By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum ( AYCF) has told Governor Nasiru Ahmad El-Rufai of Kaduna State that carpet bombing has never been a successful military operation in history.
President of the AYCF, Shettima Yerima, said in a statement that what the Governor was advocating as a means of exterminating the bandits occupying our ungoverned forests; could best be described as his personal opinion.
While reminding that the El-Rufai option could result in an intolerable human condition, Yerima argued that “well, I’m among Nigerians eager to see an end to the ongoing bloodshed and kidnappings in the North. I feel deeply touched by the magnitude and frequency of bandits attacks.”
“But I see the El-Rufai suggestion as his personal opinion and not drawn from any example known to historians studying conflicts, insurgencies and banditry bombing campaign.”
“So, it is easier said than done and I thought El-Rufai would seek the opinion of historians or run a random search in the archives to find where carpet-bombing has ever succeeded,” he said.
Taking a historical perspective, the youth leader said “Vietnam is one popular example of the failure of carpet bombing. It never worked and the use of chemicals as a follow-up to the carpet bombing strategy came with even huge cost and loss.”
“Secondly, what is the budget estimate of trying an option that has never worked before? It could be quite expensive and many experts believe that the Nigerian government cannot, at this point afford such a move.”
“The experts have even warned that the El-Rufai option would involve intolerable human and animal collateral damages,” he said.
El-Rufai was quoted to have said “I have always believed that we should carpet-bomb the forest; we can re-plant the trees after but, let’s carpet-bomb the forests, kill all of them. There will be collateral damage but it’s better to wipe them out and bring peace back to our communities so that agriculture and rural economies can pick up than to continue this touch and go, touch and go isolated responses to banditry.”
The Governor’s comment has continued to attract reaction from groups, individuals and associations over the last 48 hours.