When Nigerian Air Force ‘Accidentally’ Bombed 236 Persons In Borno, Muslim Northerners Kept Quiet Under Buhari – US-Based Scholar, Kperogi | NwokeukwuMascot

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 Farooq Kperogi 

Nigerian-American professor, Farooq Kperogi, has said that when in January 2017, the Nigerian Air Force “mistakenly” dropped two bombs on Rann, Borno State, which killed 236 civilians, there was “pin-drop silence from the Muslim North.”

Kperogi, an activist and author, in his article on Saturday stated that some northern scholars had suddenly found their voice to reel out ethnic-religious sentiments in the wake of the latest accidental bombing by the Nigerian military in Tudun Biri, Kaduna State.

The US scholar noted that it was hypocritical for the northern leaders to suddenly become vocal elements under a southern presidency and paint the accidental bombing as ethno-religious cleansing.

Kperogi wrote, “It should be made clear from the outset that I am overwrought with immense grief by the heartbreaking but unintentional killing of 126 innocent men, women, and children celebrating Maulud at Tudun Biri village in Kaduna State on December 3. Nothing can compensate for this. No excuse can rationalize it. And the outrage that this issue has generated against the Tinubu government is richly justified.

“But it’s oddly hypocritical that there are suddenly vocal elements from the North—particularly the Muslim North, which went into a dreamless slumber during Buhari’s reign of bloodshed—carrying on as if this cruel, indefensible, even if involuntary, killing of innocent Muslims in the name of fighting outlaws is unprecedented.

“Well, on January 17, 2017, the Nigerian Air Force also “mistakenly” dropped two—yes, two— bombs on an IDP camp in Rann, Borno State, which killed 236 innocent men, women, and children, according to Human Right Watch Nigeria’s revised estimate as reported by the Voice of America on January 24, 2017. The Nigerian military said it mistook the poor refugees for Boko Haram terrorists.

“There was pin-drop silence from the Muslim North—and from the same people who’re—or pretend to be— outraged by and bent out of shape about what happened at Tudun Biri. Those of us who ranted and raved in righteous rage about it because Muhammadu Buhari showed scant concern for the lives that were snuffed out by the military he was commander-in-chief of were hushed up, harassed, attacked, and defamed.

“All that Buhari did after more than 200 civilians were killed by two Nigerian Air Force bombs was to delegate an aide to issue a familiarly stereotyped expression of “regret” through his Twitter handle. Neither he nor his deputy physically traveled to Borno State to condole with and comfort the people.

“There has been no presidential broadcast from Tinubu, but there was a presidential visit to bereaved families, yet the Tudun Biri tragedy has attracted more attention and anger in the North than the Rann one did. It’s obvious what’s responsible for the double standards: the ethno-regional identity of the president.

“Had Buhari—or, for that matter, any northern Muslim been president when the Tudun Biri Maulud merry makers were involuntarily killed by the military, there would have been no expression of indignation from most of the people who are hyperventilating now.

“Although Sheikh Ahmad Gumi was consistently critical of the Muhammadu Buhari government for eight years, which he undermined with his curious defense of bandits, he is increasingly coming across as merely using the Tudun Biri as an outlet to ventilate pent-up ethno-regional anxieties about a southern presidency.

“That’s also true of former National Health Insurance Scheme DG/CEO Professor Usman Yusuf who became critical of the Buhari regime only after he was fired from his position. He is now furtively religionizing and regionalizing the Tudun Biri mass deaths.

“Finally, Bashir Ahmad, former special assistant on digital communications to Muhammadu Buhari who saw no evil during Buhari’s reign suddenly went into an amnesic, conspiratorial frenzy over the Tudun Biri tragedy on Twitter. Thankfully, people shut him up by reminding him of Rann where 236 Muslims in IDP camps were mistakenly bombed to a cinder when Buhari was president and Buhari didn’t deem it worth his while to visit the survivors. When your sense of rage and outrage is activated or suppressed by the primordial identity of the person in power, you have no conscience.”


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