The Baga Massacre: A Cloak of Conspiracy by Ibrahim ILyasu
Undoubtedly, the cruel cold blooded murder of over 200 unarmed civilians Tuesday 16 April 2013, in the village of Baga, Borno state, is unprecedented merciless collective massacre that must be condemned outwardly by every right thinking human being with a heart of gold. The genocide is by all account horrific, and contravenes the basic principles of any law and social justice.
When I saw the disturbing images of a woman burnt to death with her baby deep inside her room, I could not hold back my tears. Collectively, scores of innocent civilians, including women, children and aged senior citizens were ruthlessly murdered. Further, slightly over four thousand homes (based on Senator Maina M Lawal’s account, who is an eyewitness) were raised down by the fire of JTF forces that were obviously trained to kill. Predictably, their mission in that milieu, turned out to be the largest military operation, or, I would say, a military campaign against poor unarmed civilians Borno state has ever known.
One will wonder whether those murderers had received any formal Military training after all or, is it because our security is, for certain, in the hands of our enemies. Well, JTF operation by all standards is a disgrace. And, now we are left in no doubt that the fault of the fiasco lay with them. But make no mistake this will not be the end, unless the perpetrators of the crime are brought to justice. Thus, ICC must here this.
Blatantly, after this shocking genocide, JTF’s spokesmen, as usual, were quick to defend them, dispelling the publicized authentic version of the crime arguing that it was flatly exaggerated. Remarkably though, they admit that only the death of 37 people they could reliably confirm. I think this is quite insincere and cynical attempt to cover up the magnitude of the massacre. But their trick simply will not wash.
Muslims may wish to know why the JTF denied Red Cross and other relief agency officials access to the city until after some days. Was it because they have not yet finished burying the dead bodies of unarmed civilians just to cover up evidence? What about the so called rule of engagement? Was not very much effective or was it because no one among the relatives the task force officials was directly involved in the worst case scenario? Logically, where there is nothing to loose, there is nothing to fear. In addition to the abusive character of JTF’s claim, they ignore the fact that we, the Muslims of the North, are smart and we follow closely how the events unravel.
Furthermore, the JTF must be remembered that the Quran (5:33) told us that whoever kills a soul without justification, will be as if he has killed all mankind, because there is no difference between life and another. Likewise, if anyone saved a life by preventing its blood from being shed and believing its sanctity, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. By much the same token, Prophet Muhammad PBUH warned us saying “there is no sin that is more worthy of Allah hastening its punishment in this life, in addition to what He has in store for its offender in the Hereafter, more than transgression and cutting the relations of the womb”.
Hence, those criminals must be ready to answer to questions on the Day of Judgment.
It would not be perhaps too much to say that security challenges has driven the whole country nuts, because President Good luck Jonathan and his boys trade value for money and human rights for the security. It is only in a street called Nigeria that this security challenges unfolds and the Presidents will escape without impeachment.
My people! It is time to say enough is enough and combat these challenges fundamentally. To be honest, we need change in the Aso Rock where GEJ and his minions are piloting Nigeria to destruction. We need change in the NASS, compliant and corrupt. Change in the direction and mood of the country, manic and narcissistic. I was reminded however, that the change will not come from the top but from mobilized grass roots. Unfortunately however, the North will remain a sleeping giant unless something is done by 2015. Or it will be too little too late.
Predictably, the presidency is under the impression that even if Nigeria breaks, Northerners are perhaps the losers since Southerners have absolutely nothing to loose. For one, they have MORE expertise, commitment, dedication, intellectualism, love for one another, and of course they have the Oil which is indisputably the building block of Nigerian economy. Conversely, Northerners are left far behind lagging in these critical areas of human and intellectual development. I may not be correct, though, it is a wake-up call for the Northerners anyway.
To Northern Elders, I think their intervention is very much ineffective and long overdue. Amnesty issue for now, arguably in my view, is secondary interest. Our top priority should focus on comprehensive investigation in order to fish out the real perpetrators of those heinous crimes. I pray to almighty God to accept our love ones as martyrs. Let’s not forget that their relatives in Baga right now are desperately in need of our help, shelter and support more than ever before.
And whether amnesty will work after all this rampant criminality and violent insurgency, I think is something I will leave for you to judge.
Ibrahim Ilyasu, is human right activist, Islamic cleric, leader and entrepreneur. He is a PhD candidate specializing in Islamic law, gender justice and modern Quranic exegesis, in the International Islamic University Malaysia. He is currently a part time lecturer in the same university. He could be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or his official website www.ibrahimilyas.wordpress.com
Mobile: +6 016 2734 921
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