A Nigerian High Court judge recently slammed Nigeria’s army for believing it was back in the military dictatorship era with an “illiterate” military behavior delivering brute force and insisting on the violation of laws, acting “above the law”.
The Judge, Yusuf Haliru was condemning the army and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for the illegal detention of suspects without trial for months at a time.
Since appointment as Nigeria’s army Chief, Lt. General Buratai has been beyond control dishing brutality more to civilian populations than Boko Haram.
The army notably issued three loud warnings to Boko Haram terrorists to drop their arms and disseminate before the army reluctantly launched attacks on them. In contrast, the Nigerian military under General Buratai has been swift to launch deadly attacks using all military weaponry including bombs and even bringing in demolishing bulldozers on targeted civilian populations across Nigeria.
While on a recent trip in Qatar, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari was invited to watch a video that showed Nigerian soldiers firing on and killing unarmed pro-Biafrain protesters in Aba State of Nigeria. The President declined to watch. At least 9 Igbo youth were killed in that brutal incident that violated the conscience and has been roundly condemned.
The Nigerian Army has just been taken to the International Criminal Court by the Islamic Human Rights Commission for the deadly events of December last year. As many as 1000 minority Muslims were killed in three days of carnage on the orders of General Buratai.
In a “honour killing” revenge, sweeping and extra-handed reaction to demonstrators blocking his road, the army Chief recruited battalions from across Nigeria’s north and sent them to deliver three days of hell to the minority Islamic movement. Hundreds were killed in cold blood, many were tortured and raped and several were burned alive.
The army along with the Kaduna State government went further to bring in bulldozers to demolish all the private properties of members of the minority Shia group and even demolish and exhume their graves. The International Human Rights Watch reported that at least 300 were confirmed killed at three independent sites in Kadua including a burial ground at Darul Rahma.
Mass graves have since been found which contained bodies, some showing evidence of being burned, possibly to conceal evidence of torture.
The leader of the movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, his wife, Zeenat have remained detained for over three months without charge. 189 Muslims have similarly been illegally detained since with only one boy released after his arm was rotting in jail with his gun shot wounds since remaining untreated.
Peculiarly, Fulani herdsmen Boko Haram terrorists who have unleashed mayhem on populations in Nigeria’s Middle Belt Benue State have rather been spared the brutality of Buratai in a twist that has raised the question of extremist religious or/and sectarian agenda on the part of the army and Nigerian government.