On the day of opposition candidate General Muhamadu Buhari’s rally in Maiduguri, Borno state, there were some unusual and ultimately deadly events that have caused anxiety and anguish among concerned Nigerians. We believe the events of Monday the 16th February, 2015 that led to the death of as many as ten civilians must be independently investigated.
According to the details provided to us from volunteer civilians; on the day of Buhari’s campaign, as a holiday had been announced in Borno state, the people around Umaru Shehu Hospital in Bullumkuttu apprehended a group of soldiers “attempting to smuggle arms under the cover of the Buhari rally,” and possibly to “create chaos.”
The soldiers did not disclose the true content of the two impounded vehicles that some civilian accounts say were maneuvering to join the General Buhari campaign train.
Upon inspection of the vehicles, the Civilian-JTF discovered that the vehicles were contained arms and explosives. According to video evidence obtained by ENDS.ng, it was at the point where the Civilian-JTF discovered it was “ammunition,” and made the pronouncement, the army began to fire directly on the civilians, killing them.
The army has denied significant aspect of these details and in some releases, denied it in entirety. Contrary to the military’s claims as contained in some media reports, the bonfire was set by a new larger wave of youth after the initial civilians inspected the vehicles and were killed as shown in the video evidence, and not before and ‘leading to the murders.’
In lieu of this and the evidence now available, we will like an investigation into:
1, Why the Nigerian army would transport dangerous weaponry and explosives in a leased private vehicle in Borno war territory.
2, If indeed Nigerian military transport trucks had all broken down as contained in some media reports, we will like to know the protocol and if the Nigerian army permits the transport of such dangerous material in private vehicles.
3, While appreciating the elections-aggressive phase of the war against Boko Haram, at last embarked upon by the Nigerian army, we will like to know why this transport of dangerous artillery and explosives in private vehicles was scheduled for the day of General Buhari’s political rally in Maiduguri.
4, We will like to know exactly the full detail of the military escort for this consignment, to understand why Civilians could easily, twice subdue it. As reference, we have seen the escort for senator Ali Modu Sheriff in comparison which could not be subdued in similar fashion even by a large army.
5, We will like to know why the Civilians were directly fired at and not scared off with shots in the air.
6, We will like to know why the Civilians were fired at, at exactly the point where they discovered the true contents (ammunition) of the vehicles.
7, We would like to know why it has been reported that members of the army were engaging in unruly behavior across the town on the day of Buhari’s rally, impounding vehicles without cause and as some opined, attempting to instigate riots and violence.
8, Finally we request an account of all army vehicles able to ferry this type of load and for a full army budget allocation and spending audit to account for military expenditure and determine why the Nigerian army vehicles broke down ‘leading to the lease of private vehicles’ for suspicious transport of dangerous material.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something] Email: email@example.com Twitter: @EveryNigerian