There is confusion, grave disappointment and apprehension in Nigeria as the military continues its “illiterate” aggression in the south east. Described by several Right activists and lawyers as unconstitutional, the military under Army Chief Tukur Buratai has deployed battalions to the South East under the auspices of “Operation Python Dance” and has proceeded to provoke, instigate and inflame an already highly inflammable situation.
Latest press stories have it that Buratai has put separatist leader, Nnamdi Kanu under house arrest. Military vehicles have been seen in videos surrounding his house where the army reportedly shot and injured several members in the past days. Unfortunately the Nigerian main stream media has been bought over with heavy sums by the “we-are-gods” image branding aggressive APC government and accurate details are suppressed while pro-government fake news abounds.
Shot to ultimate fame by actions of the Buhari administration, Nnamdi Kanu claims he is under siege and is gaining more popularity, sympathy and support at home and abroad. There is no court order for Kanu’s house arrest and the premise of the military operation in the south east, “to check banditry and criminality” is not constitutionally valid. According to section 217 of the 1999 constitution, Nigeria’s military can only be deployed to protect the nation’s territorial integrity and as a back up to the police in internal crises only when approved by an act of congress.
The National Assembly gave no such approval in this or any other recent deployment of Buratai’s forces. Deployments which have typically been characterized by massacres and secret burials. The deployment of the military to the south east to do the work of the police, who have been rendered no more than boy scouts in Nigeria, is unconstitutional according to several lawyers and right activists. Nigeria’s police continues to be depleted functionally and strategically as the nation is rendered a military state under totalitarian rule. It is no news that president Muhammadu Buhari a former military man has no regard for the constitution. When criticized by international bodies like Amnesty international, thugs allegedly sponsored by the government protested to their offices demanding these international bodies left Nigeria.
Nigeria’s military recently made global headlines for sacking a United Nation’s complex in Borno under the pretense of seeking out Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau. In 2016, a massacre of pro-Biafrans in a Church in Onitsha followed with an alleged secret mass burial by the military, is one of several infractions the military under Buratai has come under condemnation for.
The massacre of hundreds of minority Muslim civilian youth in Zaria, December of 2015 and their secret mass burial at a cemetery in Mando as confessed to by the Kaduna state government has made the Buhari government and military, a subject of International Criminal Court, ICC probe. This May, ICC prosecutor Mrs Fatou Bensouda recently visited Nigeria in a fact seeking mission in which she quizzed victims and their families. Several Nigerian victims of the army brutality have remained detained against court orders for months to years.
“Illiterate” is the term a Federal judge used to describe the Nigerian military last year. Justice Yusuf Haliru, described one such detention with the words, “illegal, wrongful, unlawful and constituted a blatant violation of the fundamental rights of the applicant”. “The respondents, I must be bold to say- the EFCC and the Army- have behaved like illiterates”, the Judge added.
Some suspect that Buhari, described as chronically ill has a death wish and may not mind taking Nigeria down along with him. The situation is highly inflammable and will not likely end without more losses of innocent lives. World peace bodies are begged to urgently intervene.
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