by Dr. Peregrino Brimah,
When Boko Haram first emerged and targeted the Christians, the north was silent. The traditional leaders, Muslim clerics and State governors were loudly silent. Apart from a few less popular but true scholars who stood up and condemned the terrorists, the larger north dissociated itself from doing so in spite of raging public demand.
The papers were awash with criticism: why does the north not condemn Boko Haram? Where is the Sultan? Why does Buhari not speak? These were the comments that we remembered filled up main stream and social media. Many northern governors were even accused of financing Boko Haram, at least to keep them out of their States and left to destroy the northeast. Some northern eminents went even as far as praising Boko Haram while it bombed Churches religiously almost every weekend. Former PDP chairman, Bamanga Tukur is noted to have said, ‘Boko Haram is fighting for justice, Boko Haram is another name for justice.”
Later Boko Haram turned its sights on the silent and supportive north. They bombed and killed northern Muslims and other faithfuls in droves. They struck major northern cities and visited dozens of Mosques including Kano’s Central. Numbers say Boko Haram ended up killing more innocent northern Muslims than they had Christians in their early days. Tens of thousands were killed and 3 million displaced. The struggling northern economy was devastated beyond recovery as has been its reputation. Children and families have been broken beyond repair with hundreds impregnated by terrorists.
Today the Human Rights Watch and Nigerian Human Rights Commission has clearly condemned the excesses of the Military in Zaria between December 12th to the 16th of last year. Very few normal human beings can see reason to the massacre of pogrom defines. Hundreds were killed in response to an alleged attack on the nation’s military Chief and later explained on the basis of the Islamic movement being a “nuiscance.” Hundreds were kidnapped and held extra-judiciously incommunicado by the State including the head of the Islamic movement and his wife after their three more sons were shot and burned to death.
Graves of the minority Muslim group were exhumed as their homes were demolished by the Nigerian army and Kaduna State government.
The persecution continued with government lavishly sponsored hate campaigns against the oppressed minority, selecting fanatic scholars and other extremist community members to propagate extensive deadly hate campaigns against the already persecuted faithfuls. And to top it up, justice was denied with the administration, both State and Federal implicating the dead and defenseless without probe and selecting fanatic hate-filled brothers to lead the partial investigations at the involved-participant State-level.
And through this all, the north remained silent as they did during the days Boko Haram persecuted the Christians. Some…enough northerners even rejoiced, praising the military Chief who they fondly called, “Ayatollah Buratai.” There was no sense of guilt and no care. There has been no sense of remorse or regret. There is no recollection of what the days of silence and silent support of Boko Haram did to the north.
We will watch this one unravel. Sadly.