Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Thursday decried the post-election violence in some Northern states, saying it was “planned well ahead of time.”
He described the killings that followed the riots as an ‘unbelievable waste of lives,’ and pointed out that they (killings) had further brought to the front burner, the concept of Nigeria.
The playwright spoke just as the 2 Division of the Nigerian Army said it had arrested more than 108 people in Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Delta, Edo and Kwara states during Tuesday’s governorship and state assembly elections.
Election observers on the platform of Project 2011 Swiftcount had also on Thursday reported an upsurge of critical election-related incidents, including ballot snatching and violence during Tuesday’s polls.
Denunciation and condemnation on Saturday trailed the comments attributed to the governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Isah Yuguda, that the National Youth Service Corps members who were murdered in the state were destined to die the way they did.
Some corps members were killed in the state as well as in some other northern states shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the incumbent President and Peoples Democratic Party standard-bearer, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, winner of the April 16 presidential poll.
Specifically, nine corps members were reportedly killed in Bauchi State.
Property worth millions of Naira were also destroyed in the post-election violence in which the irate youths were protesting the defeat of the Congress for Progressive Change standard-bearer, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) by Jonathan.
Jonathan polled over 21million votes to beat other contenders comprising Buhari, the All Nigeria Peoples Party standard-bearer, Ibrahim Shekarau, and his Action Congress of Nigeria counterpart, Nuhu Ribadu.
However, speaking to our correspondents on Saturday, some eminent Nigerians among them the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide; Chairman, Arewa Consultative Forum, Gen, Ibrahim Haruna; former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa; former governor of old Anambra State; Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife; and spokesperson to the Congress for Progressive Change Presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said Yaguda’s comments were condemnable.
Haruna who spoke to one of our correspondents on Friday described the reports attributed to the governor as disappointing.
Haruna said there was no justification for the slaughter of young Nigerians because of politics.
He said it was inconceivable for anybody with human feelings to make such a comment on the gruesome killing of young innocent Nigerian graduates in the service of their fatherland.
To him, what was expected of Yuguda was for him to join other Nigerians to eulogise them as heroes and to name structures after them to alleviate the pangs of their loss.
He called on the Federal Government to exploit the instrumentality of the law to ensure effective maintenance of peace and security.
He said that it was grim for such young men to be killed because of politics because the country was not in a state of war. He added, “I am saddened by what he said. Is there any justification for any young, hopeful Nigerian to be killed because of politics?
Akinjide, who described the governor’s comment as unwarranted, opined that a leader must be discreet at all times in handling issues that affected lives. He said, “It is sad that the governor of a state should treat human life with levity.
“Was it not in Bauchi that a teacher was murdered because one of the students was alleged to cover up something? That lady came from the South. She was not the person who used the Quran to wrap something.
“A governor, as the chief security officer of the state, is expected to be a role model and should uphold the rule of law and promote peace and harmony in his state. Human life is too sacred to be toiled with.”
The former Attorney General explained that even the Commissioner of Police in the state was responsible to the governor and as such should be taking orders from him. He said that explained why in every state the governor is the chairman of the Security Council while the CP is only a member together with the Attorney-General.
Similarly, a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Abubakar Tsav, said the statement attributed to Yuguda was most unfortunate and unbecoming of somebody in his position as a governor of a state where such killings took place.
He said that Yuguda should have at least shown sympathy to the corps members, their families and indeed the country.
Tsav said, “It is most unfortunate, this is unexpected of somebody in the position of a governor. He should have shown sympathy with the corps members, their families and Nigeria.”
Musa simply summarised his opinion by saying, “I think it is being insensitive and quite undiplomatic.”
Odumakin, who strongly condemned the governor’s assertion, said, “What Governor Yuguda said further confirmed that Nigeria is a nation founded on iniquity, sustained by hypocrisy and is on a balance of uneven scale. That is why today we talk about peace and nobody is talking about justice. Even if he was truly attacked in Ibadan in 1979 as he claimed, is that enough to justify the killing of corps members in his state? General Muhammadu Buhari did not make such inciting comment but went on air to discourage the people from causing violence. That is the prize of leadership.”
However, Ezeife contended that the governor’s statement depended on how each individual viewed it. He said that some people believe in destiny and stretch the belief to the limit because of the doctrine of their religion. “You have to be careful not to expect so much from such people,” he said adding that the governor’s statement was not provocative.
Yuguda had said while speaking with journalists in Bauchi on Thursday that the corps members who got killed in the state were not the only victims of the unfortunate violence that followed the presidential election.
He recalled to the shock of journalists that his son was almost lynched while his house was torched.
“They (corps members) were destined to experience what they experienced. Nobody can run away from destiny. When they were serving me, they were the happiest in Nigeria.
“Immediately I handed them over to INEC, it was the responsibility of INEC to protect them. They were not the only ones affected. My own house was burnt; they almost lynched my first son. It is part of their destiny. I was also attacked as a corps member in Ibadan in 1979.
“They were attacked on the services of INEC,” he was quoted as having said.
Also, a former Security Advisor to Rivers State Government, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, condemned the statement.
He stated that Yuguda had failed the nation by issuing inciting statements.
Meanwhile, in a statement titled ‘PUNCH goofed as Yuguda was misquoted’ made available to SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday, Bauchi State government said the governor was not quoted correctly.
The statement signed by the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Media/Public Affairs, Sanusi Muhammad, quoted the governor as saying during the media briefing that “The death of the corp members was purely an act of destiny. As human beings we should always accept our destiny either in our favour or against our interest. The unfortunate death of the corp members was destined to happen in the course of their service to Nigeria. Every new day is a new experience to all living souls which we must contend.
“After the unfortunate attack on the corp members that led to the untimely death of some in some remote areas of the state on receiving the report, I swiftly acted and made sure that those evacuated are camped at the Senior Staff Development Centre of Directorate of State Security Service in Bauchi metropolis were comfortable and well protected. I paid several visits to the camp to boost their morale and comfort them. Each of them was given a token amount to take care of their immediate needs while in the camp. I have vowed to bring the perpetrators of the crime to book as several arrests have already been made.
“At a time when all efforts are being made to ensure return to normalcy and the need to rebuild frontiers of harmonious relationship and friendship, we urge the media not to play with the destiny of the country through sensationalism and outright mischief.”
•He is destined to become a governor and mock those who are unable to actualise their dreams in life.Kudos to the fortunate governor with the good destiny.with a very bitter heart from a serving corper.
Posted by: olu kole , on Sunday, May 01, 2011
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•Thanks to almighty Governor Yuguda and his unguarded utterances.I admire his courage to say even what their chief militant (Buhari) couldn’t.Is quit obvious that all this killings always in the north has their backers.Governor Yuguda has once and for all through his recent statement dispel any doubt about the conspiracy surrounding this orchestrated crime.
Posted by: Tome,from Asia , on Sunday, May 01, 2011
You don’t had to be surprise on Governor yuguda’s comment on the killings of NYSC in his Bauchi state because their traditional believe and reasoning is way different from the southerners that we should stop deceiving ourselves as one nation. Even Nothern retired Generals and present and past top government officials are funding those crimes often and on, at the end of the day nothing will happen to them. Before the end of this year we shall live to witness another mass killing of the innocent people in nothern Nigeria, who knows who might be the next victims. I could remember one of such killings in Kano city in 1953, uptill today we never learned our lessons. When you look at the nothern government officials(in high and low level) you could bear with me that 95% of them were not qualified for the positions they held while the qualified citizens kept roaming around the street looking for job. Abuja is a home advantage to the notherners that was only stupid reason why the fucken muritala mohamed moved our capital territory from Lagos.
Before the end of this year we shall live to witness another mass killing of the innocent people in nothern Nigeria, who knows who might be the next victims.
>>>Funny you said that much . Just follow these links:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13322307 and http://odili.net/news/source/2011/may/5/509.html
Well done Ekuson, I am not a sootsayer but I live on experience. Notherners(both their christians and moslems) are wild animals living with human beigns in the name of “stupid one Nigeria”. U.N had two option now. (1) Either to peacefully come and divide Nigeria in parts with good reason and favourable condition to every side or (2) They will come to witness another bloody civil war which wil affect every region, not only the easterners this time and at the end the Northerners would cry hard I know. Thank God this time we the southern christians had started batling “eye for eye” not like during the Biafran civil war that we respect our New testerment so much that we only attack housa millitary and spear their civillians. Now we are ready to kill their one day old child and their dried ass pregnant woman including their cows, goat and sheep.
Given the fact that the Northerners will do anything,including killing of innocent people, to retain power, I wonder if any of you consider people from these parts as the worst scums ever to walk the face of the planet.However, before answering this question I’d like you to read the following:
Two weeks ago we served you the first part of the no holds barred interview with pro democracy journalism icon, MOSHOOD FAYEMIWO. We now present the concluding part of the damning revelations concerning leading political and military personalities and landmark events during the darkest days of Nigeria under military dictatorship. The interview was anchored by our managing editor, OLADIMEJI ABITOGUN. Excerpts:
Why would you consider it fair to pin all the mis-governance on Hausa/Fulani area. You know other individuals from other tribes and parts of Nigeria are guilty as well…
People who are students of history, especially those who have studied the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy, if you have read a book by J.F.A. Ade – Ajayi, Africa in the Nineteenth Century, it is about the history, explained the history of Hausa State, talks of the arrival of one Baya Jida from the Middle East who married the Queen of Daura. I think from the present Katsina State.
And between them they had seven Hausa sons who are called the Banza Bakwai. And then there were seven other illegitimate sons of same man. The seven illegitimate sons later formed the fourteen Hausa States. Daura, Katsina, Zau Zau (Zaria), Kano, Rano and Biram, Gwandu
The Fulanis arrived in the Northern area and conquered the Hausas. Hausas and Fulani had historically been separate people. I studied African History at the graduate level and learned from respectable and unbiased professors; the best in the field. It is important that people understand this story, and eventually, the Fulani legitimized their power over the Hausas and imposed their religion and ways of life on the Hausas. Historically, Hausas were not Moslems; their religion was what they called Maigazuya or Maigazurra kind of religion. This comprised magic, witchcraft and all the rest, mixed with Islam. The Fulanis came and emasculated the Hausas, changed their religion and even their ways of life. Today, these Fulanis who speak Fulfude are in Northern Nigeria. They became Hausa-Fulani and are determined to turn Nigeria into an Islamic enclave. This is the war that Chief Obafemi Awolowo fought to resist; we are still fighting it today in Nigeria. People do not know what is happening and that is why I said those who are ruling Nigeria, who are destroying that nation, you can count them, a handful of them. What they do is that they believe that political, religious and economic powers in Nigeria belong to them. They see others as second-class citizens, they are full of hubris. The way they operate is to plant Emirs in even non-Moslem and non-Hausa-Fulani towns and villages. Can you believe that Lafia in Nassarawa State with just a handful of Hausa-Fulani should be governed by an Emir? I served in Ilorin, Kwara State during my NYSC and could count the number of Hausa-Fulani resident in that city yet they are ruled by an Emir.
The source of the above excerpt is :
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