by Ladan Mohammed
Since the unfortunate incident of 12th December 2015 at the ancient city of Zaria, Kaduna State, some people have arrogated themselves various appellations and status all aimed at obliterating the attempted criminal but failed assassination of the Nigerian Army Chief. A case in point was a disappointing piece by a renown writer Prigenih Brimah calling for the resignation of the Army Chief and just yesterday one obscure Adeolu Ademoyo, of the Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Added to the spew through “a personal open letter” to the General. Ordinarily, one would care less about such things, but for the fact that they are far detached from reality and hurting our sensitivities-we the people of Zaria city and victims of the 30 years of molestation, harassment and intimidation by the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria which claimed to be associated with the Shiite Sect. In addition, the writer clearly distorted facts which gave him out as doing the bidding of someone else at the right price without conscience.
In the write up titled “Re: Nigeria: Letter to Gen Tukur Buratai-You Are Not the President of Nigeria”, he tried hard to defame the General, albeit failingly. In the first place the General Officer Commanding the One Mechanized Division of the Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade did not state that he was doing the bidding of the Army Chief and therefore the letter should rightly be addressed to him. However simply because his name is not Tukur Yusuf Buratai, he should not be involved. A case of “taking panadol for someone’s headache”, how convenient. The likes of Adeolu create an image of knowledgeable and respectable persons without a shred of proof. Such people are just out to misinform and mislead the public. It is therefore necessary to respond to them to avoid misleading gullible minds.
You claimed to have written as someone who has “participated in the political evolution of Nigeria” and failed to state when, where and how. The history of our great country and the tortious road to our democratization is an open book and common knowledge and as such no Adeolu Ademoyo has ever featured anywhere, except of course on his imagination. That is how his type deceive others especially in other climes. This is typical of dishonest and fraudulent people; claiming all sorts of things to attract attention. As such no right thinking person should listen to such rabble rouser. He further abrogated powers of jury and judge unto himself by accusing General Tukur Yusufu Buratai of taking over “role, duty and responsibilities of civil authorities” and “demanding for answers”, yet he also failed to mention any instance or such roles, duties and responsibilities. If one may ask Adeolu, in his capacity as who?
What makes the write up more disturbing or worrisome was careless choice and use of words. In his hallucination, he has concluded that there was a “massacre of Nigerians in Zaria by the Nigerian Army”. He did not believe that the Sect attempted to take the life of the Army Chief and that if it were true, the Sect “should apologize to Zaria residents”. I just wonder whether that is what is obtainable in New York City where he claimed to reside. Some people are indeed bereft of ideas and Adeola clearly tops that list. The whole incident and circumstances surrounding it were not an issue to him, but the Army’s was an issue! How convenient! Yet he had he has to write his “letter”.
To the best of our knowledge there was never been a time the Army Chief or any of his officers interpreted the situation as “war”. It was and remains a very grievous criminal offence for any person or group to illegally block a Federal Highway, forcefully deny other citizens passage and attempt to kill someone let alone an Army Chief on a legitimate official duty. It would be nice if Mr Adeolu Ademoyo would tell us how would the United States government treat such persons.
To obviously show that Ademoyo was hired for a hatchet job and glaring hatred for the Army Chief, is the fact that he vehemently turned facts upside down claiming that military’s action was premediated. Nothing could be further from the truth! The whole world saw what happened; sea of people massing up wielding all manners of dangerous weapons including petrol bombs.They vehemently refused all entreaties, obviously because they have to accomplish their given mission. On the contrary to the claim that no single soldier was injured, indeed a soldier was killed.
The most gratifying thing is that, apart from condemnation of the act by the Sect and peace overtures by well meaning Nigerians, the Government at various level has set up commissions of inquiry in which the whole truth would be laid bare. It is hoped that Mr. Ademoyo would assist the commissions further.
There is no doubt Nigeria is a democratic society and there was no way an Army Chief could be likened to an Executive President. However, by virtue of his appointment, the Army Chief should be respected. In fact, in other democratic societies such the United States and elsewhere, soldiers are well respected and accorded special status. And yet you want accolades for those that do otherwise here in Nigeria. Yet here you are, eulogising a Sect that do not recognize or respect any Constitutional, traditional or religious authority other than their own. The President has captured it right when he said during recent media chat that they constituted a state within a state, which is unacceptable. Adeolu you really need to be educate yourself on who the Sect leader is and the agony they subjected many Nigerians especially those of us in Zaria. If in doubt, where is the other suicide bomber whose unholy failed to detonate on 28th November 2015? Is the Shiite Sect the police or any security agency to be keeping him till date? What is their motive and do they have the capacity or legal right?
In your “letter” you acknowledged the fact the Army showed a video clip of what transpired which speaks for itself. And yet you find it difficult to understand or distinguish between that incontrovertible fact and the dubiously produced 20 minutes video by the Sect muting the voice of those gallant and selfless officers that took enormous risk of negotiating with the Sect members wielding dangerous weapons. Truth it is said is constant, while lie has so many colours. If you are not up to mischief, you should know what to believe. In any case, if you do not know what to believe, why the letter?
Come on Adeolu, why not ask your pay masters about the casualty figures. They have always been very generous with it; changing it with each passing day. The truth is that no matter the whitewash and attempt to divert public attention and false claims of bogus figures of victims, all those criminals must face the full wrath of the law. Not a thousand hired writers would take away our mind to ensure that justice is done.
The obviously confused Ademoyo could not even articulate his thoughts together as he jumbled issues. What has the anti-corruption fight got to do with the Zaria incident? What brought about the issue of politics in this regard?
It is clear that Adeolu has no idea who Lieutenant General Buratai is. This is a man that is a thorough professional whose dedication to the defence of our dear country is unquestionable. His preoccupation was the fight against terrorism and insurgency. It is on record that he was able to degrade and defeat the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists within a few months that he took over as Army Chief, a feat that could not be attained for six years!
Please let the Chief of Arny Staff be and let us wait for the various commissions of inquiries to do their work.
Angwan Kwarbai, Zaria, Kaduna State.