By Abdulmumin Giwa
News has flooded the media in Nigeria that the Nigerian Army had attacked the residence of Nnamdi Kanu the IPOB leader and several members of the group were killed, some injured and many others arrested. The Nigerian Army was quick at issuing a statement to inform the world that they were the victims and not the attackers.
A lot of people have passed comments on the matter with some condemning the Army of cowardice and others denouncing the Army for engaging unarmed civilians.
The truth about why the Army issued its statement is that the Army despite its arrogance is jittery over its poor Human Rights record that is even costing it loss of opportunities.
Recently some Senators in the United States of America contested the sales of arms to Nigeria because they use such arms in killing innocent unarmed civilians.
To buttress this fact, they mentioned several extra-judicial and illegal killings of civilians committed by the Army that include those summarily killed in the name of Boko Haram, the incessant killing of Shi’ites in Zaria and some IPOB members as well.
The Nigerian government is now doing all possible to clear itself and create a good image of itself in the eyes of the world.
It would be recalled that at the peak of the Zaria massacre, the presidency cowardly referred to it as a Kaduna state issue and that it was waiting for the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) set up by the Kaduna state government before it would decide on the next step.
The inquiry took place and the report was handed over to the state government. The state government produced its whitepaper and there has not been any response from the Federal Government and the Army in particular. Parts of the report indeed indicted the Army and called for the prosecution of those found guilty of abusing the ethics of the military practice especially the rules of engagement.
The Army is now jittery as it is being charged of another extra-judicial killing. More so, to further clear their name of rights abuse, the presidency went back on its words and has now established a commission to inquire into abuses of ethics by the Army.
So it is clear that the Nigerian Army has one of the worse human rights records in the world. They operate as though they are serving the president and his whims and not the nation and also as though the constitution says they are at will to kill anyone any time. Some of them don’t observe civility and any time they are in uniform they act as though they are God in the midst of civilians.
Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) are the biggest victims of rights abuse perpetrated by the Army on innocent civilians that reputable human rights organizations, like the Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have asked the Nigerian Army to come clean on the Zaria Massacre where over 1000 of them were killed in a period of 48 hours of incessant killings.
The Kaduna state government mentioned to the JCI that along with the Nigerian Army, they buried 347 IMN members in a mass grave in Mando Village in Kaduna in the middle of the night. It was clear due to the violation of known laws that include national, international and religious especially the Geneva Convention that the mass burial was in attempt to hide the crimes against humanity they committed.
This even attracted a preliminary investigation by the International Criminal Court in the Hague and a mention before the United Nations human Rights Committee.
The Nigerian Army also has a record of murdering 34 members of the IMN including three biological sons of the leader in 2014. These and many other rights violations that the Army had engaged in that have dented its image and now that it has started affecting it, it is trying to clear its image. This is simply the reason why it is jittery over the issue of attacking Namdi Kanu’s residence