50 Year Remembrance of a Nigerian Army’s Shameful Trademark – MASS MURDER OF CIVILIANS
“The Federal troops entered Asaba around October 5, and began ransacking houses and killing civilians, claiming they were Biafran sympathisers. Leaders summoned the townspeople to assemble on the morning of October 7, hoping to end the violence through a show of support for “One Nigeria.” Hundreds of men, women, and children, many wearing the ceremonial akwa ocha (white) attire paraded along the main street, singing, dancing, and chanting “One Nigeria.” At a junction, men and teenage boys were separated from women and young children, and gathered in an open square at Ogbe-Osowa village. Federal troops revealed machine guns, and orders were given, reportedly by Second-in-Command, Maj. Ibrahim Taiwo, to open fire. It is estimated that more than 700 men and boys were killed, some as young as 12 years old, in addition to many more killed in the preceding days.
The bodies of some victims were retrieved by family members and buried at home. But most were buried in mass graves, without appropriate ceremony. Many extended families lost dozens of men and boys. Federal troops occupied Asaba for many months, during which time most of the town was destroyed, many women and girls were raped or forcibly “married,” and large numbers of citizens fled, often not returning until the war ended in 1970″. – WIKIPEDIA
THE STORY OF THE ASABA MASSACRE OF OCTOBER 7, 1967
The Asaba massacre story is well-known and it is horrendous but it is, indeed, a tip of a big iceberg that is the mass murder of civilians by the Nigerian Army. Part of the long list includes:
1. CIVILIAN MASS MURDERS IN THE BIAFRAN ENCLAVE DURING THE WAR:
Very numerous mass murders of unarmed civilians were committed by the Nigerian Army during the civil war. These were perpetrated by the infantry in places occupied by the Nigerian Army and by the air force in unoccupied areas, through air raids (bombing and strafing with jet fighters) targeting full markets, hospitals, churches, refugee (IDP) camps, streets and other civilian areas away from the war front.
Listen to Lord Brockway in his question in the House of Lords England on 11 March 1969, at 2.36pm:
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations have been made to the Federal Government of Nigeria regarding the bombing of market places and hospitals in Biafra and the repudiations of periods of truce officially declared by General Gowon.]
He followed up after an initial answer:
My Lords, while acknowledging that reply may I ask my noble friend this question? Is 325 he not aware of the wide and deep impatience, and indeed anger, among our own population that this bombing of market places, hospitals and refugee camps should be proceeding? While one accepts (and I had personal experience) what General Gowon has said about this, is it not now clear that his own commanders are defying the instructions about the bombing of civilians and the breaking of the truces which he has declared? Is it not time that Her Majesty’s Government did something more than make representations, and stopped the supply of arms to one side in this deplorable conflict? ( See the full story in NIGERIA: BOMBING OF BIAFRAN CIVILIAN TARGETS HL Deb 11 March 1969 vol 300 cc324-8)
2. THE ZARIA MASSACRE
The Zaria massacre was a massacre carried out by the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria on Saturday, 12 December 2015. Up to 348 Shiites, including members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria were killed
The Army claimed that it had responded to an attempt to assassinate Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. This claim has been strongly rejected by the Islamic Movement and several human rights organizations who argue that the massacre occurred without any provocation and all the protestors were unarmed – WIKIPEDIA
THE ZARIA MASSACRE (of Shiites) I
THE ZARIA MASSACRE (of Shiites) II
3. THE IPOB MASSACRES, 2016
Nigeria: At least 150 peaceful pro-Biafra activists killed in chilling crackdown – Amnesty International
4. OPERATION PYTHON DANCE II has taken many lives and resulted in appalling human right abuses. God forbid any further madness as they prepare to take crocodile to South West, and to South South again.