Unknown Gunmen In The East By Achike Chude

So they think that they are fighting for the Igbos and the southeast by the gruesome and despicable killing of Fatima and her four children? Shame on them!
So they think that killing the Anambra state lawmaker who was kidnapped over a week ago and then was subsequently murdered by his captors would show them as patriotic Igbo sons fighting for their ethnic group? He was beheaded and his decapitated head was boxed in a carton. Despicable fiends!
Then there was the army couple recently married. They were captured and executed in a most horrendous and fiendish manner. The woman was said to have been raped as well before her murder. 
The impostors masquerading as freedom fighters!
What was the purpose? What were the killers trying to prove? That they are more deadly or as fearsome as the Boko Haram fanatics who sometimes adopt the same fearsome methods of mindless brutality? Or perhaps they were trying to pass a message to the despicable executioners of Deborah Samuel for ‘blasphemy’ at the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto that they are also capable of the same level of cruelty, the same degree of barbarism?
Either way, being put in the same category of mindless, fanatical killers as the Fulani Herdsmen, Boko Haram, and bandits is not a flattering thing to the killers of Okechukwu Okoye, the Anambra lawmaker, Fatima and her four children, as well as the army married couple whose lives have been violated most violently. Nothing justifies this level of depraved brutality under any circumstance. 

This is why the law cannot be complete without the elements of human rights in peacetime and elements of humanitarian law in war times. Even in theatres of war, there are rules that must be followed:
You cannot kill civilians or non-combatants. You cannot bomb hospitals or residential areas. You must treat prisoners with dignity. You cannot use certain types of military hardware, or bombs. You cannot desecrate the dead bodies of your enemies, etc. It is the reason why people are brought before the International Human Rights tribunals for violation of basic principles of human conduct.
The people committing mindless atrocities in Anambra state and the whole of the southeast are not working for any Igbo cause. They are working for themselves. They are mindless, brutal criminals who are somehow profiting financially from their nefarious activities. The Igbo people as a collective are not murderers nor rapists nor sadists. They do not kill children. Their track records in Nigeria since the end of the civil war speak for themselves. They have worked hard wherever they have found themselves and developed such places. They have lived relatively at peace with their neighbours in their places of domicile and work. 
They do not have a problem with a Nigeria that works for them and everyone else – a Nigeria built on peace, justice, and equity. Such an arrangement will be pleasing to them and would allow them to thrive even more and allow them to contribute even more meaningfully and expansively in their host communities whether in Kano, Lagos, Calabar, Akure, Kaduna, Benue, etc. Rather than stifle them, Nigeria as a nation needs to harness their skills and talents even more to grow the Nigerian state – but only after having created a nation built on justice and equity.
We are not unaware of the reasons for the descent of the relatively peaceful southeast into the chaos and anarchy that we are seeing today. We are not unmindful of the previously held national and international views and impressions of IPOB as a peaceful organisation agitating for self-autonomy. We are not oblivious to the fact that self-determination groups and their promoters in Nigeria are a creation of the contradictions of the Nigerian state. Lastly, we know that the point of no return in the southeast was reached at the height of ‘Operation Python Dance’ by the Nigerian army in which many innocent young men and women were killed and are still being killed. The apogee or the height of the humiliation was the video in which young Igbo men were made by the army to sit in muddied water and drink from it. Since then, the southeast has known no peace.
But make no mistake about this: The problem of violence cannot be solved with violence. The killing of our soldiers and security forces must stop. The killing of innocent southeasterners and destruction of properties by the army must stop. And most importantly, the invasion of southern parts of Nigeria and even the northern parts by dangerous sociopaths who, in the main, are not even Nigerians must be stopped. Such groups must be wiped out by the Nigerian state. We insist that they are not bigger, mightier, and stronger than our country and institutions (despite internal contradictions). The only reason these terror groups have thrived, according to numerous sources is because governments at both the centre and some northern states as well as the military have been infiltrated. The Nigerian state, therefore, is not neutral and is not a hundred per cent defending our national interests. 
It was the politicians afterall that are said to have brought in these killers for the purpose of the 2015  national election – the same killers that were begged with money by the same politicians to stop killing Nigerians. They didn’t stop then. They have not stopped now. 
As for the killers of Fatima and her family and others, the government has a duty to fish them out and ensure their prosecution. They are mindless and have lost their souls to the devil. May the blood of Fatima and her little innocent children continually cry to the heavens for vengeance against their killers. The soldiers and security forces who have also committed mind-numbing violations of human rights must also pay the price. After all, ‘what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’.
As the tragic and continuous descent of our traumatized country into the abyss continues, we are once more reminded of the importance of casting our votes in 2023 based on competence, commitment, track record, and the relative transparency and commitment of politicians and not on religion, geopolitics, and ethnicity. We must remember that some of these politicians are more dangerous and sociopathic than Boko Haram, bandits, and Unknown Gunmen. Another wrong decision by us and Nigeria will eventually fall off the cliff. 
Another word for the wise!


Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar