Apr. 4, 2014
There was a story in the news Thursday; PremiumTimes reported that over 30 Fulani, especially elderly—those above 70 years who could not run—were massacred by the Nigerian army in Nasarawa state, according to eye witnesses. The Punch also carried the story, stating that the Defence spokesman, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade was not sure who did what and was investigating.
There was another story in SaharaReporters, the same Yesterday in which gunmen, the same type of dare-devil, multi-ability, trans-state, gunmen who ride on 50 bikes, all clad in military uniform, massacred 20 villagers in Zamfara state, and as they do in the multiple states they operate in, burned all in sight, clearing out the northern habitats.
There is little doubt that genocide of the north is systematically being permitted and is openly in progress in Nigeria. Whether it is ‘Boko Haram,’ whose sponsors this government keeps protecting, the unknown bike riding, camo-wearing, helicopter aided, murdering incendiarists, or it is the massacres of military ‘excesses;’ one way or the other, the pattern is exactly the same and so is the outcome. Towns are being razed to the ground across the north and people are being massacred and being displaced in thousands.
But surprisingly, this is not the bane of my notice this day. The massacres in the north since 2011 are not new. US estimates up to 20,000 deaths so far these last 4 years; these mass violent deaths, that are coincidentally 100% exclusive to the north, did not start today. What stirred me was the reactions of many, from certain parts of Nigeria on and offline to the recent deaths.
I scoured comments on the news sites and facebook pages and was delivered to a state of aggravated shock. People, mostly of a peculiar ethnicity were celebrating all these incidents of massacres of innocent Nigerians. I even had a conversation with a friend on the phone, who was likewise apathetic and joyous.
Some called it ‘payback’ for 30 years ago events. Some called it ‘payback’ for ‘Fulani herdsmen’ bloody evil misadventures. Some called it a welcome path to a secession of the 5 eastern states. Some recommended a complete annihilation.
I have written about this before. It is called, ‘Genocidal thinking,’ when we wish or speak words that encourage the wipe-out of any person who belongs to a perceived race, ethnic group or other classification from which one, some or many are believed to have offended us. If we attack simply any of the group’s members or instigate ‘reprisal’ killings against anyone from that affiliation, without that person being convicted of being a part of the crime, we have committed the greatest wickedness before God and man. We have killed an innocent person, or supported and rejoiced this sin. Within all groups, if not most, if not some, there are few who not only reject the aggression of the groups, but even fight against their own group members for it. Shall we kill indiscriminately? Shall we rejoice the indiscriminate killings—which promotes and fuels its continuity?
I have seen members within groups rejoice 911. It was pathetic. I did not witness the pogroms of earlier Nigeria. Many of us did not. I can imagine there was nothing to celebrate about that and still much to be apologized about, and bridges to be built. To imagine that in 2014, Africans within the same nation or even across nations would celebrate when innocent people who may never have hurt a fly in their lives, who may even be advocates against war, mostly the elderly who cannot run as PremiumTimes narrated, are massacred, African brothers rejoice—simply because these people are ‘one of them,’ is perturbing.
There’s no need for preaching here. We are what we are and we will account for our actions individually to our Maker. I do believe that the current administration is highly responsible for intentionally fertilizing and fueling the current state of deadly intolerance Nigeria now experiences. They use terror as a tool for libel and political maneuver. It is the means they used to be elected. Reuben Abati and The Guardian, ‘apologized’ to Buhari, retracted their publication and compensated him in an out of court settlement for accusing him of sponsoring terror, but this was silently done and after irreversible public damage had been done . Reno Omokri was caught red-handed promoting Boko Haram terror and utilizing this terror group to attempt to tarnish the image of another Nigerian from the north, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Today again, this government has been asked to pay N50 million in damages and apologize to Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for tarnishing his name with Boko Haram. It is the way of the Johnathanians; everyday Olisah Metu keeps repeating ‘Janjaweed,’ in reference to the opposition party which has every single known Nigerian name from all corners of Nigeria, including a Rivers state governor. Rather than be a government that promotes tolerance and sets up inter community peace initiatives, they use the office of the presidency, the media and whoever else they can buy with the billions (USD) to push religious and ethnic suspicion and deadly strife in Nigeria as an only means to ‘victory.’
The harm has been done. Nigeria cannot sue this government a class suit for national libel and deadly strife provocation. Even if we did, certain elements among us, those that are coincidentally also the few left supporters of this government, have already been turned into what I call, monsters. They actually post these words for man and God to see and keep record of, attached to their names and facebook profiles. They are happy to publicly celebrate the deaths of possibly innocent Africans. And trust me, there are these types on all sides of the ‘divide.’ To them I say—when I die, if I am killed in/by some ‘reprisal’ killers looking for my type. If I am killed by the ‘excesses’ of some military, please do not celebrate my death. Not because I do not want you to party, no, I really do not care if you jump up and down on my grave; rather I advise you to conserve your time and your energy for your repentance and your preparations for your meeting with the Creator, because sooner or later, with later being actually sooner than sooner—if we only knew—we all will die and we all will account for what we did, encouraged, wrote on facebook, said and even thought, for words from our thoughts, fuel the vicious cycle of hate and death —lead to death.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah
http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something]
Email: [email protected] Twitter: @EveryNigerian