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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Discourse 341: Who KIlled General Shuwa?

Discourse 341@@@ By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde@@@ Who Killed General Shuwa?@@@ This article explores the possibility of another theory and calls for a panel of investigation into his death to be set up by the Federal Government.@@@ When the Nigerian Civil War veteran and hero, General Muhammadu Shuwa, was killed at his residence in Maiduguri on 2 November 2012, the official narrative implicated Boko Haram. Nobody expected a different version. Yet, many doubted the authenticity of the story. The truth, people believed, will unfold in the course of time.@@@ The doubt stemmed from a number of facts. First, General Shuwa did not have the credentials of would place him on the Boko Haram hit list. Not at all. He has distinguished himself by leading a quiet life among his people, far away from the Government Reserved Areas of Maiduguri, Kaduna, Lagos or Abuja. He lived in the neighbourhood of the less privileged where his relatives and commoners reside. This has enchanted him to everyone in the city. He does not comment on national issues or indulge in our corrupt and self-seeking politics. He does not go about begging Nigerian heads of state, presidents or governors. Like him or hate him, he was the quintessential elder statesman, a rare gem among his peers, many of whom returned from war to milk the country dry and sink it in the bloody sea of disintegrative politics after their enviable war records as champions of its unity. Even on the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency, Shuwa has not uttered a word in public. When all is considered, General Shuwa was one of the most ineligible victims of Boko Haram.@@@ The above could be dismissed as mere speculation by the authorities, but not after his brother shocked the public with graphic details of the scene of his assassination. What invites our minds to abandon the official tale of Boko Haram culpability is the unfortunate role the Nigerian military played - or failed to play - in aiding his assassination: its personnel failed to stop it when they were right there, on its spot. The assassins appeared, only two of them, before the armless old man, unexpectedly, when he was receiving a prayer from a passerby. Shouting Allahu Akbar, they gunned him down and kicked him to confirm that he was dead before walking away, laughing, not shouting Allahu Akbar anymore. His guards – some eight heavily armed soldiers – that were at the scene did not put up any resistance. They stayed put and watched the murder of the master they were sent to protect. Neither did they give the two assassins any chase. It is this dereliction of duty – a deliberate room for allow murder – that made the official narrative of ‘boko haram’ assassins an unpalatable pie to ingest.@@@ It did not take time before Boko Haram denied the charge of killing the General just as the Defence Headquarters was equally quick in denying the complicity of its agents. One question remains unanswered though: why did not the soldiers put any resistance?@@@ After following the activities of Boko Haram since it started its insurgency, I have learnt to concede it one thing: accepting its denial whenever it issues a disclaimer on any operation it did not undertake. Unfortunately, the world is reluctant to accord the Nigerian military the same veracity status because it has earned a notorious reputation of denying even the most obvious. Just last week when Reuters released a video of some Nigerian soldiers executing people on the street, the military spokesman instinctively denied the charge even before watching the video. Nigerian soldiers cannot do that, he said – that is all – and he expects the world to believe him. The people of Maiduguri, like those of Zaki Biam and Odi before them and, indeed, other Nigerians as well, will definitely find it difficult to swallow this claim.@@@ Horrendous things have been reported from Maiduguri in the last two years. Unarmed civilians are trapped in their neighbourhoods and killed by people wearing military uniforms. The military authorities denied carrying out the executions, as they denied the rapes that were reported by foreign media at the debut of their intervention in the conflict. Markets were burnt to ashes by armed men in uniforms. Ordinary citizens are subjected to a constant regime of harassment. Again and always, it is one denial after another from the Joint Task Force and the defence headquarters. Even where accounts were given by human right groups such as Human Rights Watch, the denial never ends.@@@ What the Nigerian military cannot deny is that these atrocities are happening in areas under its effective control and continuous surveillance. All roads leading to General Shuwa’s house have roadblocks manned by Nigerian soldiers. And so is his house to date. (One wonders what the soldiers are still doing there) Yet his assassins could comfortably scale through the roadblocks and kill the general right before the eyes of his military guards, unrestrained by their presence, unconstrained by their guns and superior demography of eight to two – and walk away laughing with impunity.@@@ I think the military authorities and the government should wake up and start exploring other possibilities that could be behind these atrocities, not least the possible involvement of some elements in the military in the death of General Shuwa. This is what many Nigerians are doing. The military can take exceptions to this inquisition only at the peril of totally losing the confidence of the Nigerian public. Given the variegated nature of its cultural composition and its factional history, it is naïve to think that every Nigerian soldier has shed off the garbage of ethnicity and history from his shoulders. They are human, after all. People are therefore asking whether Shuwa was a victim of some kind of vengeance. Does his civil war record leave an enduring bitterness in someone, for instance? They now ask these questions not only because of their sheer possibility but also because of the indifference that his guards showed during his murder.@@@ This strong speculation can only be dismissed after the government has carried out a thorough investigation into his murder, digging out the reasons for the nonchalance of his soldier guards and the identity of the real culprits. Anybody can shout Allahu Akbar as he shoots his victim to confuse his identity with that of Boko Haram, as did the Christian who attempted to burn his church in Calabar last year. Outright denial and pointing an accusing finger at Boko Haram alone will not suffice. It is either a rebuttal – denial backed with convincing evidence – or a revelation of the unalloyed truth. Anything short of that will continue to leave the gates of the rational mind open to all sorts of possibilities, including that of an attack from outside space.@@@ If the armed men that burn markets in Maiduguri, rape women, execute youths before the eyes of their parents in the middle of the night and kill war veterans like Shuwa are neither Nigerian soldiers nor Boko Haram, then could they be aliens from a neighbouring country – as Governor Jang often claim in his state – or some creatures from outside space? And who can save us from their wrath other than the Nigerian military? But the same military was at the spot where Shuwa was killed and its boys declined to put up any fight.@@@ It is not uncommon to find people expressing the view that Boko Haram or a part of its dimensions is nothing but an orchestration to destroy the North – its people and its economy. The circumstances of Shuwa’s death will definitely add fuel to the fire of this conspiracy theory. Only a full investigation by a body independent of the Nigerian military will discount it.@@@ Panel of Investigation@@@ In view of the above, I would like to raise two points in the concluding part of this article. One, there is the need for the federal government to investigate the death of General Shuwa. A panel should be set up under the chairmanship of a prudent, unbiased personality. Its members should include, among others, officials of the Borno State government, Borno Emirate Council, Borno Council of Elders, a representative of civil society and a veteran of the Civil War. This is a call that should be heard loudly coming from other civil war veterans, members of the Borno Elders Forum, the Arewa Consultative Forum and every champion of social justice.@@@ This matter must not be left in the hands of the defence headquarters. The military has already given its outcome that many of us are not satisfied with. It is hard to see it revoking that verdict and issuing a new ruling on the case. Since its personnel were involved – through negligence or connivance – the military as an institution has a case to answer before the panel. Government must not allow it to be a judge in its own cause.@@@ This investigation will not be of benefit to the relations of Shuwa alone. It is likely to unravel the identity of the mysterious soldiers who commit other atrocities in Borno and Yobe States that involved many innocent but less privileged Nigerians than Shuwa. The Nigerian military may also find the report important to its operations against Boko Haram.@@@ General Shuwa is dead. May God forgive him! The other point is that I would not like to accuse him of naivety at this moment when our prayer is all he needs. But I will dare suggest so for the benefit of others. A war for a general does not end with peace but with his death.@@@ With the death of Shuwa under questionable circumstances, we are challenged to review his status vis-à-vis his military career: Was he a hero of the war for Nigerian unity or its latest victim or both? Some would say he lived as a war hero and might have died as its victim forty-four years later.@@@ The controversy may never end until the truth is told. And the truth will always surface no matter how long it takes. We remain patient.@@@ 23 November 2012

27 comments:

Abdul Danja said...

Thank You very much for this insightful article as usual you have done justice to the topic under discussion. Maenwhile, i strongly agree with you that, the military authority has a case to answer, the government should set up an independent panel of enquiry to unravel all the attrocities committed by the military anywhere in the country in the name of peace keeping, as their neglegence/complicity is becoming too much.

GIDADO said...

It is realy suprising and a big shame to Nigerian army to give such a conclusion blaming BH when their men are fully responsible for guarding this man yet could not even make any attempt of stoping the killing of their boss

Anonymous said...

Dr Tilde, you have said it all. The killers of General shuwa is an open secret. Its so glaring to the extend that one can touch the truth.
9 soldiers against 2 unknown? Gunmen? That means our soldiers were not equal to the task!

Abdurrazaq Nakore said...

As the Hausa use to say: "Sai bango ya tsage .....
". The BH campaign of terror has given room to all manners of criminals; armed robbers, hired assassins and political thugs to hide under its name to commit attrocities. So whoever is behind the killing of Gen. Shuwa and many other attacks not claimed by BH may never be known not to talk of bringing them to justice. Let the leaders of the North find a way of sealing that crack on the wall so that the lizard would have no place to hide.

Huzaifa Sani Ilyas said...

I wonder, where were these armed guards of Shuwa? At least they should chase the killers. But nothing was done. It is really unfortunate. The whole scene is questionable. "Da dan gari a kan ci gari." There must be an insider or insiders.

Aminu Sani said...

Are you ppl trying to outline that the Fed Govt is not aware of what has been going on in that axis and the North in general?

Ibrahim Jidda Shuwa said...

Thank you very much Dr. Also a resident in Gen. Shuwa's house said the miltery guards in his house that stayed morethan six months were redepolyed and replaced with new militry personnel three days to his death. And the guards whn the incident happend are morethan ten soldiers, and morethan 10 JTF infront of a church close to his house, more than 15 opposite his street infront of mamy market and morethan 10 infront of immegration passport office and morethan 10 infront of Customs headquarters all in General Shuwa's area. And the road linking to shuwa's house was blocked that friday morning, the militery opened it not morethan 15 minutes the Gen was killed. So the militery has case to answer. Thank you Dr. Tilde.

Anonymous said...

Well articulated and cohesive article on a Nigerian veteran. I believe the important issues raised in this article will be given due attention to the unfolding circumstance leading to the death of this great Nigerian hero and war veteran.The issues raused will be investgated by the relevant authorities especially the setting of panel of investigation to the cause of death of the general

Anonymous said...

Its really shocking, this killing is done by the FG in connivance with Arm forces. They do it deliberately to achieve some of their goals.

Anonymous said...

"Kullu nafsu zaa'iqatul mautu" Who ever killed the General and who ever gave the instructions for him to be killed will also die. Whilst the General has died in the manner he was killed, those responsible do not know how and when they will "surely" die. Allah that created us neither sleeps nor does He slumber, he knows who were involved and the reason of their involvement. He SHALL definitely deal with them. May Allah forgive Gen. Shuwa and reward him with Al-jannat Fir Daus.

Anonymous said...

Speculations noble Dr. Your conclusions is based on faulty assumptions. God alone knows the truth.

Anonymous said...

I have already lost confidence on Nigerian army considering what is happening in Yobe & Borno. They killed, maim, rape & rob ppl in those areas. Its really unfortunate.

NUHU GIDADO said...

We may not have it your way Dr. but, your outpouring is, certainly, prickly enough for the conscience (if any) of the perpetrators of these evils that keep escalating. I just pray the hidden truth/agenda will not unfold when it is too late.

Miss B said...

The problem is nobody seems to know what is going on any more. We have conspiracy theories thrown in our faces from left right and center. Boko haram, political leaders or the military, we may never be able to know who is responsible for what. Nigeria is in turmoil, we need God now more than ever to salvage the situation. When I read blogs, articles or news items about Nigeria, it all seems surreal, and worst of all comparable to volatile countries like Pakistan or Iraq. We seriously need some form of divine intervention.

Anonymous said...

Excellent write-up Dr. I just want to look at another option. The good General was killed just after two "distingusihed" senators were trading blames and disowning one of their own in fact one of them addmitted a blood rerelationship with a BH commander arrested in his house. If you may recall Sir, immediately after the murder of the General attention moved elsewhere. Is it not possible that the General was killed to change the subject of discourse in the public square, from the arrest of BH nephew of a Senator to the death of a Hero. Well like you unravelling this truth is a task that must be done by FGN.

Alyasa'a Hassan said...

A war for a general does not end with peace.... but with his death. He live as a veteran general and hero of all times. Surely this controversy will never end until the truth is prevail. Of course we will not remain silence, we only remain patience.

Ibrahim Hassan Gusau said...

May Allah forgive him and reward him with Jannat. Dr. may Allah protect you in this noble course of callin-a-spade-a-spade. History will reveal the truth Insha Allah.

Ibrahim Hassan Gusau said...

If only our so-called Northern Leaders can come out from their shell of shame to speak out in the face of injuistice and tyrany, the calamity of insecurity that befall the North could have been avertd. "IN ZAKA FADI FADI, FADI GASKIYA, KIMI TAKA JA MAKA TA BIYA"

Anonymous said...

Please ascribe some level of intelligence to the so called unknown killers. If you were in their shoes, who would be your first target? The military guys of course. So, the idea that there were 8 Military guys on the ground does not make any sense except if the killers are military men too which leads to the second poser. if the killers are military men, with the public awareness of their presence in the compound and the neighbourhood would they be ignorant of the fact that the accusing fingers will point at them. You also talked as if the JTF consists of soldiers from one particular ethnic group or religion. Instead of rabble rousing and formulating conspiracy theory where there is none focus your attention on how the unfortunate wave of insecurity in the North can be tackled. It is Gen Shuwa today, who knows whose turn it will be tomorrow. May the gallant soul of Gen Shuwa rest in peace, may God condole his family and may God look upon our dear country with mercy. Amen

A.B. Ibrahim said...

Yes Dr Tilde your assertions are apt. But recall even Mr. President confirmed that BH has many faces: seen in the civilians, army, police, security agents etc. These days you do not hear any crime in Nigeria other than those committed by BH. The crises has really escalated into a complex dimension with the Government remaining clueless as to what to do. I'm personally wondering over the idea of the price tag on the leaders of the BH by the Army. I hope an innocent one would not be gunned down as one of the BHs and someone goes around to claim the money. The case of BH in Nigeria today is only God can expose the truth.

Raji Yola said...

The only voice of the voiceless may you live long to continue the struggle certainly victory is close

Aliyu Dange said...

This insightful story has raised more questions than answers over who killed the ex-Gen. The assasination of the late Gen. Shuwa could have been averted if those JTF military officers and men stationed at several points and the body guards attached to his house lived up to their duties. Infact, they should be held responsible for the killing. So many accusing fingers are being pointed at those Easterners!

Aliyu U. S. said...

The gentle shove that was gathering momentum is gaining speed to a push! Unknown gunmen or unknown soldiers? Where are we really heading to?

Wasaka said...

What is Tilde driving at, ethnic insinuation. Be it as you may think no apologies, Yes an Igbo man is COAS and you are not comfortable with his position now this cobweb of conspiracy. The general's brother killed him and now you want to drag the Igbos into your foolish acts. You will not succeed. Intellectual poverty period.

Anonymous said...

Dr Tilde u re always for ur own nomatter hw bad it is,to u it not bad since it urs,What wil Nigeria army or the fed govt gain in killing Gen Shuwa? If they do then the reason must b essential to PDP cause d old man is said to be ANPP strong man who is nt in gud time wit Gen.Buhari's CPC, i knw u rfuse to mention this bcos u prefare to shift d blame to an outsider. I stand wit Abdulrazzak,sai bango ya tsage lik just u insist & campaign against military operation in jos only for them to find some terrorist hidding wit wicked weapon in d bush afta vacatin d people those communities,more of d issue of Gen Shuwa's murder wil unfold itself.

Chinedu Vincent Akuta said...

After answering the questions about who killed Gen. Shuwa,the next project,should be how to put to an end these high profile killings in Nigeria.For the past 10 years,the killings have more than escalated,without the authorities finding the killers.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you chinedu , now what ? The government really knew what's happening just recently they put a money tag to so called faceless Bh , how comes? ! What ever be the reason which I believe must of us knew ,those making money out of this killing wont find it easy to let go such huge. Amount of security votes neither the original designers of the BH project , the truth is north NIgeria as an entity is a threat to the big power players in the world it's continuing existence Must be stopped in order to make sure no country what's so ever can or would be powerful in any region block ,continent or in the world at large.
For us Muslims we must think twice look around in the world now were is war wedged is only in Muslim lands as such if it's life property or development at large it can only affect us .
Libya,EGhypt,Syria. Sudan, now northern NIgeria since the coming of Jonathan, ?