Home / News / Local / The lingua franca of selective injustice  By Martins Onyeike

The lingua franca of selective injustice  By Martins Onyeike

President Muhammadu Buhari

Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand- Buhari.

Ordinarily, the above statement by the President; in pure context should have sounded a note of warning to all criminal elements if it had been made with genuine intent to tackle the myriad of security issues currently bedeviling the nation. However, a careful perusal and analysis of that infamous statement unmasked his bile and hatred for a certain section of the country. It was a case of a masquerade taking off its costume.

It is no longer news that Twitter subsequently deleted that particular tweet for violation of its rules but the bullet had already left the barrel and hit its intended target – the people of the South East who still bear the scars of the 30 month-long civil war which has gone down in history as a genocide. The fact that no effort has been put into healing those old wounds remain painful enough, any attempt to further open up the laceration reeks of sheer insensitivity and bestiality.

Coming from a man whose position as President puts him in good stead to serve as a soothing balm and glue to stick the shattered fragments of a haemorrhaging nation together makes his choice of words more unpalatable. To think that he reiterated his stand during the Arise TV interview showed he meant every single letter of the words that made up that statement.

As the dust raised by those comments transformed into arid sandstorms, news filtered in that the leader of the Biafra secessionist group, IPOB, had been captured and rendited back to Nigeria in continuation of his trial. The clandestine manner in which he was brought back further feathered the dictatorial cap of a man who has become notorious for abusing all legal procedures.

With the benefit of hindsight, his “dot in a circle” phrase can be translated to mean that Nnamdi Kanu had been surrounded and had no escape route. Being the wily Rtd. General that he is, it won’t be out of place to state that he was privy to the Umaru Dikko- style process that was applied. Days later, the home of Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Igboho was raided in a nocturnal Gestapo manner with two of his aides extra-judicially executed.

While not holding brief for the two southern secession lords, the vigour expended on them gives an impression that they are the bone and flesh of insecurity in Nigeria. That is far from the truth. The business of kidnapping for ransom which was at its fledgling stage during the militancy days of the Niger Delta agitation has now metamorphosed into a full money-spinning industry under the watch of this administration.

What exactly is this government’s criterion for ascertaining who a terrorist is? The activities of these dare-devil bandits have become so brazen that they even have an official spokesman, in the person of Sheik Gumi. Bar a trickle of states, a massive chunk of northern Nigeria has been thrown to the dogs; with Kaduna being the headquarters of the blossoming kidnapping for ransom industry.

Kids can’t go to school anymore, farmers now have to pay humongous taxes to terrorists in order to access their farms, even the once reverred traditional rulers don’t feel safe in their palaces at the moment. Speculations are rife that ISWAP has installed its own Governor for the Marte, Kukawa, Magumeri and other areas of the Lake Chad region of Borno state. Pray tell, who are the real secessionists?

Putting it succinctly; the activities of bandits, insurgents, marauding herdsmen and ISWAP terrorists in the north has the backing of the government. No two ways about it. Any air of invincibility around their operations had been demystified by Sheik Gumi’s frequent visits to their camps. Their whereabouts are an open secret.

Why are the appropriate authorities not calling the Sheik to question? Why are these bandits running amok while the government looks on helplessly? What happened to applying a dose of the aggression administered on the southern secession lords on their northern “counterparts”?

Ideally, Mr. President’s language should be a lingua franca to all criminal elements; irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliation. Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho personify the symptoms of a mild fever afflicting the south. What is going on in the north is cancerous.

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