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The blood on Lekki Toll Plaza and the bloodied Borno

Any lingering doubt about the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari runs a brutal bloody regime must have dissipated lately with two major deadly events — one happening down south and the other up north. Up north recently Boko Haram terrorists struck in a big way cornering over a hundred poor rice farmers in Zabarmari, a community in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, tying down and decapitating them in a particularly gruesome manner.

Some women reportedly among them were raped while others were taken prisoners. Nothing whatsoever was stolen from them. The choice before the victims had been one of the devil and the deep blue sea. As Governor Babagana Zulum had aptly said the poor wasted souls had the option of remaining at home and dying of hunger or venturing out to tend to their farmlands and never returning home alive!

Following the last weekend gory incident the fugitive Abubakar Shekau had posted a video claiming responsibility for the massacre accusing the victims for having the temerity to ‘arrest’ one of his men and handing him over to the military. The retaliatory bloodshed had shocked both Nigerians and the international community leading to renewed calls for the sacking of the Service Chiefs.

But President Buhari may have been under a ‘spell’ to retain the incompetent bunch of security helmsmen given his penchant to defend their underwhelming performances. Since his second ‘democratic’ coming five years ago he has found it expedient retaining the Service Chiefs against the groundswell of public opinion favouring their retirement.

Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, had insulted the memories of the Zabarmari massacre and our collective sensibilities by saying that the rural farmers did not obtain security clearance before embarking on the rice plantation or harvest!

Today, Borno is a bloodied state and Maiduguri a bloodied city. Yet there is no solution in sight towards conquering the BH monsters spilling blood on a daily basis, engaging in kidnapping for ransom and forced marriage and even stealing cows to feed its ‘army’.

Before theZabarmari massacre, weeks prior, on a black Tuesday, 20th October this year, a battalion of the Nigerian Army had descended on Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos shooting indiscriminately on unarmed peaceful protesters popularly calling for an end to police brutality and bad governance. The #EndSARS ‘revolution’ that rocked the nation’s cities and towns lasted for days (if not weeks) before the extremely violent intervention by zombie soldiers.

The military authorities (especially the Lagos Command) are still living in denial controversially submitting different versions of events while appearing before the probe panel. The Justice Doris Okuwobi-led Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution are investigating, among other issues, the use of live bullets by soldiers, the interruption of electricity within the toll complex and how or why the CCTV cameras malfunctioned during the mass killings.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu must bear certain responsibility in the bloody outing of the military. He had impetuously imposed a curfew (initially billed to start at 4pm) on a densely-populated chaotic city-state whose history of traffic logjam even on normal circumstances was notorious. So Gov. Sanwo-Olu cannot possibly feign ignorance of the consequencies of his impetuous executive action.

Though the federal government through the Inspector-General of the Police had announced the disbandment of SARS swapping it with SWAT the anger on the streets refused to recede. Following the military onslaught crude violence, arson and massive looting occured in many cities and towns especially in Lagos.

The disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad had notoriously engaged in systematic torturing and detention and execution of Nigerians — especially those unable to respond to their extortionist schemes. With criminal impunity hundreds, nay thousands, had been killed while tens of thousands were languishing in different gulags.

As President Buhari vindictively goes for broke by intimidating, arresting and freezing the bank accounts of those perceived to be #EndSARS masterminds the US-based Cable News Network (CNN) had intervened forcefully in the Lekki bloody episode. In a powerful two-part investigative reports the international TV network based in Atlanta had weighed in on the part of truth and justice revealing what Buharists never wanted to see or hear.

The Nigerian government through the voluble Minister of Information and Culture, Lie (sorry Lai) Mohammed had reacted angrily to the CNN grand journalistic exposé. Minister ‘Lie’, a studious propagandist, even threatened to ‘sanction’ the CNN for exposing his rudderless government accusing the media organization of ‘irresponsibility’ and ‘misinformation’!

Read also: Between Buharism and recession

Yet majority of discerning Nigerians saw the reports as professional journalism in its best global standard. We believe the CNN version of the gory story more than the acrobatic defensive dance put up by the Minister. Lai Mohammed is doing his job unprofessionally in order to impress his embattled principal and maintain his ministerial position. We refuse, however, to be fooled by his sophisticated lies and half-truths.

The blood of the young Nigerians brutally assassinated at Lekki toll-gate is still crying for justice. They deserve justice in an unjust nation like ours. The #EndSARS mini-revolution had hit its mark making a loud point.

There is blood, therefore, on the Lekki Toll Plaza andZabarmari. And that blood of innocent Nigerians can only be wiped out by full disclosure, truth and justice. And not ‘Garbage’ propaganda or ‘Mohammedian’ balderdash.

Author: Ozodinukwe Okenwa…


Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.

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