By Sharon Faliya Cham
In 1999, not long after Obasanjo became President, some people in Odi, Bayelsa State murdered some Mobile Policemen sent there on a peacekeeping mission. The then President Olusegun Obasanjo, a Christian, didn’t waste time in ordering heavily armed soldiers to go there and wipe off that “Christian community” as punishment for the murdered Mobile Policemen!
Some six or seven years later, another “Christian community” called Zaki Biam in Benue State murdered some soldiers sent there on another peacekeeping mission. Well, Obasanjo didn’t also waste time in sending heavily armed soldiers to this Christian community to wipe off the community in vengeance for the gruesome murder of those gallant soldiers!
But what do we have today under Muslim President Muhammadu Buhari? An Army General on a trip from Abuja to Bauchi was ambushed and murdered by a very primitive community also claiming to be a “Christian community” in Jos, Plateau State, after which they dumped his car in a deep water pond, and then buried his corpse in a shallow grave from which they removed it and dumped it in a well after it dawned on them that the shallow grave has been discovered by military Intelligence!
Looking at the history of the Nigerian Army, and, indeed, all armies across the world, do you think the Army was not itching to avenge their murdered General by invading that community, and then wipe off any living thing they could see?
The only thing that made the difference here is the kind of Commander in Chief the Nigerian military currently has in power. A cool headed, rational and compassionate Commander in Chief like Buhari will calculate the factor of innocent people and other collateral damages within the area of the murder, and then order the military or the Army in particular to exercise restraint and allow the natural course of justice to take place!
Ladies and gentlemen, this is why today, under President Buhari, instead of the Dura Du community to have been wiped off (by now) by angry soldiers over the gruesome murder of their General, we merely have the terrorists or murderers of the General hiring 120 lawyers to defend them in court!
Yes, 120 lawyers! That should tell you that those primitive murderers are being backed by certain powerful persons and groups who have up till now not condemned the gruesome murder of that General. Not even a word of condemnation or commiseration was heard from ex – senior military officers of those people, and neither have we heard any from their Paramount traditional ruler! Only Governor Simon Lalong and the leadership of COCIN Church were left moving around, visiting families of the murdered General as well as visiting the Defence headquarters and the President to apologise and calm frayed nerves!
Now, if President Buhari were an ethno-religious bigot the way some pastors would want you to believe, the fact that the murdered General was a Muslim would have gingered or propelled him to wink at the Army to invade that community and have it wiped off the way Obasanjo did to Odi and Zaki Biam.
Something tells me that the people of Odi and Zaki Biam are currently envious of the Berom people of Dura Du, where a whole Army General was killed and still got the privilege of having their community intact till date plus the awesome privilege of 120 lawyers to defend the killer squad that murdered the General. But as we all know, both Odi and Zaki Biam communities never had the privilege of hiring 120 lawyers to defend their own killer squads unlike their Berom brethren who both have this privilege and the other privilege of even addressing press conferences to attack and question the Army. This can only happen under a very thoughtful, compassionate and patient President and Commander in Chief!
Yet, this is the same President that some people love to label as a tyrant or dictator, which leaves you wondering whether the words ‘tyrant’ and ‘dictator’ have acquired different meanings
Either hate him or love him, one thing has been made manifestly clear in the last few years that President Buhari has shown great love, care and compassion to those who unduly hate him, even to those who spent their worthless hours praying and wishing him dead on behalf of those who see Nigeria as a big cake that should simply be sliced, shared and eaten in Dubai or in Switzerland or in Panama or in any part of the world that didn’t have the misfortune of being ruled and ruined.