Nigeria’s endless death-romance with soft targets
Ever wondered what damage soft security targets have caused and the cost on Nigeria? Perhaps, you never thought of it. Here is the lundry list.
- In 1966/67, Yakubu Gowon’s airforce fliers were so incompetent and wicked, and invariably kept clear of military targets, devoting their energetic bombing runs on soft Biafran refugee camps, churches, markets and sleepy/calm villages. Typical soft targets.
Result was that the simple Biafran population believed it: the war was a war of annihilation, total genocide. And it was true. This then hardened their resolve to fight it out and go down defending themselves.
- In 1968, the otherwise brilliant Ojukwu believed the crap of the treacherous Colonel Victor Banjo, and used Biafran troops to invade the ordinarily neutral Mid West, in the so called bid to cross over to the West. A soft target. Result was that Banjo turned tail, betrayed and the Federal Forces had the chance they craved. Invasion of Biafra from all fronts, leading first to the most cruel outcome of the War at Asaba before the bestiality entered Igbo heartland via Onitsha/Asaba. Biafran lost.
- In 1970, Gowon again targeted the bank savings and landed property of helpless, defeated Igbo, and other Nigerians cheered.
Result: It has become official policy to rob citizens of their earnings, including pensions, which are taken at the whims and caprices of persons in government.
- In 2009, Nigerian police took into custody a certain Alhaji Fugu, in Maidugiri. Soon, they executed him, extra-judicially. A man already in custody and who would have helped a more resourceful police organisation to arrest a birthing insurgency.
Result: Today, we have not known any rest from Boko Haram, a formally fundamentalist Islamic group in the City.
- In 2014, Nigeria Airforce pilots, like their Egyptian counterparts who flew Gowon’s fighter planes during the war, left the cattle rustlers they were asked to fight and descended on hapless cattle rearers in their remote locations, killing them in their hundreds, destroying their hard earned property. These airforce men cannot say they do not know the difference between rustlers and herders. They just exhibited their laziness and lack of imagination in attacking innocent villagers.
What did we get as results? Bandits have now overrun Nigeria, wrestlijg the State to the ground as they rape us to stupor at every turn. No place is safe from them.
- Wednesday, February 17, a sleepy village named Lilu in Anambra State was bombed by airforce fliers who were said to be looking for the hideouts of ESN in Orlu. Now, tell me, which Nigerian doesn’t know that Orlu is in Imo State, and Lilu, a sleepy village in Ihiala LGA is in Anambra State. The same fancy with soft targets. The fighter pilots did not want to take chances with ESN fighters, if there is anything like that, on the fear that they may have ground-to-air missiles. Just the same way Gowon’s pilots dreaded flying over Biafran army locations but had to offload their deadly cargo on famished refugees.
Now, if the family whose house was hit and destroyed had lost lives, would you blame the youth of the village when they take up arms?
I hope you remember Obasanjo’s soft targets in Odi and Zaki Ibiam?
Police leave criminals and target hard working motorists. They also feast on youths wearing simple dreadlocks or “shagging” their pants. Girls wearing multiple coloured hair wigs are akara-moi-moi for officers. Ala Fela, na big problem for any man to walk on the road again.
Is it a curse on us that we have these kinds of security forces, which is bereft of creativity, patience, thoroughness and industry in finding the right targets, hard as they may be, rather than hit at the innocent, easy or soft targets?
Elsewhere, security forces run their chases for months or years, but the real target will not get far enough to evade.
Chineke e jikwam ogu ooo!!!
Igbonekwu Ogazimorah writes