Buhari’s Failure to Label and Properly Address Terrorism in Nigeria
Okwumo Nwabuzor and Olisaeloka Ezike were sentenced to death by hanging on Thursday for killing a postgraduate student, Cynthia Osokogu.
In Cameroon, March last year, a military court sentenced 89 Boko Haram insurgents to death for their roles in terror attacks in the country.
Last month, a Somali Military Court Sentenced 7 Al-Shabab Militants to Death.
Nigeria’s military has sentenced dozens of soldiers to death for ‘refusing to fight’ Boko Haram.
President Muhammadu Buhari condemned Wednesday’s attack at the United Kingdom Parliament Building which the British government promptly labelled an act of terror. In a statement released by SA media Femi Adesina, president Buhari, sympathizing with the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, said, a “terror attack anywhere in the world is condemnable,” and that the whole world must join hands to defeat the perpetrators of terrorism.
Thousands of Nigerians have been terrorized and brutally killed by rampaging so-called Fulani herdsmen.
Fulani herders have also been killed in acts of terror by community members and farmers.
Tens of thousands have been killed by Boko Haram terrorists.
While Boko Haram was declared a terrorist organisation by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, not a single Boko Haram terrorist was ever sentenced to death throughout the five years of that government.
Continuing the surprising dangerous trend, not a single Boko Haram terrorist has yet been sentenced by the Buhari administration in almost two years since it took over power.
Rather perplexingly, while suspected rampaging herders invade communities and rape and kill dozens of villagers while setting their dwellings on fire in the worst demonstration of terrorism, the rampaging suspected herdsmen are yet to be declared terrorists and their actions are not registered and condemned as acts of terror by the Buhari administration.
Recently, when 17 armed suspects were arrested in connection with the violence in South Kaduna, the Nigerian police charged them as follows, “inciting public disturbance, disturbance of public peace, causing mischief by fire, culpable homicide, theft and unlawful possession of prohibited fire arms.” Terror was conspicuously not listed.
It would appear a necessary and urgently needed step in the right direction to declare any solitary or group acts of Nigerians and foreigners within Nigeria that lead to deaths and injury of citizens and are not related to armed robbery, as acts of terror, to be addressed and dealt with, with capital sentences as stipulated in Nigeria’s anti-terrorism laws.
It would also seem responsible for the Nigerian government to deal with arrested Boko Haram terrorists as stipulated by the anti-terrorism bill which prescribes the death sentence for acts of terror.
The Buhari government is urged to refer to acts of terror in Nigeria as they merit and deal with perpetrators of such acts as stipulated by the law and as other murderers are dealt. Anything otherwise will inadvertently continue to encourage wanton terror in Nigeria.
Nigeria cannot continue to deny victims justice and conceal its acts of terrorism as part of a larger world where we commiserate and cooperate with others in their war against terror and expect the same from them.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian