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Published On: Mon, Mar 3rd, 2014

Bama: How angry should we be?

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Federal Government College, Buni-Yadi in Yobe stateBy  Peregrino Brimah

It took 8 hours for the army to partially respond to a cry for help from the people of Bama in Borno state. The Shehu of Bama said he and the Civilian JTF had heard of the convoy of several Boko Haram cars approaching his town well ahead of time and they had both told the army about it. This had nothing to do with Cameroon. This was not a town suddenly for the first time coming under attack. This was Bama, a town that has suffered repeated attacks for over a year. But there was no response from the army till Boko Haram got to their town. The army stayed away and gave Boko Haram terrorists ample time to massacre the vulnerable and for their total incendiarism of all property in the town. 8 full hours!

The youth and those who were ambulant ran into the bushes, but not with their parents, the lame and elderly. Those who could not run were left indoors, awaiting their painful certain death. House to house, Boko Haram ravaged, slaughtering and burning with full impunity. It is difficult to believe that this was not a supervised and permitted attack. How did Boko Haram know they would have such grace to operate for so long without coming under the onslaught of Nigeria’s military forces? Did the government lie that we are not as well equipped or did Boko Haram know that we will not come? It has to be one or the other.

For the people of Bama and the students of Yobe, the Armageddon has already occurred. The beginning of the end of the world looks little worse than this and the end is marked by death and the things after. I am blessed or perhaps in a way cursed with the ability to put myself in people’s shoes and relive the pain and torture they go through. This horror which I have experienced since the March 18th 2013 Sabon Gari bus stop bombing repeats itself every time the greed, callousness, insensitivity and tyranny of Nigeria’s government, who celebrate and dance on our graves, enables another massacre.

Can we all put ourselves in the shoes of the students of Yobe, who were left to their fate as likewise, Boko Haram terrorists were allowed full impunity to operate and massacre them for hours on end? Picture being the 20 easily abducted girls? How loud will we shout if we were the victims of this carnage that is permitted by the mismanagement of our administration? How loud will we shout if we were the ones slaughtered in this government allowed progrom? A government that is preoccupied with politics and looting hundreds of billions of dollars, ensuring the army is ill equipped and lacks motivation to protect the people deserves our full anger and rebuke. Proverbs 25:26 “Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.” We must die to get rid of such. If we do not rise up and protect the more vulnerable of our societies, who will rise up to talk for us and protect us when we are old and weak and unable to run?

Like Fela sang. Some people ask why I write like this, suggesting that writing like this will get me to prison or killed. I have been threatened, of course. But the truth is, I don’t write, I cry. These are lamentations. And my tears are only welling up more and not getting less as I see the fate of my people and put myself in their shoes. Who will write for the people of Bama? Who will write for the youth of Yobe? Who will write for the 100 million destitute? If we see these things and do not cry out loudly against the voracious tyrants who rule us, who will? Who will convey the plight of the dead and dying? The elders who cannot run into the bushes? If it is my time today, I will go happily, knowing that after me a hundred more wailers will cry in writing as I did.

Our government lacks commonsense, and the will to employ those who have; their prerogative is to employ ministers and army chief’s who will do one thing and one thing alone—assist them win in elections. They will never think of such things, the basic alarm systems employed in Israel and elsewhere to get citizens to run for cover under attack. And our dear billionaire cabal, north and south will never either. They are the government after all, they sponsor the candidates and dictate to them to enable the killing of us to allow us be distracted and engaged against each-other while they plunder and loot the nations commonwealth. We must act or we will be held to account.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah via drbrimah@ends.ng

 

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