April 2, 2022

Chinelo, another  Kaduna  casualty

Emeka Obasi

By Emeka Obasi

Tears and blood are all we see  daily in Kaduna while other states also receive regular doses of bloodbath, leaving the young, old, everyone, just everyone unsure of what tomorrow may bring.

Chinelo Nwando Megafu ended her journey, a casualty.Chinelo, a Dental Surgeon, was on the train to Kaduna, from Abuja with other 600 or so passengers. Bandits were on the trail and mined the rail tracks. The travelers did not get to their destination in one piece.

Eight of them were either shot dead or died of heart attack. Many were abducted. Some are still unaccounted for.Chinelo was shot but stayed strong. She was able to send a message across to the world. “ I am on the train, I have been shot. Please pray for me.”

Her phone was handy and the distress chat went viral. Unfortunately, the young woman could not make it.Another woman, Samira Mohammed was shot dead alongside men including Musa Lawal Ozigi, Akin Akinsola, both trade unionists and Abdu Kofar- Mata.

Children were also taken away. Maryam Bobo, her husband and four kids are yet to be located.

This is the story of Kaduna today. I am not going to play with words and emotions. This is beyond politics. The simple truth is that there is war in Kaduna and we should stop pretending about it.

Those we prefer to tag bandits but are indeed a well trained army of invaders have taken over Kaduna. Governor Nasir el Rufai may still sit as legitimate governor but de facto administration seems to be in the hands of the foreigners.

Foreigners, yes. Even el Rufai was once quoted as referring to them as non Nigerians. There is an orgy of violence all over the state. Southern Kaduna has been under attack for years.

The state capital is quite unsafe, those who live in the Croce city know it.All through the Civil War, Biafran forces never marched into Kaduna. The best Biafran Air Force did was to carry out early sorties or should I call them raids. No Biafran snipper could penetrate Kaduna which hosted major military formations.

Federal troops did not spare Biafra. For that attempt to hit Kaduna, bombs and bullets were showered on Biafran soldiers and civilians. It began in 1967 and did not end until 1970. Some of the the Nigerian fighter jets and bombers were manufactured in the old Soviet Union by Russians and Ukrainians.

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The United States did not join the Second World War until December 7, 1941. Japan attacked and destroyed the American Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. That was when the tide turned and it ruined the Japs.These so called bandits have attacked military bases in Kaduna.

They have attacked the airport. They have seized the highways and taken over the rail tracks. Kaduna is the base of Nigeria Army’s First Infantry Division. Elite military targets are in Jaji and Kachia.

I am also aware that President Muhammadu Buhari has a modest home in Kaduna. The import is that even our own dear president is not safe. And if Oga Patapata cannot move about freely in that town then a national emergency needs to be declared.I understand it is difficult to impose emergency rule with such impunity that was visited on Plateau and Ekiti States during the Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo years. That was politics.

The Kaduna situation now is beyond APC/ PDP muscle flexing.President Buhari has power under our constitution to declare war on the invading army in Kaduna and impose a state of emergency there. No consideration of the fate of the governor and the House of Assembly should come in.In a war situation, things change. The invaders are from Niger Republic, Chad, Mali or even Libya.

The Commander – in- Chief cannot fold his hands and watch Kaduna fall into the hands of foreigners. From Kaduna, they may take over the whole of the former Northern Region.

The Buhari I know is not afraid of war. He was in the battle field between 1967 and 1970. In the Second Republic, the president led Nigerian troops to Chad. He was going to take Ndjamena with his buddy, Col. Chris Ugokwe and supported in the air by Squadron Leader Ben Ekele and other dare devil Nigerian Air Force pilots.

Nigeria is at war. It is happening in the North today. It will come down the South soonest if these invaders are not checked. Victims have confirmed that these marauders speak more Arabic and French than other languages. I am aware that there is no deliberate government policy to make French compulsory in Northern Schools.

Mr. President just has to keep all these 2023 politicians away from Aso Villa for now. They may try to confuse him. Kaduna is in danger. Priority should be on stemming foreign aggression. War should consume politics for now.Chinelo is gone, with all her beauty and brain.

Samira is no more, there is no legal issue about her demise. She was killed by invaders. Akin will not come back. Musa has left us. All of them, failed by their country.

We cannot continue to live this dangerous way. Kaduna should be garrisoned by the Armed Forces and a war commander appointed by Gen. Buhari. Let us remove Southern Kaduna and religion from it.

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