Posted by News Express | 26 July 2020 | 1,602 times
By EMMANUEL OGEBE
Nigeria has cemented its record as a graveyard for aid-workers. The latest executions of five, maintain the statistics of one aidworker killed every quarter for the last 10 years straight – a factoid we have exclusively reported.
Hours after the release of the terrorists’ video, a former captive of Boko Haram who miraculously survived a daring escape from Sambisa forest, identified his friend as one of those executed.
Luka Philibus was a 30 year old employee of an NGO. Luka who attended College of Education, Maiduguri was unmarried.
Luka who hails from Borno State is survived by several relatives including his younger brother and his parents who ironically are IDPs themselves at the moment. Their village is still occupied by the terrorists and as such they have been homeless for years.
Luka was a Christian.
Ironically his friend the escapee, whom we recently provided accommodation for, had been held captive for eight months and survived. Luka lasted seven weeks in captivity.
Abdurhaman Bulama was also an Aidworker. Married with two children, his hospitality was legendary.
A fellow aidworker informed us that they slept at Abdurahman’s compound for two days just to cover Mongonu, Kross Kawa and Baga in Kukawa LGA of Borno State in the assignment of Rehabilitation and Resettlement of those displaced by Boko Haram.
According to his colleague “Abdulrhaman was a great guy. He even brought his wife to visit us in Maiduguri. I have visited almost everywhere in Northern Borno, from Dikwa, Marte, Gamboru-Ngala, Baga, Gozamala, Abadam, Ngazai, Gubio etc and have met so many people, but Mr Dungus is exceptional. He was a man you can count on any time. He was kidnapped by ISWAP on the 1st of June on his way to his hometown Monguno but never returned. He was a man of his words. I am so sad that Mr Abdulrhaman is amongst those humanitarian aide workers cruelly assassinated by Boko Haram Terrorist group.” Bulama was Muslim.
He was from Monguno, where National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno hails from. Monguno was the Director of the Military Intelligence under the Jonathan Administration before president Buhari appointed him the NSA. Despite all these strategic appointments, insecurity still plagues the area.
Yakubu Ishaya Chirama is believed to be one of reportedly two men from Chibok who were amongst those executed. They were Christians.
The execution video came days after multiple bloody massacres. This compelling video from Southern Kaduna drives home the urgency of action to stem the genocide.
A colleague and former Attorney General of Kaduna state said this: “My hometown Kagoro in Kaura LGA Kaduna State was attacked in another orgy of violence by agents of death and destruction. In the attack on Kukum Daji in my Village of Kukum, 16 people were killed and about 40 injured. I have confirmed that at least two of the victims are family members. Whatever their motive, they didn’t spare women and children. From the trend of killings in the Northwest, it is clear that government cannot fulfill its obligation of providing security or protecting the people. I have held this position prior to the coming in of this administration, things have only got worse as the perpetrators seem emboldened by today’s leadership. I have said so before and I repeat it again. Since the government has failed to protect the people, government should allow the people the right to bear arms in order to protect their lives and property. The marauders will feel less emboldened when they know that the people can fight back. The right to self defense is guaranteed in the Constitution, it must be given teeth by the further right to bear arms, not to attack others but to defend and fight back when attacked. Anger is boiling all over the country and very soon government will lose all legitimacy as people may be forced to take their own fate in their hands. No telling where the ensuring conflagration will lead us”.
A legal maxim says “you cannot give what you do not have.”
Buhari is on a mission to bring peace to his Fulani kin in Mali while Southern Kaduna has known no peace for months.
Days after a bomb went off killing many in his own home state of Katsina, charity didn’t begin at home for him.
Buhari came out of months of non-Covid related isolation to junket to Mali in continuation of his nomadic presidency while Nigeria burns.
MG Buhari should best quarantine his presidency in Nigeria and prove that he truly earned his military rank by resolving the hydra-headed conflagration at home.
We extend condolences to the family of late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile and to the nation at large for her loss and also the losses of gallant troops recently KIA. A promising life prematurely cut short upon takeoff is emblematic of the Nigerian heartbreak nation.
Yet while souls are perishing, looting misrulers clash over their thievery.
In conclusion, the death of US civil rights champion Rep John Lewis at 80 inspires me after observing his consistency and constancy from youth. Like him at 23, I was also an early activist critical of the military junta. If Lewis could stay the course to the end, I should not give up after a mere quarter century of human rights work.
Rep Lewis said: “We have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”
Fortunately every single cause I have taken on in my years has enjoyed vindication in my lifetime.
I would add that, “doing the right thing is a bit easier when you realize that most times being on the right side of history coincides with being on the right side of eternity. The arc of Justice is long and stretches from history to eternity!”
We were privileged to stand side by side with human rights icon Lewis on the issue of Nigeria and especially #Bringbackourgirls on more than one occasion.
•Emmanuel Ogebe is Principal Partner, US Nigeria Law Group, Washington.
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