An eye for an eye will make most of the world blind. – Moshe Dayan, former Israeli Minister of Defence, more famous as the one-eyed general

Alhaji  Muhammad Danjuma Goje, Governor of Gombe State supports the killing of the Boko Haram leaders. He also professes his respect for human rights, but Boko Haram has to be treated devoid of human rights.

The Governor shared his thoughts with the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.  “Anyone who kills must definitely die, no matter how. I don’t understand the hype this thing is generating, we should rather commend the efforts of the security operatives for getting to the top of the situation.

“These people have killed innocent souls just because they wanted everybody to be in their camp. I am a victim of their dastardly act, as one of my cousins, a promising young man, who was getting to the top of his God-chosen career, as a police officer, was killed by those people in Maiduguri. We should not pity them at all. They killed and so they should be killed too”.

Governor  Goje is not the only one taking the path of revenge, but his views, expressed to the journalists was also a reprimand for them to put human rights in proper perspective, instead of taking the foreign meaning of human rights.

What are we supposed to make of this type of position, from the Governor who was expected to defend the law? Was Governor Goje emotional about the matter because he lost a cousin in the riots? Is the law safe under the protection of a Governor who holds this inciting position?

Suspects have rights. These rights are in our Constitution, which in Section 33 (I) gives only the courts the powers to rule on taking life.

The best explanation for suggesting Boko Haram leaders be punished summarily is that they should die, just as they have dispatched many to their graves.

After President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua decided to probe the riots that pushed the country towards the edge, as these uprisings always do, some have defended the actions of the security agencies as patriotic in all their ramifications.

They reason that stopping the riots, and saving lives, were more important than the means and methods of achieving law and order. No matter what the debates are, there are laws guiding this society. We may have descended to a level of lawlessness that ignores these laws, but that is not a good reason for disobeying the law.

Life is important, without duplicate and the finality of decisions that involve taking life must reflect a sobriety that appreciates the terminal consequences of the action. The laws are there to ensure an orderly manner for decisions on life.

Emotions run high on matters of life. It is another sound reason to make legal judgements about life. We must all find the patience to obey the law. Aberrations like Boko Haram cannot form the legal norms of society.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.