November 29, 2020
The horrific killing of at least 43 rice farmers at Zabarmari in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno State has sparked fresh call for the sacking of the country’s service chiefs by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Boko Haram had on Saturday reportedly killed the rice farmers in the village near Maiduguri, the state capital.
The terrorists were reported to have first tied up the farmers, who were working in rice fields, before slitting their throats.
Buhari had in a statement last night through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, condemned the killing by the terrorists as ‘insane’ and ‘senseless’.
The retired general also said he has given all the needed support to the armed forces to take necessary steps to protect the country’s population and its territory.
But tired of rhetorics, grieving Nigerians have taken to the social media to slam the President and his service chiefs over their collective and repeated failure to secure lives and property in the country.
The concerned persons also insisted that the President sack the service chiefs and rejig the country’s security apparatus.
Salihu Yakasai, Special Adviser on Media to the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, said it was shameful that nobody has been sacked a day after the tragedy.
The Kano governor’s aide, who tweeted @dawisu, wrote, “If this doesn’t move you to tears, I don’t know what will. 43 souls woke up and went to earn a living, only to be slaughtered like rams. 24 hours later, nobody has been sacked, no major action taken, and in another 24 hours, the outcry will end and we will move on.”
TV host, Morayo Afolabi-Brown, wrote, “If Buhari does not sack the service chiefs over the brutal killing of these farmers, then our lawmakers need to start talking about impeachment.”
Social commentator, Gimba Kakanda, also knocked the President for not addressing the nation on the tragedy.
“The first thing Buhari ought to have done today was appearing on TV, bearing the pain of the people he had failed, to announce the sack of his overstaying service chiefs,” Kakanda stated, adding that “even our military Heads of State didn’t take the country for granted as Buhari has.”
Another user, @SodiqTade, also commented, “Anything outside sacking the service chiefs is not a positive action to me. Buhari should sack these men and not having meetings with them. The meetings have never and will never be productive.”
@josanyaolu kicked against the deradicalisation of former terrorists by the Federal Government. “It is clear that the service chiefs lack the know-how to tackle insurgency in the north, we need big bold ideas, no amnesty for terrorist,” he wrote.
On his part, popular comedian and #EndSARS campaigner, Debo Adebayo also known as Mr Macaroni, tweeted, “We are either being killed by terrorists or by security operatives. Either ways, the country isn’t safe. Where is the government when you need them? Oh I forgot! They are busy oppressing Nigerian youths.”
The Senate had in the past asked the service chiefs to step down following the worsening killings of civilians and soldiers in parts of northern Nigeria.
But the Presidency had disagreed, saying it is the prerogative of the President to appoint and sack the service chiefs.
Some of current service chiefs include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar; and Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The PUNCH reports that Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, at the burial of the rice farmers today, described the carnage as a very sad one while expressing his sympathies to the families of the victims.
He also asked the Federal Government to “ensure recruitment of more our youths in the Civilian Joint Task Force and hunters into the Nigerian military as well as the Civil Defence so that they can form part of the agro rangers that will protect farmers.”
“We need many boots to protect farmlands and our youths understand the terrain. We will not lose hope because we have to remain optimistic about ending the insurgency” Zulum added.