It is frightening to see the level of tribalization and sectionalization of Nigeria’s security departments. The recent report of alleged IPOB affiliated persons being responsible for the deaths of five Hausa-Fulani Nigerians in Abia state was a final straw.
Nigeria’s Department of State Security, DSS added that report to one on the capture of one of the most deadly terrorists in the world, the leader of Ansaru faction of Boko Haram, Khalid al-Barnawi. While all acts of terror can be lumped together, the disparity in the reactions of the security departments to acts of terror by different ethnic and religious groups, of note, the so-called 95 and 5%s is catastrophically dangerous for Nigeria.
1. The DSS has never released a single statement (to my knowledge) on systematic and synchronized Fulani “herder” massacres across Nigeria. (Qualified as Boko Haram by the Nigerian senate).
2. The DSS has never released a statement describing how it is investigating suspected Fulani murders (assuming they are not the perpetrators), but in its statement against IPOB, the DSS described how it made immediate arrests and interrogations to unearth the suspects.
3. The DSS has not released a single statement in regard to the Agatu genocide of hundreds of “enemies” of Fulani herders, that has caused mass displacement and untold suffering with properties burned in several communities and hundreds killed.
4. The Attorney General, Mr Malami of the federation has defended murderous Boko Haram terrorists; the likes of Khalid al-Barnawi from death, their due sentence as prescribed by the law. This while State security departments murder protesting and praying youth with no blood and lives on their hands in Aba and Zaria.
5. While in the IPOB case, a prompt investigation was launched according to Tony of the DSS, in the Agatu massacre case, the police were sent to mediate between the killers and their victims and murderers who openly defended their acts of carnage were left to go home with no single arrest till today. In news reports, suspected above-the-law Fulani have since killed an APC youth leader in Benue and just killed University staff and others in Delta, while the DSS focuses only on IPOB.
6. Not a single Fulani suspect has been arrested by the DSS, at least according to their Press statements or lack of them in the regard. In the past when Hussaini Monguno was arrested, we mentioned this fact: on how State agencies are quick to investigate and arrest those they personally hate or feel personally attacked by; but the same agencies fail to arrest terrorists, especially Boko Haram and Fulani brand and when they do, they promise them repatriation into society, amnesty and safety from death sentences.
7. There is no similar report of a DSS investigation into the Zaria massacre, even if to arrest more Shia Muslims. The Police and DSS should by now have been involved in such investigations into the incidents of the massacre including the allegations of mass murder, mass burials, the reported mass graves found, demolitions and other potential legal infractions and crimes. These are state security tasks of the professional police and DSS and not civilian conference-room panels. However the DSS has its apparent personal priorities.
8. The state security agencies while harsh on other groups are appearing frighteningly compassionate to Boko Haram and Fulani Fulani terrorists. The promised repatriation camps for terrorists including those who have killed and raped our women is a violation of the laws of the land and God. This seems to serve foreign fanatic Takfiri sponsor governments’ interests. Nigeria’s laws clearly state that terrorists who have killed must be killed. We see Reverends being sentenced to death; robbers being so-sentenced; but Boko Haram and Fulani herder rampaging murderers being spared.
9. In remarkable contrast, the Buhari government addresses Fulani herder open violence and frank terror with a promise to create ranches and “address their agitations.” While in contrast, non-violent IPOB Igbo protests are not addressed based on their agitations and concerns, but this section of Nigerian society is rather further undermined, castigated, implicated, killed in protest and prayer and associated with Khalid al-Barnawi.
10. There is ample evidence that the Security department is once again being used as an intimidation instrument of the ruling political party; as it was in prior administrations. There is video evidence of an alleged APC politician/candidate harassing an INEC officer in Rivers to refund bribe money paid him, while State military and police look on. This video gives merit to many other tales of security officers being dispatched by the security chiefs to protect ruling party interests and not those of the people.
We would like to urgently call on the repositioning of the Nigerian police, DSS and army to be detribalized, desectionalized and nonreligious instruments. These agencies must remember that they are employed and paid by all Nigerians and there to protect all Nigerians and their interests equally.
We understand that this fresh administration has exuberant, excited agents eager to “impress” the President in whatever ways they deem valuable, however they must realize that they do harm to themselves, the president and Nigeria, planting seeds of tomorrow’s terror and chaos with their disproportionate brutality and lack of equity and justice.
If there is no justice, there can never be peace; and if there is no peace, there can never be progress and development.
Dr Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian