14th February, 2020
AUNO KILLINGS: STOP CHIDING FG, MILITARY
There has been a Tsunami of criticisms over the recent killing of about thirty civilians in Auno, Borno State, by Boko Haram insurgents. Some Nigerians have directed their condemnation at the Federal Government (FG) and the Nigerian military. But an Islamic human rights organization has told Nigerians that they should take a retrospective and comparative look at the issue of insecurity in Nigeria before casting blames.
This was revealed in a press statement circulated on Friday, 14th February, 2020, by Professor Ishaq Akintola, the founder and director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
According to MURIC, “Wailers are not looking at the terrible state of insecurity before this administration came on board. There is an urgent need to be retrospective. That is the only way to do an objective appraisal. We are up against hardened Libyan mercenaries. We are up against terrorists backed by foreign powers. We are up against internal saboteurs who provide deadly logistics to insurgents.
“Take a look at the North East before 2015. Attacks by insurgents occurred on a daily basis. Boko Haram occupied 24 local governments in three states (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe). Borno state bore the full brunt as 17 of those 25 local governments were located in the state. It was so bad that Borno residents could not pray in mosques or churches and the streets of Maiduguri were deserted. Those local governments had neither electricity nor network coverage for four good years. Borno schools were burnt and destroyed, markets were closed down and businesses were scuttled. Social life was totally paralysed.
“Corruption aided the insurgency as money meant for arms was diverted by the previous administration. This forced Nigerian soldiers to flee at the approach of Boko Haram fighters. Our soldiers were taking refuge in neighbouring countries. But the picture is different today. No single local government is under Boko Haram control. The insurgents are the ones taking to their heels and their new guerrilla tactics prove the point that they have acknowledged the fact that they are facing superior forces.
“How can we forget so soon? Where were people like Hassan Kukah and the Christian protesters when Alex Badeh, a fellow Christian, and the CDS stole money meant for fighting terror. Yet Badeh knew that Boko Haram was attacking churches. What did Badeh do when he got intelligence that the terrorists were going to attack his village? He went there to evacuate his family with a military helicopter. Badeh later became a victim of the same insecurity which he had fueled.
“It is paradoxical that the same Hassan Kukah who condemned other Nigerians for their flair for criticizing their country in 2014 is the chief wailer in 2020. Even the blind can see clearly here that Hassan Kukah’s parameter for performance in government does not go beyond religion. He was a praise-singer in 2014 when a Christian was in power. His attitude changed from May 29, 2015 when a Muslim became the landlord of Aso Rock.
“It is painful that people are treating the recent upsurge in the attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in isolation. That is neither fair nor objective. Our soldiers are doing their very best. They are just human beings and there are no magicians in Aso Rock. Besides, guerilla warfare is not one in which you wipe out the rebels in a jiffy. The Northern Ireland conflicts, the Latin-American insurgence, the Second Indo-China War, the Soviet-Afghanistan struggle, the Bangladesh Liberation War, the Baltic anti-Soviet campaigns, etc lasted decades.
“MURIC appeals to Nigerians to be patient and understanding. We call on all and sundry to cooperate fully with the security agencies by giving them all necessary information about the activities and movements of insurgents and criminals.
“To the people of Maiduguri and environs, we appeal to you to redouble your Iman (faith). Some of you allowed yourselves to be used against a man who is doing everything possible to protect you and your properties. May Allah forgive you. Remember how those before you blamed Prophet Muhammad (SAW) for their woes and Allah chided them for their lack of understanding.
“Listen to what Allah told them, ‘Death can catch up with you wherever you may be, even if you are in towers of great height. If some good things happen to them, they say this is from Allah. But if misfortune occurs, they say this is from you (i.e. from the Prophet SAW). Tell them everything is from Allah. Why can’t these people understand?’ (Glorious Qur’an 4:78).
“We give assurance that you are not alone. You are always on our mind. You are in our prayers. Your safety is our concern. But do not play into the hands of the enemy by turning against Nigerian soldiers or by blaming a caring Federal Government. Our soldiers are your friends. Many of them have died for you and they are still falling on the battle field.
“MURIC salutes gallant Nigerian soldiers at the battle front. We call on top military hierarchy to up the game against the insurgents. We advise the governor of Borno State to be more diplomatic in his public utterances about military operations in the sub-region, to improve relationship with the military command in the state and to give more logistic support to Nigerian soldiers.
“To conclude this advocacy, we remind Nigerians of the need to set comparative yardsticks between insecurity in pre-2015 Nigeria and the present day. We call on the governor of Borno state to be more tactical in his comments about the military. We charge residents of the sub-region to show more taqwah (consciousness of Allah) in their attitude to their predicament.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)