAS, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai to the ICC over human rights violations of the protesters, like Femi Falana are afraid to make presentations at the probe panel.

The band of idle lawyers who sued the Buhari Presidency and the Nigerian Army over the Lekki shootings are scared to approach the probe panel. The undertaker mourners, the families of the alleged slain civilians at Lekki and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) who unanimously claimed an undemocratic clampdown on peaceful demonstrators at Lekki are now more comfortable in their private tents, than make submissions at the probe panel.

But the #EndSARS protestors, the sponsors, sympathizers, promoters, and campaigners dribbled Nigeria terribly through a dummy. Truly, at the surface of #EndSARS protests appears to be mere expression of anger and pains by some Nigerian youths who have long been abandoned and neglected. Therefore, by democratic rights, they were seeking the attention of Government to their plight for possible intervention and redress. It was permissible and decent enough!

Nonetheless, unknown to many, behind the seeming innocent faces of aggrieved youths, were piles of oblique interests, who were out to pursue disparate interests or agenda on the podium of #EndSARS. Under the auspices of #EndSARS and through the instrument of democratic protests, the subversive forces plotted a civilian coup that was meant to reduce Nigeria into debris and undemocratically enthrone surrogate leaders at all levels.

#EndSARS protests, offered a veritable platform for these sabs to exercise the harboured evil agenda on Nigeria. They desperately sought to unseat President Buhari through the backdoor and by crude means. So, expectedly, when the #EndSARS protests sprouted, they shouted hallelujah in their secret camps of darkness in celebration of victory ahead of the attack on Nigeria.

It was an anticipated opportunity for “crisis-prenuers” and crisis merchants to sell their wares. Unmistakably, on the foreign plank, it was the long-awaited golden opportunity that Amnesty International (AI), the other foreign conspirators and internal disgruntled political elements, which they excitedly utilized to cripple the country. Therefore, these combinations of overt and unground forces against the country, scrambled ravenously on who amongst them would deliver on Nigeria, the heaviest and dazzling blow of crisis and destabilization.

For them, it was time to burn down Rome to the admiration of her enemies. But God Almighty prevented it. He alone frustrated the unjustified plans and plots of the enemy forces against the country and Nigerians. It is now the break of dawn, and the losses are being counted.

And surely, the subversive elements behind the condemned #EndSARS protests are exposing themselves everyday by their actions and dispositions in the aftermath of the carnages and bloodshed. But to discerning Nigerians, those behind the hateful, resentful and discredited violent protests are already unmasked now even in their thick masks.

They are those who urged the intensity of conflagrations or arsons on Nigeria; they are those who fabricated imaginary shootings and killing of protesters at Lekki; they are those who sponsored the demonstrators, some of whom provided cash backing in millions of naira, food and medical supplies; they are the saboteurs who concocted lies, photoshopped pictures of fake news and circulated on social media, and later, contracted CNN to amplify the fake scripts; and they are the Nigerians, who threatened President Buhari and the Nigerian Army with ICC, but have shied away effeminately from making submissions at the Lagos State probe panel, an indispensable preliminary step.

And the evidence and signposts are everywhere today. They have held captives of their own conscience. They are the IPOB leaders/members; they are the foreign elements; disgruntled political merchants and civilian coup plotters. All are the haters of Nigeria’s democracy; but wished to be given a democratic platform to govern Nigeria. Time resolves all mystery and this deliberately contrived and dispensed demoniac punching of Nigeria would also pass away; whilst the dramatis personae would be left standing alone, nude in the darkness of day, deserted and despised by rational Nigerians.

Ibekwe is a public affairs analyst and wrote from Enugu.

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 -2019