Operation Safe Corridor, OSC which was launched by the Muhammadu Buhari regime in 2016 was ostensibly aimed to encourage “repentant” Boko Haram terrorists to surrender and embrace the De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration, DRR, programme.
People who killed destroyed schools, abducted schoolgirls, devastated entire communities, instigated suicide bombings, beheaded fellow human beings, created over two million refugees and massacred over 350,000 people (according to the United Nations) are allowed to go scot-free once they surrender. Thousands of so-called repentant terrorists have benefited from this dubious largesse. They are treated like students on scholarships and sent back into the populace with good pocket money as if terrorism pays.
Rumours have it that some of them have been absorbed into the armed forces, but the military has repeatedly denied this. Such rumours are fuelled by reckless statements like the one credited to the GOC 7 Division, Major General Abdulmalik Biu, who boasted that “repentant Boko Haram can contest for the presidency of Nigeria”. If they can become president, then they can be absorbed in the military and security services even faster!
This government has systematically continued to make “repentant” Boko Haram terrorists smell roses. I watched with a heavy heart the story of Ruth Nglari Apagu, one of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted on April 14, 2014. After over seven years in the den of the Islamic terrorists, she returned with two children and an unnamed “husband” who was taken to the DRR for rehab. Governor Umara Zulum of Borno State, while receiving them, expressed hope that more would come home. Ruth’s mother was happy to see her daughter back. In other words, end of story. Tomorrow, the Boko Haram “husband” will go to his “in-laws”, reclaim his “family” and live with them happily ever after.
Yet, this was a girl who was forcefully taken from school where she was sent to maximise her life’s potentials. Ruth’s luckier colleagues who were quickly rescued and sent to the US have graduated. Her future was destroyed in the wilderness. She was sexually abused, forcibly converted to Islam and “married off” to a member of the Boko Haram high command without parental consent. She was kept in the bushes for seven years to spawn offspring for radical Islamists. Nobody knows what Ruth, her two children and their illegitimate father can resort to tomorrow in their family, community or the nation at large.
Take note: What Ruth Apagu went through is not different from what many other Christian girls have been going through in the hands of Islamic agents provocateurs since this regime came to power. The only difference is that Ruth was taken into the bush and violated. Other Christian girls have been similarly violated in the palaces of emirs and lairs of Islamic clerics, and the culprits got away with it. There was this case of an Igbo girl, Charity Uzoechina, a pastor’s daughter, who was abducted and forcefully converted to Islam in the palace of the Emir of Bida.
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Another Christian girl, Habiba Isyaku of Hausa parentage, was similarly abducted, “married off” and forcefully kept in the palace of the Emir of Katsina. Patience Paul, yet another 14-year-old Primary Six pupil of Mohammed Zako Model Primary School, Sokoto, a Christian girl from Benue, was kept in the palace of a foremost Islamic leader in Nigeria. The only episode that the culprit was forced to pay a befitting price due to fierce media attention was the case of 14-year-old Ese Oruru. She was abducted from her mother’s home in Bayelsa, taken to Kano, kept in an Islamic cleric’s den and impregnated. She was also forced into Islam. Her abductor, Yinusa Dahiru, is serving a 26-year jail sentence.
These are cases of systematic violations of the constitutional rights of Christian girls both by Boko Haram terrorists and other Northern Muslims with the mindsets of terrorists. The pattern of abuse is the same, and the pattern of official and cultural condonation is the same. The military’s Operation Safe Corridor is rooted in an Islamic framework to offer terrorists soft landing without any intention of giving justice to those whose lives and property have been wrecked beyond repair.
Those in control of our affairs do not care for justice because they share the same religious mentality, reflexes and ideology with the terrorists. They have no regard for our constitutional rights. They are ruling us from their religious rule book. And we are taking it lying supine. When your oppressor rough-handles you to the point where you no longer offer any form of resistance, you are finished. You are defeated. He can have his way.
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The people of Southern Kaduna, Plateau and Benue used to fiercely resist predatory Islamic fundamentalism. The military prowess they exhibited was exploited against the Igbo in Biafra. Today, they have lost all capacity for resistance. They only cry and run. The same will happen to any group unless they quickly draw a line in the sand as the Igbo nation have done. It is such a pity that Christian interest groups, especially the umbrella called Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, after displaying the attributes of a toothless bulldog, have gone quiet. Those who should be the pillars of Christian resistance against dehumanisation by our increasingly predatory Muslim leaders have sold out.
The so-called “Daddy GOs” prefer to be seen as “friends” of Aso Villa. They prefer to go from time to time to pose with the president for photographs rather than boldly and openly rejecting the evils targeted at the Christian community and being openly condoned by their “friend”.
Ejike Mbaka and Hassan Kukah were in that bracket until they saw their nakedness and returned to the right path. I applaud them. We must all rise and insist on constitutional, not Islamic rule since we are not all Muslims. Nigeria is a democracy, not an Islamic, Wahabi theocracy. Islamic imposition is one of the reasons some of us want out of Nigeria. The Constitution is what makes us all Nigerians. Anything outside of it, count me out!
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