Acquitting The Killers Of Bridget Agbahime is A Legitimisation Of Murder That Must Be Reversed
We the Igbo Ekunie Initiative (IEI) comprising individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora unequivocally condemn the acquittal of five suspects namely; Dauda Ahmed, Abdulmumeen Mustafa, Abdullahi Abubakar, Zubairu Abubakar and Musa Abdullahi who heinously murdered 74 year old Madam Bridget Agbahime from Imo state on the 2nd of June in Kano on the advice of the Kano state attorney general. This unconscionable travesty of justice once again demonstrates the long established legitimization of murder on ethnoreligious grounds in Northern Nigeria that has nurtured and sustained ethnoreligious killings in the northern part of Nigeria.
That an Attorney General vested with the responsibility to pursue justice in the murder of an innocent citizen by murderers has rather abdicated his responsibility in favour of the murderers represent the greatest example of state support and legitimization of murder on religious and ethnic grounds in the North. Coming on the heels of serial massacres by Fulani herdsmen across the southeast, south south, southwest and middle belt that has remained unpunished; we submit that the Kano state attorney general, the Northern establishment and ultimately the Buhari administration has overreached in their tolerance and support of mass murders of Christians and Nigerians of other ethnic groups.
Whereas this same administration was quick to arrest and prosecute one Mr Chinakwe just for naming his Dog Buhari within his constitutional rights; has likewise continued to detain Nnamdi Kanu against court orders simply for peacefully advocating self-determination, again within his constitutional rights, it’s telling that the same administration in a monumental manifestation of sectionalism, double standards, religious fanaticism and blatant bigotry has been willing to allow Fulani herdsmen and religious fanatics commit massacres without any consequence. It beggars belief that Northern leaders are yet to learn that this long-standing criminal legitimisation and or culture of murder on ethnoreligious grounds in the North is responsible for the later emergence of Boko haram and other nihilistic terrorist groups.
We note that while Cameroun, Chad, Niger, Senegal, Ghana and many African countries have large Muslim populations, its unheard of in any of those countries for Muslims to attack Christians or vice versa. This is so because neither the central authorities nor regional establishments in those countries have any tolerance for such dastardly acts. We submit therefore that ethnoreligious violence in Northern Nigeria notably since 1945 has been largely at the instance of support by large sections of Northern leadership. This is not only an egregious violation of the constitution it also constitutes a crime against humanity in grave breach of international statutes.
We also frown at Imo state government under Governor Rochas Okorocha for not lending any form of help to the family of late Bridget Agbahime. We call on the Imo state government to take the required steps to ensure that late Agbahime receives the justice that is her entitlement under the laws of Nigeria and bye-laws of Imo state. We, therefore, call on the Imo state Governor Rochas Okorocha to reach out to his counterpart in Kano state and ensure that justice is obtained for the deceased and her family.
We warn that this continuing mass killings/genocide condoned and legitimised by the Northern establishment and Buhari’s administration constitutes the greatest threat to national unity. We hereby call on the Attorney General of Nigeria and the Federal Government to immediately compel the Attorney General of Kano state to re-arrest and re-arraign the murderers of Bridget Agbahime. This is the irreducible minimum to uphold the rule of law without sentiments and restore confidence. We warn that a nation already so fragile; fraught as it is with myriad conflicts and separatist groups should not be pushed any further.
Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke
President Igbo Ekunie Initiative