Konduga & Izge: Closing The Doors Of Reason ,By Babayola Toungo



Okupe 600While killers are rampaging in the north east, particularly Borno state, massacring innocent villagers and itinerant traders, Goodluck Jonathan was either genuflecting before the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero or clownishly beating a drum in the palace of the Alafin of Oyo or trying to score with the Christian population by snatching a photo opportunity with the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye. The president had neither time for the survivors of this modern day holocaust nor a sympathetic thought to those who lost their lives and property. The president’s mien only projected a one-track mind – how to extend his stay in the Aso Villa, not the security or sanctity of the lives of the country’s citizens. We have seen how Kaduna was “won” in 2011. We therefore pray that we won’t see a repeat of what happened then. Interestingly, despite the prominence given by both local and international media organisations on the massacre, the president and the presidency kept mum and didn’t deem it worth their intervention. The loud silence from Jonathan and his handlers is indicative of the value the president placed on the lives of our people. Until Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno state, addressed State House in Abuja. That was when the presidential attack dog, Doyin Okupe, poured insults on the victims.

What I find incomprehensible is that insurgents dressed in military uniforms, carrying military grade weapons and operating with military precision have been attacking communities under state of emergency with all its attendant military restrictions, yet no one is arrested and no prior information regarding such attacks. The Nigerian intelligence community, seemingly so effective in apprehending the likes of Nasiru El-Rufa’I for being “politically incorrect” can’t seem to provide information that will lead to the apprehending of these insurgents, or at least pre-empting the attacks by moving troops to such identified areas. Or are we to infer that the non-deployment of troops to these areas that are prone to attacks?

The case of Konduga appears to be very incomprehensible because the town is a stone’s throw from Maiduguri where incidentally the JTF and the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army is headquartered. In his hastily incoherent response to Kashim Shettima Okupe claimed Konduga is at the foot of the Mandara hills. This shows you the level of ignorance on the part of those supposedly responsible for our security as political leaders of the country. Granted Izge is at the foot of the Mandara hills, but does that give Okupe and his boss the excuse of not sending troops to rout the insurgents? In the case of Konduga, it was reported that the killers operated between 5p.m to 12 midnight without hindrance. This was happening just about 35 kilometres. The people living around that corner of the world conveniently forgot Baga so quickly and it is proving to be their peril.

I have always had my opinions about Boko Haram and its shadowy leadership. I am yet to be convinced about certain things and explanations from the government pertaining to the existence, operations and sustenance of this murderous group. For example, I am yet to be convinced that Mohammed Yusuf was not executed to allow for the takeover of the brand name he made popular to be used for black operations. The total absence of a successful prosecution or conviction of anyone caught either in the act of committing terror or in possession of guns and Improvised Explosive Devised (IEDs), makes a bold statement on the seriousness of the government to bring these killers to book and bring to an end this unnecessary and wanton human sacrifice. Before you mention Kabiru Sokoto, I want you to reflect where he was arrested – was it in the theatre of war or in the comfort of his bed? Here I am talking about the likes of the lady caught in St. John’s Cathedral Bauchi; the Delta fellow caught in the act of setting fire to a Redeemed Christian Church in Yenagoa; the guys caught with a cache of arms in Jos; the eight guys arrested in front of the COCIN Church, Miya Barkete in Bauchi state with explosives. Jonathan’s reaction (or non reaction) to the recent violence gives life to the theory that Orkar’s (Tony Nyiam) project of excising some of parts from Nigeria is still very much alive. Pretending otherwise may be dangerous for anyone from this part of the Niger.

Okupe can yak for all he cares, but I pity the likes of Ahmed Ali Gulak and Dauda Birma, because their villages are shouting distances from the nucleus of the war- more so for Gulak. The bulk of the survivors of the Izge massacre had to relocate to Gulak to preserve their lives. While their people are killed daily the likes of Gulak and Tanko Yakassai are competing to be identified with those the victims feel don’t care whether they live or die. Bottom line is that the whole of the north is today under one form of attack or the other – north east is under the control of the Boko Haram; north central is now a theatre of war between farmers and herders; a large swath of the north west is under the control of bandits. Northerners have lost faith in the government and the current crop of northern leaders.

Northerners see a federal government that cares less that they are reduced to a society beset with broken families, violent crime, and drugs. They see a federal government willingly dividing the society by ethnicity, religion, and huge disparities in income. This wasn’t what the populace bargained for in 2011 when they were cajoled, harassed, induced or suborned to vote for Goodluck Jonathan. They long for a peaceful life in which they may provide for the basic needs of their families, and enjoy the respect due to all mankind regardless of their ethnicity, religion, position, or wealth. What they see is that their goals for a more just and compassionate society thwarted by the Quislings among them as personified by the likes Gulak and Yakassai, who pursue wealth and power regardless of the cost to their fellow human beings.

Human or material lost leaves them to either be burying relatives, friends and acquaintances or rebuilding a life shattered. They see few opportunities to earn a living because most opportunities are withheld for militants of the Niger Delta and their godfathers. They see these Quislings and their sponsors remaining silent when their villages are pillaged and destroyed; when loved ones are killed and businesses destroyed. What they are confronted with in most cases is denigration in the biased media, which serves to maintain these Quislings.

I just pray the activities of the likes of Doyin Okupe, Ali Gulak and their associates will not close the doors of reason permanently. May God deliver us from this current holocaust and the Quislings and Goerings among us.

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