The outcome of the so-called investigation by the military panel set up by the military to investigate General T.Y Danjuma’s frank, courageous and factual allegation of the obvious and criminal acts of collusion by the army in the heinous herdsmen killing of innocent people in the North East and Central parts of Nigeria including Taraba State can only surprise the outlandish optimist.
We in Taraba State and all other Nigerians who have followed the Army’s shocking acts of looking the other way while the massacres raged in these parts of the country do not belong to that group of optimists. Therefore, we are not surprised by the verdict of “not guilty” which the army panel returned in favor of the army. The case of the Army’s culpability in the killings is very widely known and acknowledged within and outside the shores of this country. It is on record that even Amnesty International had reason to condemn the Army’s lukewarm attitude to the killings in the past.
The Army and other security agencies did not only fail to stop the killings anywhere and everywhere its soldiers were deployed, they deliberately promoted it by looking the other way so that the killers could have unhindered access to their unarmed and helpless victims.
The Taraba State Government hereby rejects the verdict of the General John Nimyel’s committee on the allegations because it is an extension of the Army’s bias which it exhibited and has continued to exhibit over the crises. With the verdict, the Army has proved once again the appropriateness of the popular axiom that one cannot and should not sit in judgment in a case in which it is also the accused.
The verdict is also proof of the fact that is now public knowledge that the Army under General Tukur Buratai lacks the courage, capacity, and fair-mindedness to do what is right to protect victims of the herdsmen massacres committed not only in Taraba State but also in Benue, Adamawa, Kaduna, Plateau, Zamfara, and Kogi.
The Taraba State Government demands the setting up of an independent judicial panel to conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation into the allegations of military complicity in the killings.
BALA DAN ABU
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity.