Sunday, January 8, 2017

A NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING FOR VICTIMS OF SOUTHERN KADUNA MASSACRE

When it came to light that the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN had declared today, a National Day of Mourning sometime last week, I was very happy. Happy, not because it will bring back the dead, or heal the injured, or restore all that the people of southern Kaduna lost, after marauding Fulani herdsmen paid them a "Christmas day visit", leaving destruction and death in their wake, but because for once a body like that, deemed it fit to dedicate a day to remember and honour the dead, even when the government at both state and federal level conveniently turned their eyes and ears away from the carnage that took the lives of more than eight hundred Nigerians away in yet another ethno-religious crisis in the north, disguised as farmer's versus herder's clashes, even when so called farmers died in their homes mostly while they slept, or very early in the mornings trying to escape the invasion unarmed, and that includes women and children as young as just a few months.


If you hadn't heard about this declaration by the CAN last week, after the gruesome murder of Christians and animist inhabitants of Southern Kaduna, you'd be shocked that the office of the vice president could release a video afterwards in which former Nigerian Christian presidents and vice presidents rendered a hymnal in English and in they're language, for those who could like there hadn't been a massacre at all, talk more, the killings of fellow Christians, and to go ahead and say a few words afterwards without mentioning the travails and persecution of Christians, non-Muslims and southerners in the north. Yes, I am not surprised about the silence of the vice president, whom when a deaconess from his church (where he incidentally is one of the pastors) was killed during "morning cry" a few kilometers from his abode in Abuja, said nothing, neither pressured the authorities using his high office, to even pretend to leave no stone unturned in bringing the killers of that woman to book, before you begin to wonder at his quiet about other killings before and after that of male and female Christians in the north following accusations of blasphemy against the Muslim God and/or his prophets. Of course when such Christian leaders keep quiet, you don't expect the sultan or emirs, whose ultimate goals may be inadvertently served in the long run by these killings to speak on behalf of Christians, or demand justice for their maltreatment, abuse or wrongful deaths at the hands of intolerant and fanatical Muslim fundamentalists.


If you were unaware of this declaration by the CAN, you'd think Nigerians and Christians are quite insensitive, especially when an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, a Christian comes on air to say that his principal doesn't have to make a comment concerning killings of fellow Nigerians (and Christians like him), since the state governor is on top of the matter. You'd hear the Inspector General of police dispute the number of the dead like even the killing of one Nigerian would matter less, under the circumstances those that died where mercilessly massacred and butchered. He would then go on to assure southern Kaduna people of increased security by promising to locate a mobile police force unit there, as if the presence of police and/or the military in that region has ever been the case, over and above how they conveniently disappear when  marauding Fulani begin their raid. Only to return and arrest those indigenes found even with a pen knife (either for self defence or to peel orange to avert the unpleasantness of the harsh harmattan weather), for attempting to disturb the peace, while a Fulani walks by armed with his AK-47 unhindered, talk more arrested.

INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE, IBRAHIM IDRIS ADDRESSING SOME RESIDENTS OF SOUTHERN KADUNA DURING HIS VISIT TO AREAS AFFECTED BY THE "CHRISTMAS DAY" MASSACRE. 

If peradventure the day that declaration was made, you were cocooned away from the Nigerian reality by the workload on your workstation, and therefore missed it, you may not miss the secretary of the Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, justifying their ignoble act, while warning on the side that inhabitants of southern Kaduna should forget about avenging the death of their loved ones, but rather come to negotiate peace with the Fulani (without justice), so that all could get on with their live, as they are content now that a wrong done them since 2011 have been somewhat righted. Though that  statement was widely publicized, no single arrest, either of that man, nor of the perpetrators which he may know have so far been made, rather reports keep making the rounds that despite increased police and military presence, the murderous Fulani are camped well in the sight of everyone that cares to know, with the possibility of a new onslaught not ruled out, while a journalist courageous enough to publish pictures from the pit of hell that some parts of Southern Kaduna became, was promptly picked up and could've been surely whisked off to Abuja from Lagos had not the problem with Nigeria's aviation sector not reared its ugly head in the form of lack of aviation fuel, leading to delays in takeoff, and thereby having the journalist and his police captors waiting a while at the departure lounge, catching the attention of passersby via which that piece of news was leaked.

MASS BURIAL CONDUCTED FOR SOME OF THE VICTIMS OF THE "CHRISTMAS DAY" ATTACK ON INHABITANTS OF SOUTHERN KADUNA. 


When black South Africans were dying at the hands of their Boer rulers like flies, and they were helpless, even hopeless in ending their unfortunate situations, they didn't lose opportunity to openly mark the demise of their dead. Each time any country in the west suffers an act of terror by groups even low in terrorist ranking to the Fulani terrorists, this same quiet President Buhari (on issues concerning killings of Nigerians, especially by his kinsmen), is usually one of the first presidents to send condolences to the countries concerned. Those countries mark the passage of their dead by flying their flags at half mast, they declare day(s) of mourning for their dead, especially following such dastardly acts, hence you could imagine my sadness when I learnt that the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria, CBCN berated CAN for making statements that is capable of threatening the fragile unity of Nigeria, and I'm guessing they said this because CAN in the release calling for the declaration of a "National Day of Mourning' (in which amongst others' Christians are to adorn themselves in black apparel), had stated that they "perceived President Buhari's silence (on the killings) as official endorsement of the dastardly and ungodly acts",  instead of joining the call for a day of national mourning. How about the fact that I waited till after Pastor Bakare's so called speech to the nation, before writing this with the hope that he'll say something about the massacre of Christians in the north, especially seeing as he'd visited the president last week, only for him to come out with an uninspiring call for the "restructuring of Nigeria" into six regions, which he knows is a tall order, considering the posture of the man he ran as running mate to many years back, and continues to wholeheartedly support despite the man's total "about-turn" on lofty ideas many thought he'd espouse now that he's gotten power eventually?


Yes, there are issues, a myriad of them that Nigeria needs to tackle, but for now some Nigerians, as were many before them, have been brutally murdered, in what could pass as genocide, and the  government and those who should have prevented this have kept quiet, or spoken up after constant and consistent criticisms was thrown in their direction. We are left with nothing to do but observe a day of mourning in their honour, like we weren't wont to do before now. Nothing in the government's body language, as well as security operatives drafted to southern Kaduna and indeed, other hotspots in Nigeria, suggest that a recurrence isn't likely, so when it does happen again, we should dedicate another national day of mourning to those that will die then. Maybe, after several national days of mourning for those lost in crisis such as the one bedeviling southern Kaduna now, with complicity of government at both state and federal levels, a Pharaoh who knows not Joseph will use his/her presidential or gubernatorial powers to act to make the protection of human lives and property, as enshrined in Nigeria's constitution, a priority. For now, we will mourn our dead and declaring a national day for it is trite or else when history is being told, the story of the genocide would be suppressed by the same people who stood by doing nothing when it was being perpetrated.



'kovich



PICTURE CREDITS:
- https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news
- http://www.tori.ng/news 

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