In the early hours of Sunday 7 March 2010, precisely at about 2 a.m., life visited cruelty on Christians in villages of Dogo-Nahawa, Ratsat and Kamang in Shen district of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, when depraved marauders said to be nomadic Fulani â€˜Muslimsâ€™ simultaneously invaded the villages and brutally killed over 500 Christians (mostly women and children!), allegedly as a revenge for the Sunday 17 January, 2010 killings at Kuru-Karama and Kuru-Jimeta where both the Christian indegenes and nomadic Fulani Muslims suffered casualties.
In the senseless revenge attack, villagers who attempted to run for dear life were cut down by arrows and brutally macheted to death while houses were burnt by the rampaging killers. The lives and property lost were monumental because the able bodied men in the villages had earlier been tricked away by a misleading message deliberately spread by the perpetrators that a far away village was about to be attacked and that all men should go and lend a helping hand. Eager to be their brotherâ€™s keeper, they all went only to return the following day to meet their wives, children and aged parents hacked to death and their houses and other properties burnt to ashes.
While the frightening tales and gory pictures of the massive massacre sent the nation into state of grief and mourning, the blood thirsty beasts were strangely unmoved. And to show how unrepentant they are, the dastardly act has not only continued to be reenacted with impunity, but also in quick succession. What skins of dried wood and hearts of stoneÂ are these invaders made of?
Barely over a week after, precisely on Wednesday 17 March 2010, armed men in fake military uniform launched another deadly attack on Dye village in Riyom Local Government Area of Jos, killing ten people and injuring several others. On Monday 5 April, 2010 a Christian was killed by unidentified attackers in one of the villages. Again, on Thursday 15 April, 2010, burnt bodies of a Pastor, Ishaya Kadah and his wife, Selina who had been kidnapped by some Muslim fanatics two days earlier in Bauchi were discovered. The incident would have escalated into bloody war between the two religious groups but for prompt deployment of police patrol teams in the village.
The most recent of the series which was as brutal as that of 7 March is the deadly invasion of Mazah community in Jos North Local Government Area, allegedly by the same nomadic Fulanis in the early hours of Saturday 17 July, 2010 where several lives (again, mostly women and children) were lost and properties worth several millions destroyed. Vehicles and houses including the church of Christ of Nigeria (COCIN) in the village were torched.
A pastor of the COCIN, Reverend Nuhu Dauwat had his wife, two children and a grandson murdered in cold blood. He himself had to escape into the bush through the back door of his house, and by the time he returned, he met his wife and the three children hacked to death.
A councillor representing Mazah Ward, Hon. Kankani Jaja had his personal and family houses burnt and his parents and son killed. Another survivor, Gaya Suna, who lost his only daughter said he had to escape into the bush but his daughter who was deep asleep was hacked by the assailants. Another Pastor whose mom, wife and children were butchered recounted his ordeal in an interview with Bravo Magazine edition dated 2-15 August, 2010. Hear the very pathetic account: â€œOn Saturday at about 1.30 a.m., I heard my dog barking and when I woke up, I came outside the house, and looked round â€¦ suddenly, I heard loud gun shots. The gun shots woke up my family members and they were confused and they kept asking what was going on. When I realised that they had entered my apartment, I quickly sneaked out and hid myself inside the maize farm. My family members became confused and they were calling my name â€˜daddy, daddyâ€™ and that was all. I was helpless in the farm and could not attempt to do anything. I saw all things that the attackers were doing to my family until they finished their operations. After they had finished slaughtering my wife and our two children, they started burning everything in the house, including food items. At the point, there was a little boy of about four years who was not touched then, he was crying and calling my wife â€˜mummy, mummy, mummy come and carry me, donâ€™t allow them to beat meâ€™, not knowing they had killed my wife then. So he became tired, I guess so because I could no longer hear his voice and I thought, fire must have consumed him thereâ€.
In all the barbaric killings, the scary tales of woe told by survivors of the acts of lunacy supported by terrifying pictures of horror and human decapitation reek of unfathomable human insensitivity and luciferic ingenuity of an unimaginable proportion. Houses were surrounded by the merciless killers, giving inhabitants no room to escape before setting the houses ablaze thereby burning all the people inside alive including children as young as few months of age! What heartlessness!
Since the agonizing massacre of March 7, 2010, it has been very difficult for me to take my mind off the highly horrific pictures of innocent children and women clubbed and matcheted to death and set ablaze by the satanic beasts. The particular one most grisly which uncontrollably sent shivers down my spines were the horrible pictures of charred remains of a little girl around the age of my daughter (i.e. less than 4 years) who got a deep machet cut on the back of her head and a sharp iron rod pierced into her stomach before she was eventually set ablaze; and a woman who, while running away from the rampaging predators, suffered two debilitating machete cuts on her hand and back of her head but managed to run to safety from where she was rushed to a hospital by good Samaritans. It was there she realized that as she had been macheted along with her 5-month old baby strapped to her back. Though the mother survived, the baby died. What a demonic inhumanity not only to human, but also to child! What bestiality! What barbarism! What savagery! The children God loves most are what the blood sucking monsters passionately hate. What offence have these children committed to deserve the excruciating violence cruelly visited on them? None beyond being innocently born into a particular tribe or religion. And certainly anyone who considers such circumstances of birth a crime is challenging God who created man and decreed that he (man) should multiply into NATIONS. Allah (S.W.T) reminded Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W) about this in Qurâ€™an chapter 11 verse 118 saying: â€œIf thy Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one people. But they will not cease to differâ€.
I feel diminished as a human being by these unchecked debasement and destruction of fellow human beings. More than two months after the terrifying killings of March 7, I had my sleep murdered by the memory of the pictures of mutilated bodies of children and vulnerable women which kept coming to my mind each time I laid on bed to sleep. Every night I remembered that was how those unsuspecting children and women laid to sleep to have their deserved rest when suddenly the pleasure of their sleep was painfully cut short by the unwarranted invasion by the demented sons of the beasts who murdered them and set their belongings ablaze. Also each time I woke in the morning and sighted my daughter, I remembered that disturbing picture of charred body of her age mate who was gruesomely clubbed to death and set ablaze by the animals called men.
When will this satanic invasion end? Only when the evil perpetrators and their sponsors are brought to book to serve as deterrent. But what could be the motivation for the senseless killings and arson? I have heard people talk of ethnicity and religion as reasons for the dastardly act. To this, I want to state here categorically with no iota of ambiguity that for either of the aforestated reasons or any other reasons whatsoever, the act is senseless, irrational, unreasonable, untenable, non-conformist to any civilization, ungodly, callous, unacceptable, ominous, criminal, an unforgivable sin against God who states in the holy books that the inalienable right of every man is right to life, and taking anyoneâ€™s life unlawfully is an act very inimical to the development of any nation. Hence, it should not only be condemned by all, but should also be maximally punished by the appropriate authorities.
If the motive is to carry out ethnic cleansing, please tell the perpetrators of this ignoble act that they are big fools and demented souls. Those who know history should please enlighten them that no ethnic cleansing act has ever succeeded in wiping out any ethnic group anywhere in the world. It has only succeeded in temporarily wreaking havoc on the victims but inviting eternal shame and deadly repercussions on the perpetrators and their succeeding generations.
Remind them of the killing of Muslims in Mecca by the pagans just after Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W) announced Islamic monotheism to the world. Today, the population of Muslims all over the world is over a billion. Please, heal them of their ignorance or amnesia over the story of several years old violent wars waged against Muslims in Bosnia. They are today still a significant population over there. Lecture them with the story of the Israelites â€“ despite victimization and killings suffered by their citizens in Germany and several continents they have one time or the other migrated to, they have not only continued to exist, but also they are a power to reckon with in the world today.Â This is the reason I would appeal to Israel to immediately stop killing the Palestinians as the hostility will never lead any of the warring parties anywhere except continued humanitarian crisis in Palestine and perpetual unrest in Israel.
Tell the Jos killers that not in Africa, not in any other place in the world where ethnic war has raged or is raging has ethnic cleansing or attrition war between tribes completely wiped out any tribe or people.Â Tell them about former Zaire (now Democratic Republic of (Congo). Tell them about Ethiopia and Eritrea. Tell them about apartheid in South Africa.Â Tell them about the many examples around us. Tell them to stop the uncivilized act.
If the motive has to do with religion, I am using this opportunity to telll the killers that their act is totally irreligious, satanic, unpardonable by God (unless they repent), and totally against the tenets of Islam. The Almighty Allah in Q.5:32 says: â€œWe ordained for the children of Israel that if anyone slew a person â€“ unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he slew the whole people; and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.Â Then although there came to them our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.â€
Also, when the enemies of Islam realized that the continued persecution, killing and destruction of followers of prophet Muhammed (S.A.W) and their properties could not deter the Muslims from the practice of their religion, they (the enemies) raised an army of over three thousand (3,000) armed men and three hundred (300) fighter horses with the sole aim of exterminating the Muslims so as to totally erase Islam on the surface of the earth. The prophet (S.A.W) then told his followers that even though the total number of muslims at that time was not up to the number of enemy soldiers who were up in arms against them, Allah would give the Muslims victory if they prayed to the only God and followed the rules he was about to lay down for them in their quest to defend their lives.Â According to one of the most reliable and widely accepted Hadiths (books of traditions) of the holy prophet (S.A.W), Hadith Al-Bukhari, the prophet declared to his followers:
â€œIn the name of Allah and in the way of Allah, fight against those who blaspheme Him. Behold! Commit no breach of promise, nor of trust, nor kill their children, women, old men on the verge of death, nor the recluse in the hermitage, and do not cut down date trees, nor demolish any building.â€
Those are the rules to be strictly observed in war situations as laid down by Allah (S.W.T) and His prophet (S.A.W). But to show how ungodly and anti-Islam the Jos killers were, they violated all these rules. They killed children, women, and the aged. They burnt houses and destroyed other properties. They even tricked the villagersâ€™ men away so as to freely kill the children and women without hindrance! I swear by Allah, if those murderers were Muslims, they ceased to be Muslims the moment they started killing children and women, and surely hell fire is their final abode unless they repent now and atone for their sins.
They also allegedly claimed they perpetrated and continue to perpetrate the act for revenge! Hear the prophetâ€™s verdict which was delivered during his last hajj sermon to all the people across Arabia as contained in the Hadith: â€œBehold! All practice of the days of ignorance are now under my feet. Your blood, your property and your honour are as sacred as this day, this month and this city. Abolished also is the practice of spilling blood for revenge. Verily you will soon meet your Lord and you will be held answerable for your actionsâ€.
The following should be held responsible for this heinous crime against humanity: The Federal Government of Nigeria, which alone controls all the security apparatus of the country, and its principal officials; the National Assembly and all the states houses of assembly who have irresponsibly abandoned Jos people to their fate; all agencies and their principal agents charged with the duties of intelligence gathering, vigilance, law enforcement, and security of life and property are all as guilty as the actual perpetrators and their despicable sponsors.
All Islamic scholars and civilized Muslims who ought to have been everywhere, organizing sensitization programmes and protests to condemn the anti-Islamic killings but instead choose to keep quiet in the face of this show of madness that is painfully giving Islam a bad image should know that they will all be held answerable in the day of judgement. And all those who condemned the vicious acts in public but back the perpetrators behind closed doors are themselves despicable and shall receive their reward.
All civil groups, religious organizations, pressure groups, human rights organizations, labour unions and non-government organizations, which have not deemed it fit to stage rallies, street protests and industrial action in order to demand justice for Jos people are not doing justice to humanity. Cursed also is the whole country and her citizens who reprehensibly pretend as if all is well with us and show no concern for the plight of the beleaguered Jos indegenes but instead devote attentions to less important engagements such as politicking for 2011, World Cup participation, beauty and fashion events, National (dis)honour awards, independence anniversary jamboree among other frivolous activities.
All the persons and gropus mentioned shall eternally remain guilty of the cold murder of those innocent children and women unless and until all the culprits and their sponsors are brought to book. The blood of the massacred is crying for justice and unless justice is done the favour of God may elude this country.
â€¢Mallam Isawade is an indegene of Gbongan, Osun State, Nigeria. He could be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.