An AP investigation into wanton extra-judicial killings
continuing to define the Nigerian military mission in the
northeast, reminds of a deadly reality under either a psychologically
compromised, worn-out military or an insensitive, tactically slaughterous one.
Whether by traumatic stress or by leadership policy, the results are the
same and the mortiferous violations have now spread far out of the
northeast, across the entire nation.
The heartrending report published February 20th was allegedly
behind Nigeria's Military suddenly setting up of a so-called "Human
right violation complaint desk," after the quick tongue-in-defense of
Chief Buratai military spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman had failed to
respond to AP's pre-report questions on the military deadly excesses.
Unconscionable extra-judicial killing pattern across Nigeria
Pro-Biafra groups in a widely distributed letter, presented images and described the finding of 13 bodies, hands-bound with strips of their Biafra flags,
tossed in a "borrow pit." These were believed to be protesters who
had been executed by the Nigerian police and army. A harrowing video that recently went viral confirmed the brutality
of Nigeria's military in the region. In the video-recording of the events at a
"prayer-ground" in Aba, Abia State, the Nigerian military could be
clearly seen taking positions, guns drawn to fire at unarmed Igbo protesters
including young men and women.
The video reminded of the formation made around the Husainiyyah
Islamic center in Zaria. Soldiers were seen similarly establishing battle
formation encircling the unarmed singing and praying pro-Biafran protesters.
Later shots were noticed and several were injured or lay dead. At least 13
youth were said to have died from that massacre.
Like the December 12th Zaria massacre, the problem with this
Nigerian military brutality is that no where in the world are protests or civil
disobedience broken-up with deadly fire by the nation's military. Shields,
batons, water cannons, tear gas, are used as the police or military-police
pummel the protesting crowds. Military taking aim and firing on
"flagrant" citizens who are not armed with gunpowder-projectile
weapons is barbaric, colonial and evil.
Nigeria is once again found perpetrating crimes against humanity
without remorse. There is an order in the military to eliminate any
problem, suspected problem or person or group that protests against the
system. The nation's police are illegal road-side toll collectors
and the military assumes the duty of the police. As in the northeast and
in Zaria, in Aba, the army decides on instant justice for people it has judged
and condemned to be enemies of its peace. Death is the sentence. Bodies will be
dumped. Nigeria's military chief described himself as "defender of the
nation's democracy." The police and courts have been sidestepped, and
families will not even be dignified with notice of their loss or bodies of the
After hundreds were killed, as many as 705 Nigerians remain
missing from the Zaria episode last December. Human rights watch reported
that the Nigerian military had dumped hundreds of victims' bodies in mass
graves. About two months later, "Activists" claimed to
have found the mass burial ground. There is no government investigation
and at least 200 victims have been locked up and denied bail, due charge and
This callous pervasive pattern likely originated in Borno
where perhaps it was perfected. The people in the northeast live in perpetual
fear of either Boko Haram or the State security services. Weapons are routinely
planted on suspects before they are executed. This is an open story. The people
have actually gotten desensitized to it and perhaps so has the military. Over
the years there have been thousands of cases of military violations
against the people of the northeast, according to Amnesty International. A
Nigerian military commander accused of crimes against humanity and
being behind hundreds of violations, Maj. Gen. Ahmadu Mohammed, who not only
violated the citizens but also led his soldiers to their deaths, making them so
irate they mutinied against him and tried to kill him, was recently restored to
his post by the Nigerian military, "without investigation." The
treacherously betraying reinstatement was a final blow
to Nigerian citizens, soldiers and international right organizations.
The military was digging in. It had no regrets. Perhaps PETA
should be called, because these lives are going to be taken at will. They don't
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