Following the petition written to the US government by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria against the proposed sale of weapons to the current Nigerian government because of the military’s abysmal human rights records, the military through its spokesman has come out in a state of fret and irritation on BBC Hausa service to lie about the matter.
Commenting on the suspended arms deal worth $593m, Brig Gen Sani Kukasheka went on air to give the false impression that the deal was on. According to him, the deal would have been long completed but for some “unscrupulous persons” who worked to stop the sale of the weapons to Nigeria. Answering questions on whether it was not the very poor human rights records of the military against civilian population that made people he called unscrupulous show their opposition to such deal, Kukasheka swept aside what he called “mere allegations,” insisting that a non-governmental group should not have taken it upon itself to write a letter to a President opposing the sale of weapons to the country. “If weapons are not sold to us to fight, where would that take us?” He quibbled.
Having effectively dodged to comment on use of the weapons against civilian population, he rolled out the lies, saying that weapons would now be sold to Nigeria by the US and other governments.
When the BBC reporter drew his attention to the petition written by the IMN against the sale since weapons sold to the government are being used against unarmed citizens, he again was evasive preferring to blackmail IMN members, whom he said were “jobless bunch whose major preoccupation each morning was to be on social media criticising.” According to him, there were some good members of the group “who are obedient and don’t associate themselves with all that,” in clear reference to their moles within.
What was obvious in all his babbling on BBC was that the military was upset by the petition written by the IMN, urging the US government not to sell weapons and other military hardware to Nigeria because these weapons eventually end up being used to kill innocent citizens rather than to fight enemies.
The only indication he made to suggest the extent of the impact of the petition was were he said the worries and concerns raised by the petition are being looked at and would be redressed.
Earlier, the IMN had expressed doubts and concerns on the true intention of the Presidential Investigation Panel. In its letter to the acting President, IMN had correctly said that “it would appear that setting up of this panel may be related to a quick attempt at convincing (or more approximately deceiving) the US government into selling weapons to it.” With this recent ranting by the Brigadier, it would appear that IMN was right after all.
Already, there is a lot of opposition to the sale of weapons especially in the US congress, to a military with a track record of civilian massacres, a military that has repeatedly turned such weapons against its own citizens in Zaki biam, Odi, Zaria, Enugu, Onitsha, Aba, Baga and even IDP camps among other places.