FEATURE: Biroms and the murder of the innocents

Nigerians are crying out on the monstrous murder of innocent road users that dare pass by their villages. Not much of concern has been heard or seen from the side of the authorities until recently when they clamped down on a retired army general.

While in search of him, it was discovered that many innocent people have played victims to such coldblood murder. Now more and more people are speaking out and out of guilt, the army is defending itself on not doing enough to secure innocent lives and property.

The following is one of such cry outs written as a feature.

Few weeks ago, Brigadier General Alkali was reported missing. The military authorities maintained that his signal was last spotted in Jos. The military sprang into action, which led them to a pond in Du, a Berom village. There were unsuccessful attempts by people from the village to stop or frustrate the search.

After days of painstaking search that involves draining the pond, the general’s car was discovered inside the pond, along with some of his belongings. The pond was turned into a mini mass grave where the remains of other victims was found. Unsuspecting passersby are blocked, killed and dumped into the pond, never to be found or heard again.

This is the story of the Plateau conflict. There are many stories of missing people who shared the terrible fate of General Alkali. They were ordinary citizens and therefore their disappearance and murder was never investigated.

Yet the Berom ethnic group always claim victimhood, portraying themselves as victims of relentless Fulani attacks. But the passersby they stopped and killed within Berom territory may not even be Fulani and have nothing to do with the Plateau crisis. You only need to look Hausa-Fulani or Muslim to be their victim.

This is what we get when we politicise national security challenges. Berom and Fulani had a history of peaceful coexistence and even inter-marriages, until politics and conflict entrepreneurs like Jonah Jang stepped in to put a knife on the bond that holds our people together.

Given the attempt by people in the village to stop and frustrate the search, it is clear that the community has something to hide. This is an organized communal violence unlike armed robbery or kidnapping by criminal elements.The community knew about the killings, hence the attempt to resist the search. The community leaders must be made to face the full wrath of the law.

Extrajudicial killings should never go unpunished irrespective of their perpetrators and victims. When a killing involves the deliberate murder of members of the Nigerian armed forces, it is a direct assault on Nigeria’s sovereignty and those responsible must face the harshest consequences. The FG must send a clear and forceful message so that no community will contemplate killing a soldier (or any Nigerian) again.

Ahmed Musa Hussaini

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