By: Valentine Adese,
Nigerians for the first time have witnessed restraint from the Nigerian Military in reacting aggressively with respect to alleged killing of one of their own by so called, “bloody-civilians”, from a marked community.
More surprisingly also is that the personnel so allegedly killed is of the rank of a General before his untimely death.
It took the Nigerian Military Force, few hours to bring down communities such as, Zakibiam and Odi, over the killings of some of their alleged comrades and to sack a whole village in Delta state, when a simple attack on some of their men on patrol took place in the past.
The need and curiosity of this development and the surprise it has generated, on why the military for the first time had to apply civil methods in discovering the dead body of late Gen. Alkali becomes necessary.
When the quest to find Gen. Alkali, dead or alive hit the news wave, Nigerians, especially, the Du community in Jos South Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau state, were caught in a web of fever and fear, as the Military stage to once again showcase their stock in trade, came to mind.
Dwellers within Du and its environs were not only relocating from marked areas, but were simply under siege and were been arrested at random.
Women within the period of this Military search, became custodians and protectors of most of the villages around the marked areas mapped out for the search.
However, the Military approach suddenly changed pattern, when the Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong and the Member representing, Jos-South/Jos-East Federal Constituency, Hon. Edward Pwajok (SAN) intervened from their respective elected positions and capacities.
While Hon. Edward Pwajok (SAN), applied his legal knowledge to draw the attention of the Federal Legislators to the Military search for the body of late Gen. Alkali in Du, Plateau State, he took the same opportunity through the motion he moved, to call on the House of Representatives, to restrain the Military from use its known “soldier boots” on the communities.
He also used the opportunity to call on the House, to use its constitutional powers to also restrain and influence the Military to follow the rule of law in the search. The aim according to Pwajok SAN, is to save the lives of the innocent ones in the communities under siege.
Pwajok (SAN,) called on the civil-trained forces, which should be led by the Nigerian Police (NP) to take over the search and bring all suspected culprits to book.
Although the House of Representatives, still permitted the Military to still be part of the search since the then missing General was their colleague, the decision of the House of Reps and the step of Hon. Pwajok (SAN), have saved lives.
To add to the huge save of lives and properties in Du District in Jos-South LGA, is the rapport created and maintained by the state Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, who kept track of all the activities of the Military, before, during and after the search.
The quest by the governor to know the steps the military were applying, directly or indirectly slowed down the reactive decision(s) that the Military would have taken, especially, as the search witnessed protests from residents of the marked areas.
Analytically, the intervention of Pwajok (SAN) and the Governor saw the Nigerian Military for the first time submitting to the rule of law processes even under a provoked situation.
The military as at the time of this write up has handed over arrested suspects with respected to the alleged killing of late Gen. Alkali to the Nigeria Police for prosecution.
Not sleeping over the issue, reports has it that the Governor has further taken a significant step to go to the Army Headquarters to condole with the Chief of Army Staff on behalf of the state, to also further reduce anger and save lives.
According to the report, “The Executive Governor of Plateau State Barr Simon Lalong paid a condolence visit to Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen T. Y Buratai, at the Army Headquarters in Abuja where he sympathized with the Military and the family, over the untimely demise of Late Maj Gen Idris Alkali, whose remains was officially laid to rest on Saturday 3rd November, 2018, at Gudu Cementary in Abuja, Nigeria.
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