By Fr Williams Kaura Abba
I have been watching the massive protests across the cities in America over the brutal killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd. These protests have been going on for the past 6 days and it will appear the protesters are unyielding and unrelenting. The “I can’t breathe” last words uttered in the shrill voice of the defenseless Floyd has trended over a million times on social media. Sadly, he is no longer on twitter Street to see of all this.
What is most instructive is that on the streets of America are blacks, browns, whites, and Caucasians, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, yes even free thinkers are all united in the protests and condemnation of the lynching of George Floyd. They are all united by one common humanity. A life has been unjustly taken in the most brutal fashion conceivable.
Fast track to Kajuru. A local government that has witnessed the brutal assassination of innocent men, women and children by people whose identity is usually shrouded in secrecy as “unknown gunmen or bandits”. Most of these victims, were strangled in the dead of the night while they slept. The arsonists, usually Fulani herdsmen terrorists, took it upon themselves to deny our Adara brothers and sisters not only their sleep and means of livelihoods, but also unconscionably seek to deny them the right to life and peaceful existence. As we watched our brothers and sisters been lowered into the earth, on those hurriedly dug mass graves across the villages in Adaraland, we must do some introspection.
Most telling, the chief security officer of the state does not even find it expedient to visit the crime scene in Kajuru and offer some comfort to the injured and relatives of the dead. No, he doesn’t give a damn and worries more about seeking to enforce the law prohibiting movement of vehicles while the lockdown lasts. Meanwhile, we have been told that COVID is not a death sentence. Juxtapose this with the reality of the fact that not far away from the seat of government, citizens of the state come face to face with death in the hands of men who clearly abhor peace.
As if to add insult to injury, the honorable chairman of the very local government whose business it is to defend those under his care in Kajuru has been churning out messages and press releases capable of questioning his state of mind. Should it always be all about political correctness even when your kith and kin are massacred and driven away from their ancestral homes?
Yet, not even as much as a “gathering” of decent men and women to disavow the barbarism of these sons of perdition in denunciation of these killings? In the midst of the lockdown in America on account of the Almighty COVID-19, Americans defied the restrictions and flooded the streets to pour out their anger and disapproval of the action of ONE cop. Yet many of such narcissistic “cops”, a rag tag army of killjoys and nincompoops are loitering our bushes and mauling down innocent men, women and children unchallenged with so much glee and fanfare. They are unstoppable. Or so they think.
The restriction wasn’t enough to deter the Americans. What then could have stopped us from protesting the killings of people in Gonan Rogo, Makyali, and the adjoining villages in Kallah? One blackman is killed in America and the whole country is brought to its knees. More than 30 people are killed in Kajuru LG over a 2-5 day period and not even a whimper by way of protest from us?
No, we rather watched away while we heard the shrill voices of our loved ones, clearly under the scorched and ugly knees of the terrorists saying “we can’t breathe” until they passed on with gun and machete wounds to their feeble bodies.
When shall we be sufficiently angry enough and rise to say enough is enough? When shall we see Muslims and Christians, Fulanis and tribes indigenous to their communities unite in unison to condemn this wickedness and sheer madness? It is only when the power of love rises above the power of hate, demonstrated by our common resolve, will we begin to have a semblance of sanity in our society.