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Emmanuel Onwubiko: Helicopter terrorists amidst docile citizenry

Posted by on June 16, 2022 0

“Terrorism works better as a tactic for dictatorships, or for would-be dictators, than for revolutionaries.” ― Christopher Hitchens

“The hallmark of an authoritarian idiot is yelling TERRORIST-LOVER! at anyone questioning the definition of Terrorist.” ― Glenn Greenwald

The complaint over the emergence of terrorists flying on military helicopters to rain down bullets on poor and undefended local villagers in Nigeria didn’t start today.

These helicopter terrorists have been seen somewhere in the deep forests of Delta State by some natives. The helicopter flying terrorists appeared somewhere not far away from the restive but rustic town of Kafanchan, the heart of the Christian dominated Southern Kaduna State in the North West of Nigeria.

By the way, in Zamfara State just approximately some few meters to Katsina State, armed bandits as they were then known but since declared terrorists by the Federal High Court, Abuja division, shot down a military jet leading to the emergency ejection of the fighter Pilot who could have been killed but for the swift intervention of villagers in Zamfara State.

That military jet worth several millions of dollars bought from public treasury, was devastated and destroyed by the armed Fulani bandits but President Muhammadu Buhari simply made a drab Press statement through the noisy Garba Shehu ranting that the terrorists would be thought a lesson.

Weeks went into Months and Months have almost evolved into a year since these Fulani terror gangsters of the North West shot down the military jet, but the Armed forces of Nigeria have yet to take them on, apparently waiting for final order from their Commander-in-chief President Muhammadu Buhari who hails from Daura in Katsina State, one of the frontline terrorised States in the North of Nigeria.

Sensing the lethargic and poor approach adopted by the government against their daredevil activities, the armed Fulani terrorists have graduated to ownership of fighter helicopter which they now deploy to attack many soft targets and Southern Kaduna is their familiar turf which they constantly attacked just as they just did flying in their helicopter.

Survivors of Fulani herders’ attack on Adara villages in Kajuru Local Council in Southern Kaduna have narrated how a helicopter shelled their villages, while they were fighting the invaders.

They narrated their ordeal when they visited the President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Jonathan Asake, at the union’s national secretariat in Kaduna.

The villagers, led by Rev. Denis Sani of First Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Maikori, said they were at SOKAPU secretariat to seek assistance for the starving communities and to brief the president on the tragedy that befell the villages in Kajuru.

“It was around noon on June 5, while we were in the church that we got information that armed Fulani herdsmen were attacking Dangoma and nearby villages. We hastily rounded off our prayers and came out. We then heard that they were in large number and heading towards Maikori,” he told the SOKAPU president.

“We called for reinforcement and all the youths came out and we laid ambush for them. We evacuated our women, children and elderly into hiding. In no time, we saw them. They were in large number on scores of motorcycles, each carrying three turbaned herdsmen who all had AK-47 rifles.”

According to him, when the herdsmen were getting close to them, they fired their Dane guns at the invaders.

“Upon hearing our gunshots, the leader of the armed herdsmen raised his left hand and came to an abrupt halt. The rest also stopped,” he said.

Rev. Sani further remarked that the killer herders dismounted from the motorcycles and started responding.

But since the villagers were already undercover, they had an upper hand and the killer herdsmen started retreating, The Guardian learnt.

“Eventually, we saw a helicopter coming towards Maikori, and we were happy that help had come,” Sani said.

He pointed out that they were shocked to discover that the white helicopter started firing in their direction, even when the motorcycles of the assailants, their positions and mode of dressing, marked them out clearly.

“I saw my people running for dear lives and some were falling. I also ran. It was not possible to face the armed Fulani and the bullets from the helicopter, so we ran for dear lives,” he noted.

While they escaped, the herdsmen reportedly entered Maikori and started burning homes.

His words: “As they were burning houses, the helicopter was hovering over the village to defend them from our returning. They took three good hours burning every structure in Maikori, except three or four houses that do not have any valuables.

“My church, First ECWA in Maikori, was burnt to ashes. My house and everything I ever worked for went with the flames. I only came out with what I am wearing. As of now, I cannot tell you exactly how many people were killed from that attack, because we are still picking bodies in the bushes. But 32 persons have been buried. Other villages that were attacked earlier that day by the same killers are Sabon Gida, Unguwan Sarki and Dogon Noma.”

But in what has become a recurring decimal in Kaduna State’s government circles, the terrorists’ tolerant administration in Kaduna rolled out the propaganda machines to tackle the victims of these latest terrorist shelling from the air just as the Government in a very ridiculous and ludicrous fashion, turned logic on its head by asserting that the helicopter which the victims alluded to that attacked them was actually a jet belonging to the Airforce which came to the rescue of those same victims and not as the victims claimed.

What can be more unbelievable than that. It’s like telling a man attacked by hot water that it was iced cold water that was poured on him. So how many of the terrorists were killed? Not one of those terrorists were killed. Why is the Kaduna State’s government officials so shameless and can very easily tell barefaced bit illiterate lies?

This is because, adults who were attacked, shelled, injured and some killed, the survivors who are lucky to have emerged unscathed are telling their own story and the government which failed to do its primary constitutional duty of protecting the people and their hard earned property, was rather busy defending terrorists only because the terrorists share same Ethnicity and faith affiliations with the Governor of Kaduna State. How long will these shenanigans and dancing naked in the sun by Kaduna State government officials continue? Is there no limits to wickedness? Who wants the Christian community in the North destroyed? Is this why they don’t want a Christian Noryherner to be nominated as running mate to the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress?

The only reason that has emboldened the Kaduna State government to behave like State sponsors of terrorists is because the Nigerian public are silenced and shut up by government imposed impoverishment and the weoponisation of hunger by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration since coming on board more than seven years ago through cocktails of criminally hatched and poorly delivered economic policies including the policy of donating billions of United States dollars to Niger Republic and the erstwhile Islamic terror network of Taliban in Afghanistan.

Remember that President Muhammadu Buhari also borrowed $2 billion dollars from China to construct railway from Daura in Katsina his home to Maradi in Niger Republic and his government documented that this evil and toxic foreign credit that have benefitted foreign nation of Niger Republic would be repaid by Nigerians. If this is not political terrorism, what else is?

Anyway, the focus here is that Nigerians have still not demanded accountability from their elected government public officials on the credible claims that Fulani terrorists have started flying helicopters to attack communities in Southern Kaduna, Owo in Ondo State and a part of Delta State deep in the Niger Delta crude oil rich region.

Any wonder that it is not out of place as was said by the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria Rt.Reverend Samuel Uche that government is responsible for insecurity across Nigeria.

The clergyman had just survived a violent kidnapping by armed Fulani terrorists and came out alive after payment of #100 million in ransom. Asked to narrate his experience just after it emerged that he was kidnapped by armed Fulani and aided by soldiers. He said that what the terrorists did has nothing to do with IPOB, It was clear kidnapping by Fulani herdsmen because their cattle were very close there, manned by some people. So, I’m beginning to suspect that those who cut off people’s heads are not Igbos, Igbos are not known for cutting peoples’ heads but these are Fulani children.

Asked by an eagle eyed media practitioner about who should be blamed for the insecurity in Nigeria and these were his words from his heart: ” I don’t blame any government, but I blame the leadership in government, the Bible says that when the righteous are in authority the people will rejoice but when the unrighteous are in authority the people groan. Are we not groaning? Are you eating well? Do you have all the money you made? Are you paid all the salaries? What is happening with ASUU? What is happening with NASU? What is happening with Labour? That means unrighteous administration.

The Prelate spoke up further: “Some of them are stark illiterates only one was communicating fluently and I guess that the way he spoke, maybe he went to a level above secondary school, and that was the one that claimed he was born in Umuahia. He said he was born at Amazukwu, Ibeku. You can’t look at their knives or guns. When they went to collect the ransom, they brought in more people, who were hidden somewhere with more guns. People saw one boy at the front of the military checkpoint, so our man wanted to harass him, what are you doing here, who are you? The military man said no, no, leave him, he is our boy, and he came to drop something for us. And it is the same military that says to people, if you cross this line, I will fire you, don’t go to the bush. So, why are they shielding the people? Why are they shielding them? Some people have a plan to do something in this county, there is a plan, they are planning but only God will foil it.”

Few days after these earth shaking revelations by Prelate of the Nigerian Methodist Church in which he established a nexus between Fulani terrorists and Army saboteurs aiding and abetting terrorists, the attack in which helicopter was used to drop foodstuffs to armed Fulani terrorists in Owo Forests in Ondo State happened in a packed Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Owo Ondo State in which about 100 worshippers were killed by armed Fulani terrorists.

Just when Nigerians have hardly removed their mourning clothes, another set of helicopter flying Fulani terrorists struck in Southern Kaduna as aforementioned.

Do you want me to speak the truth (apologies to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu), these terrorists are unleashing torrents of violence and bloodletting on innocent People because they know deep inside of them that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is a TERRORISTS FRIENDLY GOVERNMENT JUST LIKE THE TALIBANS OF AFGHANISTAN.

To buttress this unassailable point, the President recently donated huge sums of unbudgeted amount of Nigerian money in United States Dollar denominations to the erstwhile Islamic terror network of Taliban in Afghanistan.

The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has donated $1 million to Afghanistan.

Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Hissein Brahim Taha, disclosed this in a statement. Commending the Nigerian government, Taha said OIC remains committed to supporting Afghanistan.

“The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hissein Brahim Taha has commended with appreciation the generous donation of one million dollars made by the Republic of Nigeria to the Humanitarian Trust Fund for Afghanistan.”

“This donation comes in time to add a new momentum to OIC’s efforts to contribute to easing the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and to help in catering for the needs of millions of Afghan people, including women and children.

“OIC remains committed to the noble cause of supporting the Afghan people and will spare no effort in implementing to the full the special resolution on Afghanistan issued by the last extraordinary session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held in December 2021 in Islamabad, Republic of Pakistan.

“The OIC appeals to all Member States, stakeholders and partners to come on board and make contributions to the humanitarian trust fund for Afghanistan through the bank account reserved for this fund within the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).”

Recall that Afghanistan was plunged into crisis after The Taliban took control following the withdrawal of American troops in August.

The country currently faces hardship under the oppressive regime of The Taliban.

So why does anyone doubt when victims of terror attacks come out to state clearly that helicopter shooters attacked them in Kajuru? What gain is there for them to say they saw terrorists flying on helicopter and unleashing torrents of bullets in their direction? Assuming the helicopter was that of the air force as stated by the Kaduna State’s government officials, since there is no credible fact about the terrorists killed by the Airforce helicopter and the poor villagers have now said the helicopter actually shot at them, this then means active partnership between the Air Force of Nigeria and Fulani terrorists because shortly after the helicopter attacked the victims of terrorist attack, these same attackers still proceeded to burn down houses and Churches without the helicopter succeeded in forcing them to retreat.

This is a clear justification of the attestation made by these victims, unless credible evidence is made otherwise available.

If Southern Kaduna victims of terror attacks are deluded may be they haven’t seen helicopter before (which isn’t the case anyway because thousands of Southern Kaduna indigenes were educated in Western civilisations), can we also say that Yorubas connived with Northerners in Southern Kaduna to say helicopter flying terrorists aided the terrorists that bombed the innocent Roman Catholic worshippers in Owo Ondo State not more than a week back?The Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Chief Gani Adams, provided empirical evidence when he said that the terrorists who attacked the St.Francis Catholic Church members, Owo, Ondo State, camped in a secret forest and were being fed by food supplied by a helicopter.

Adams revealed that the South-West Security Stakeholders Group (SSSG) had five weeks ago raised the alarm that some terrorists had invaded the South-West, but the South-West governor ignored it.

Adams made the disclosure in his reaction to the St. Francis Catholic Church massacre, Owo, according to Nigerian Tribune.

According to him, he also suspected that the heinous attack was carried out by an international organisation as “It was a highly coordinated attack.”

He said, “Well, I suspect it was an attack by an international organization. It was a highly coordinated attack.

“This is the first time we are witnessing this type of attack in Yoruba land. We have seen different attacks perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen, however, the Owo Church attack sounded unusual.

“The information at our disposal indicated that the attackers were about seven in number and they came with explosives that were allegedly planted under the Alter of the church.

“And immediately the bomb exploded, it was a horror as worshippers were scampering for their lives and at the same time, the attackers were shooting sporadically.

“So far, according to the state government, 38 people were killed while about 64 others were still at the hospital. We pray not to have more casualties.

“This attack is highly condemnable. Any right-thinking person will condemn it totally.

“However, on the Owo Church attack, the SSSG raised the alarm about five weeks ago that some terrorists have invaded the South-West, but unfortunately none of the state governors really addressed the issues. So, what led to the Owo attack was premeditated.

“The information we had earlier was that some terrorists have invaded a very close forest in Owo.

“These terrorists, according to our information, have their food being supplied to them via helicopter, and the Olowo, who is the traditional ruler of the ancient town, even the state government could not flush them out of the thick forest

“So, that tells you that they have occupied the bush to perpetrate their calculated killings,” he added.
There is the urgency of the now for Nigerians to shake off their perennial delusional docility and actively make demands of accountability from their elected government officials and there is the need for thoroughness on the part of leaders to institute commission of investigators on these recurring cases of helicopters been deployed by terrorists to attack citizens. Burying these cases of sophisticated terrorism under the carpet is not only the institutionalisation of impunity, but it signposts a nation whose populace have long gone asleep and in deep coma of docility.

This lethargic and conspiratorial silence by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on all these huge cases of the sophisticated upgrade by Fulani terrorists is heart-rending. This rudderless political leadership must be made to come to an abrupt end and constructively disrupted for the betterment of the Country’s future.

That is, if Nigerians won’t refuse to become active citizens. Nigerians, is a word not enough for the wise or are there no wise people in Nigeria?

We must destroy these helicopter terrorists or the helicopter terrorists will bury Nigeria.

EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA and was NATIONAL COMMISSIONER of the NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF NIGERIA.

Emmanuel Onwubiko: Helicopter terrorists amidst docile citizenry

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