The Leaders of Yesterday and today killed Sleep, and no one can sleep anymore.
Life and times leave sad and good memories in us and on the sand of time. Unfortunately, we are in terrible and uncommon times, where life seemingly means nothing to some gun-wielding teens and youth. Society groomed serial killers by acts of omission or commission, and nobody is safe anymore. The killers are either bitter with society, their families, or the state or just avenging what the community of humans has done to them.
On May 6, 2022, I wrote about the brutal murder of Sergeant A. M. Linus and his wife in Imo State. In one of the paragraphs, I appealed, “Those sponsoring gun battles across the nation should please stop using the youths as cannon fodders……..There is nowhere in the world that violence, killings, and murdering of innocent citizens have brought enduring peace to the people.”
Unbeknown to me, more beastly and dastardly acts were lurking around. After the post, an Anambra State House of Assembly member from Soludo’s Constituency was abducted alongside his Aide. They were found dead a week later. As if these were not problematic, sad, or sorrowful enough, on May 22, 2022, Mrs. Harira Jibril, a Hausa of Northern origin, who was said to be pregnant, was brutally killed alongside her four children. The children were between the ages of 2 and 9 years. The gruesome murder of Mrs. Harira Jubril is the peak of cruelty. The act is condemnable, unjustifiable, and reprehensible. Outside these, six other persons of northern extraction have also been killed by suspected IPOB gunmen- www.legit.ng,
My heart goes to the families of Mr. Jubril Ahmed, a Widower whose wife, Mrs. Harira Jubril and four children were murdered in Anambra State, Governor Soludo, and the Texas Students and Teachers. May their memories teach us the sanctity and respect for human lives and a blessing to humanity.
As I listened to the CNN on the killings Texas shooting spree, what came to mind was the killing of Duncan by his closest friend Macbeth. When the scripture says, “for the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,”-Matthew 12:34, some of us take it for granted. There is no evil or good deeds that were not nurtured by the heart, coordinated by the head before the outward action expressed as the outcome. A classic example of this is the killing of Duncan by Macbeth. In my opinion, Duncan would have been nursing taking over Duncan’s throne. However, the prophecy of the three witches that Macbeth will become king, his wife propelling and encouraging him to kill Duncan, was the fuel needed for Macbeth to give vent to his ambition to become king and, in the process, murdered Duncan. Once that happened, Macbeth and his wife suffered severe insomnia because they felt a sense of deep ache, hurt, guilt, and sleep.
God created Sleep to massage, relax and stretch our overused bodies at night. So, Sleep is a necessary balm to keep the cycle of life going. When we short-circuit the sleep process, we unknowingly commit our lives to a process of slow death or suicide. No wonder, in Act II, scene ii of Macbeth by Shakespeare, Macbeth reacting to his killing of Duncan, could hear voices say, “Still it cried ‘Sleep no more! Glamis had murdered Sleep, and therefore, Cawdor shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more.
Never in my life did I ever think that the words of Shakespeare on Macbeth’s murdering of Sleep will realize in my lifetime. From the North to the South, to the East and the West, everywhere in Nigeria has become minefields for bloodletting, either from Boko Haram, IPOB, ESN, Bandits, terrorists, yahoo plus ritualists, ritual killings, etc. But worrisome to me is the targeting of women and children.
Firstly, International humanitarian laws protect children and those not participating in an ongoing conflict or hostilities. Therefore, I express my feelings about the brutal murder of the Texas children and their Teachers, Harira, and her children, with a bitter heart. As I ponder the killings, I wonder what would be the last words from the children to their mother and vice versa qualms.
Secondly, no matter the anger, disappointments, and provocations in wars, children, women, and the aged are, by international standards, supposed to be protected by all warring sides. Besides, it is a war crime against humanity to target the vulnerable, schools, and hospitals. No man has the right to take another person’s life without the consent and pronouncement of a Court of competent jurisdiction they cannot create. After Deborah Samuel’s death, I wrote that there should be no place in our laws for extra-judicial killings and executions, and nobody should take the rules into their hands. Therefore, the Government must do the needful
In the last few months, the incremental killing in Anambra State has opened a new wave of possible cyclical killings that could consume all. The IPOB and the ESN may deny their involvement, but to prove their innocence, they must collaborate with the Government to fish out the killers of Harira and her children, the Soludo Brothers and the other Hausas in Anambra State.
Unknown to the killers, popularly known as unknown gunmen, Nigeria has again gone into another dark side of the international community. The killing of Mrs. Harira Jibril and the children attests to our values, which means we have lost our milk of human kindness and humanity. Sadly, these acts do not represent us. This is not who we are.
The last is yet to come about the killing of the Jubril’s family and the other people killed within this period. While the Hausa community in Orunba South of Anambra State is contemplating a return to Adamawa State because of the security situation in the South East, the killers might have prepared the ground for reprisal attacks. The exodus that might follow could be an expensive political time bomb for Nigeria.
There is no doubt that the leaders of yesterday and today failed in their duties to envision the future and act justifiably. For example, in the United States, it is easier for Teens to buy guns than purchasing of beer. That cannot be right. The leaders of yesterday and today are still playing politics with gun laws and regulations in the United States. So, more are likely to die from guns. While the killings are going on in Nigeria, leaders are going on with business as usual.
The ideology that produced Boko Haram took years to mature. Yusuf, the sect’s founder, had teaching centers with large followership in the North East before the marriage of convenience gone awry. We watched them grow into a behemoth consuming our socio-economic spaces. How proactive are the Governors, religious organizations, security agents, Kings, Chiefs, and opinion leaders in monitoring the preaching in their respective domains?
The agitation for self determination and secession by MASSOB and later IPOB started many years back. Our leaders played politics of divide-and-rule with the process, and the caterpillar has matured into a butterfly. The rest is now history. How ready are we to change a section of the constitution to allow the people to freely decide through a referendum whether they want to remain and exit Nigeria, or are we still in the political mode regarding self-determination within Nigeria’s political spaces?
As long as I can remember, many influential people aided and sided with IPOB and flocked around the IPOB leaders when it was at the seed stage. Many of them are now permanent Abuja residents and likely not to return soon.
There is nothing in our political spaces today that is not amenable to negotiation. Restructuring the country to allow each component state to control its resources and fund the center is negotiable. Allowing each geo-political zone to develop in its own space should be the norm and is also negotiable.
The deregulation and devolution of powers to States in matters of policing are also negotiable. We cannot fight our way out of what we politically and selfishly walked our ways into. What can reverse the tide is also politically to walk ourselves out of the present dimmed, and dark horizon, but do we have the political will to do so?
The Nigerian Security agents bursting into people’s homes for gun recovery is belated because the users and their sophisticated armor are there in the forests. An effective way to minimize the inflow of arms into Nigeria is for the Customs and our border agents to ensure tighter restrictions and controls on guns entering this nation.
The road checks should not just be for toll collecting centers alone. Movements of guns across Nigeria daily are humongous. On this note, let me thank those security agents carrying out due diligence leading to the recovery of dangerous weapons on our highways. The truth is, any of the missed guns through road travel may be used against their relations. So, as they protect us, they are also protecting themselves.
To IPOB, enforcing rules of stay at-home through the barrels of the guns is not democracy. The modus-operandi of using violence to reach a means will only attract uninvited conflict entrepreneurs. The livelihood of the people shall be affected, some sympathizers are likely to defect, rival parties may emerge, and the people might also rebel. A good General should know when to reappraise war plans and strategies to avoid huge collateral damages.
I wish the victims of the Texas shooting, Mrs. Harira and her children, and the Soludo Brothers a good night’s rest. May God grant the widower of Harira and the other families whose loved ones have been prematurely sent to eternity, left in lonely spaces, the fortitude to bear the losses.
Grace and peace!!!