By Haruna Elbinawi
"I visited the Nigerian President Buhari twice since Zaria Massacre and I told him:’If you are the one that ordered the massacre then you had committed gross oppression. But if the Soldiers massacred defenseless Nigerians and informed you then they made you into a fool.’" -Hajiya Najaatu Muhammad
The fearless Kano-based politician and human rights activist said these words and more when some members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) of the Sharifai (descendants of the Prophet) group visited her at her residence in Kano on Wednesday (06/07/2016) to celebrate with her on the Eid occasion. Hajiya Najaatu Muhammad added that even the Pharaoh of Egypt who is the symbol of oppression in the Quran never committed such massacre of this scale. She said most Nigerian scholars are after the accumulation of wealth and not propagating the true message of Islam.
I begin this article with the above quotation to establish a solid foundation for my rejoinder to the above article that appeared in the Premium Times website and other Nigerian news outlets written by a fictitious character Aniefiok Jacob who claimed to be representing another fictitious group "Concern Nigerian Youths".
The Nigerian army Chief Lt Gen Tukur Buratai is not only notorious as a mass-murderer of the Zaria massacre fame nor is he notorious as an extremely corrupt public servant of the BurataiGate fame as a corrupt billionaire and a Dubai landlord, he is also notorious in sponsoring fictitious characters and fraudulent human rights and youths groups to cover his tracks and justify his heinous war crimes and corrupt practices.
After the inhuman Zaria massacre by the Nigerian army that resulted in the brutal murder of 1000+ defenseless and unarmed Nigerian and dumped their dead bodies in mass graves, the Nigerian army Chief Buratai sponsored some fictitious writers to justify the heinous massacre that was undoubtedly a war crime and demonize the victims of the massacre and the most notorious of these writers was one " Dr. Anthony Kolawole" who gave his address as "Nassarawa State University". I dare all to go to the said University and check if such character exist in their staff records!
The above-named article by the fictitious character Aniefiok Jacob that was meant to be a rejoinder to my piece " BurataiGate: The Butcher of Zaria is also a BokoHaram facilitator" is not different from all the multitudes of sponsored articles by Gen Buratai that awash the Nigerian news outlets. The modus operandi of Gen Buratai is that whenever he is challenged for his war crimes in ZariaMassacre or his corrupt practices in BurataiGate he uses the fight against the BokoHaram insurgency as a cover. His sponsored trolls always paint the picture as if Gen Buratai is the only person fighting the BokoHaram insurgency and that all credit goes to him!
When Aniefiok Jacob wrote in the above-named article that: "What is clear from the contraption of one Harun Elbinawi is that the piece was packaged to sooth the ego of our enemies of progress, who detest any good coming Nigerian’s way", the writer has positioned Gen Buratai as the "standard" of Nigerian progress and development. To the warped and pathetic mindset of the writer whoever unearthed the heinous war crimes of the ZariaMassacre of Gen Buratai and his monumental corrupt practices that is today popularly called BurataiGate in Nigeria is "an enemy of Nigerian progress".
The writer tried unconvincingly to exploit the patriotic sentiment when he wrote "It is totally unpatriotic and absurd to go to any length to destroy what our forefathers fought so hard to leave as a legacy for us, simply because certain events did not happen as they anticipated and calculated." For the information of the writer our celebrated forefathers were not mass-murderers nor were they corrupt looters. If I may ask the writer has the great Sardauna ever massacred 1000+ defenseless and unarmed Nigerians in less than 48 hours and dumped their dead bodies in mass graves? And how many choice properties did the great Sardauna had in London, Paris and Nigeria since Dubai was a desert when the great Sardauna was alive? Can this writer compare the impeccable records of the great Sardauna as a public servant to the corruption-dominated records of his sponsor Gen Buratai?
The writer claimed that the corruption allegations against Gen Buratai were "baseless accusations on account of how the Nigerian Army thwarted a planned affront to rubbish its bravado". The accusations were not baseless as the Nigerian army spokesman acknowledged that Gen Buratai have two choice properties in Dubai that he acquired through " personal savings" of which concerned Nigerians debunked that claims by calculating all his earnings as an officer of the Nigerian army and compared it with his $1.5 million properties in Dubai and concluded that his so-called personal savings can not fund the acquisition of such properties. And for the information of the writer, it was not the Nigerian army that owned the Dubai properties rather it is his sponsor Gen Buratai that owned the Dubai properties.
Nigerians are asking questions as to how Gen Buratai acquired those choice Dubai properties from his legitimate earnings but what they get from the embattled billionaire General are only abuses and insults. Buratai is notorious in tagging whoever challenge him as either "worst than BokoHaram or BokoHaram sponsors". It is important for the writer to note that it is not only Harun Elbinawi that is asking these questions, millions of concerned Nigerians who are patriotic to the Nigerian state are also asking the same questions. Insults, abuses, name-calling and threats will not wash away these credible accusations of monumental corruption against the Nigerian army Chief.
In responsible governments Buratai would have resigned to make away for proper investigation into the war crimes that he supervised in the ZariaMassacre and the huge allegation of corruption levelled against him in #BurataiGate. The refusal to investigate Buratai has justified the allegations that the so-called war on corruption of the Buhari administration is selective that only targeted the opposition. In the ZariaMassacre Buratai lied to the Nigerian Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that "only 7 Shiites were kilked and 10 others injured" but Kaduna State Governor Nasir Elrufai through his officials confessed to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) that he helped Buratai buried 347 Shiites massacred by the Nigerian army that included women and children in a single mass grave in Mando at the outskirt of Kaduna town.
On a final note, I will end this piece with a verse of the glorious Holy Quran since the hangover of the holy month of Ramadhan is still fresh and in existence:
" And never think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delay them for a Day when eyes will stare [in horror]." Quran (14:42)