Monday, February 15, 2010

Tension in Borno over Al-Jazeera Boko Haram video

Borno is tension-soaked after Al-Jazeera released a video showing persons in police uniforms ordering the killings of unarmed civilians in the Boko Haram sectarian crisis.

Over 1,000 people were believed to have died and properties destroyed.

The footage obtained by Al-Jazeera shows that many of the deaths occurred once the fighting was over in Borno, Yobe, Kano and Bauchi states in July and August 2009.

Al-Jazeera, a renowned international cable network based in Qatar, released the video about the August 2009 mayhem early last week. The video clippings also revealed how persons suspected to be policemen were discussing how not to shoot one of the victims in the head so they could take away his hat.

Claims by Al-Jazeera that elements of the police and army staged a follow-up operation in which house-to-house searches were conducted and individuals were apparently selected at random and taken to a police station have caused stir in Borno, forcing security agencies to beef up security across the state and warning people against violence.

Borno government and the state police command declined comment, but many have accused the Al-Jazeera of deliberately spreading mischief and wanting to incite violence in the country.

While the video clips of the shooting of arrested persons by the police rented the Al-Jazeera airwaves during the week, many in Borno state continued to react in mixed feelings as memories of the ill-fated Boko Haram massacre in opposition to westernisation flooded back to torment victims and their relatives.

Though the situation in Maiduguri, the state capital, has remained calm as the police have since been on security surveillance, many residents fear the video could stir the hornet's nest.

The fear is worsened by the January ethno-religious crisis in Jos, the Plateau State capital, where hundreds were killed.

Most people contacted from within the government circle declined comments on the Al-Jazeera video clips, but hinted at the possibility of Borno Government investigating the cable network "to ascertain why they chose to broadcast the video clips of crisis eight months after the people of the state have gotten over their traumas. This is a mischief that is unbecoming of a reputable media outfit like Al-Jazeera."

The state deputy governor was quoted in the Al-Jazeera broadcast as defending the alleged actions of the police and the military during the religious strife.

According to him, the military and the police who are being paid with tax payers' money can only protect the citizens and not shooting them.

That emerged as family of the late Baba Fugu Muhammed, the father-in -law of the fallen Boko Haram leader, Muhammed Yusuf, sued President Umaru Yar'Adua, Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister, Michael Aondoakaa, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ogbonna Onovo, for allegedly ordering the summary killing of their aged father during the massacre eight months ago. Baba Fugu was said to have been killed by the police on suspicion that he was a chief financier of his son-in-law's atrocity.

"They killed our innocent father on unfounded suspicion that he sponsored the sect," eldest son of the slain father-in-law, Alhaji Babakura Fugu, told Sunday Independent.

"That is why we are approaching the court as defender of the weak. They not only killed my father, they also destroyed our expansive family house, rendering our mothers homeless. This is cruel, and we won't let it go unchallenged," Babakura added.

Babakura said his father had earlier on told authorities of Yusuf's unbecoming behaviour and later voluntarily reported to the police station after he was accused of bankrolling the sect. "But rather than act on the information my father gave them, they ended up killing him," he stated.

In the suit filed before a Borno State High Court 3, he and his siblings accused Yar'Adua, the Attorney-General, Police Chief and State Governor of complicity in the extra-judicial killing of their father and destruction of their properties.

Presiding judge in the case, Justice Mohammed Mustapha, has granted them exparte motion to serve all the accused the notice of summon.

Anayo Adide, counsel to the litigant, said the President is sued for issuing the order that led to the alleged extra-judicial killing of people in the state, while the state government is joined in the suit for ordering the destruction of the Fugu family compound.

"The IGP is considered a major culprit for allowing police to shoot their father alongside many others in what was extra-judicial murder that is punishable under our law. The Federal and State Attorneys General were joined in the suit for allowing the breach of constitutional rights of the people during the Boko Haram scuffle," he added.

Daily Independent

Related stories: Video and transcript of Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf interrogated before his execution

Video report on the widows of Boko Haram militants

 Video report on latest counter attack by Nigerian security forces on radical Islamist group Boko Haram

Residents worry about their future in Jos


  1. I must believe that you are ignorant of what you are try to build! please go and have a justice of islamic knowledge. let me ask you, do you think is lawful in Islam for muslim lady to marry a non-muslim fellow or do you have any backing proves to acersions? what do you know about Gumi?

  2. you are such an idiot you don't know anything about islam