BY ANTHONY CHUKA KONWEA, P.E.
The problem with lies is that they take on a self-replicating life of their own. New lies build upon old ones in a futile attempt at concealing the truth until they form an unstable monument. All it takes is for the gentle breeze of truth to come up against it, and the entire edifice of lies comes crashing down.
In the Bible and Christian theology, one of the names of the Devil is the ‘Father of Lies’. Wherever the Devil is found, he will always be surrounded by lies. Not only lies, there will also be bloodshed, terror, violence, pride, arrogance, inhumanity and sheer wickedness. These are the hallmarks, if you will, the calling card of the devil.
Recent events, including chiefly the mindless slaughter first of Shiite Muslims, then Igbo separatists and the subsequent unjust characterization of the separatist Independent Peoples of Nigeria (IPOB) as terrorists (a barefaced lie), all under the same President Muhammadu Buhari Administration are convincing proof that the Devil has encamped in Nigeria.
But who is a terrorist? Google the word terrorist and what do you find? You will discover that a terrorist is ‘a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.’
Going by this definition, I leave it to the discretion of the readers to discern for themselves between the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration of Nigeria and the Nigerian Army on the one hand and Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB organization on the other hand, who are the terrorists.
What I do know however is that the shedding of innocent blood is a great crime in the eyes of God. The blood of the innocent dead, daily cries out to God for vengeance and justice. No one who partakes in shedding innocent blood, instigates, aids or abets it or otherwise supports it shall go unpunished, either in this life or in the life to come.
Other than God himself, nobody, no nation on earth, no matter how powerful, can create human life from absolute nothing or restore the dead back to life. Therefore nobody, no matter how highly placed, no institution within a nation other than a competent court of law, and no army except when war has been officially declared has the right or power to take human life at will. For this position, there can be no compromise.
Even during war, captured persons have certain rights, spelt out under the Geneva Convention of 1949 which defines the basic rights of wartime prisoners, be they civilian or military, and affords protection to the wounded and the sick as well as civilians in and around war zones.
No competent court of law in the whole world has the right to subject a human being to the sort of mindless torture followed by slaughter, eternally preserved on social media, as was meted out to IPOB sympathizers in Abia State of Nigeria recently.
That this utterly savage and most barbaric act of state sponsored terrorism was meted out to bona fide Nigerian citizens by the very same Nigerian Army which is duty bound under the constitution to protect them is a shocking reminder of how low Nigeria has sunk under the present President Muhammadu Buhari Administration. Without a shred of doubt, he deserves impeachment. But he will be shielded by virtue of his ethnicity.
If anything, this is ample justification of the will and the desire of many Igbos and others to leave this ugly contraption called Nigeria, except it is reformed to conduct its affairs in a just, equitable and humane manner to all its citizens without bias and sans regard to their ethnic affiliations.
For the Nigerian Army, still wallowing in the morass of its self-induced pythonic dance of shame, it has placed on itself a huge generational and moral burden which cannot be lifted without atonement. If I was a Nigerian soldier, I would be ashamed to put on and share the same uniform with those savage elements who partook in that pythonic dance.
Indeed, all the people who planned and partook in the pythonic dance of shame of the Nigerian Army from the highest Commander to the lowliest rank and file soldier have no business being in the Army. They should be flushed out and court-martialed. That is what professional armies routinely do when they uncover incidents such as the well documented Abia Genocidal Massacre.
The United States Army fought numerous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, there were documented cases of abuse of Iraqi detainees by soldiers of the United States Army and operatives of the Central Intelligence Agency. Seventeen soldiers were removed from duty, and eleven soldiers were charged with dereliction of duty, aggravated assault, maltreatment and battery. Note that this is child’s play compared to what happened during the Abia Massacre.
After the trials, two US soldiers were sentenced to ten and three years in prison respectively. The Commanding Officer of all US detention facilities in Iraq, a Brigadier- General was reprimanded and demoted to the rank of Colonel. This is what professional armies do to maintain their internal discipline.
Indeed, there is an on-going debate at the highest levels of the United States Government about the use of the so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ a euphemism for torture on terrorism suspects held in detention.
In Nigeria, peaceful, unarmed IPOB sympathizers whose only crime is that they are agitating to be separated from the brutal savages and butchers of men that populate the highest echelons of the Nigerian government and its army were first barbarically tortured, then murdered before being posthumously declared as terrorists.
They were not even granted the opportunity of undergoing the relatively mild ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ in a Nigerian detention center. Their fate was irreversibly sealed without recourse to a competent court of law.
Although I share the same Igbo ethnic background with majority of IPOB members, this writer does not belong to IPOB. I do however understand and support their agitations for a better society where every man is judged by his own individual actions and not shielded from personal responsibility by his ethnic background or religious affiliation.
I currently differ with IPOB about Biafra being the sole terminus for agitations for a better society. I am however beginning to question whether the artificial unity of Nigeria, held together solely by terror and not by a common understanding of what constitutes a just society, is worth the cost in needless routine sacrifice of irreplaceable human lives.
Ultimately, I am however consoled by one fact. God is in firm control. This means that for Nigeria, it either we all atone for our sins against one another and build a just and equitable society, or the nation itself would soon perish under the weight of its own sins and lies, and all would go their separate ways.
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