Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

Thoughts Lead To Appreciation

DEFENCE OF OKENE AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Inike Mosque, Okene, 2015 October 13

The month witnessed the cleansing of Inike – also spelled Enike – neighbourhood of the pro-Boko Haram armed organisation.

Certain questions and recommendations linger based on what I recently learnt.

Necessary is dissemination of precise and complete information to residents and indigenes of Kogi State, as well as Nigerian citizens.

This is the role not just of the military, the visible security officials who conducted the operations, but also community leaders within whose jurisdiction the pro-ISIS group were domiciled.

Because of the proliferation of some level of misconceptions about the presence of troops in Okene, the right information becomes a valuable resource.

1~ Two Niqab women were said to have been shot dead by our soldiers.

The women were in the vicinity of Inike Masjid.

They were said to have refused to be searched and were subsequently killed.

Many questions arise, too many for the purpose of this treatise.

The most weighty issue is:

Were the women shot as suspects?

If yes, were our security agents concerned the women were in possession of improvised explosive devices ~IEDs?

More disturbing is:

Were the women deemed executable suspects merely for their presence at the Masjid?

2~ What happened to unarmed persons present in the Masjid on October 13 at the time of the security operation?

3~ What was the objective of setting ablaze the Masjid?

The building could have been taken over by community leaders and converted to a youth awareness and recreation centre.

Some citizens dread travelling to Okene.

Others are concerned of profiling of Muslim men who wear a beard.

My research proved the reservations unfounded.

Granted, all the circumstances presented as questions request information that are done after the fact.

Rather, I am more interested in on-the spot decisions of security operatives.

What was going on in the head of our military at the time?

The answers ought to guide the Nigerian Armed Forces in training of our troops on rules of engagement in protection of national security.

Worthy of mention is there has been no report of human rights violations by security agencies in the aftermath of the Okene campaign.

I commend our troops and sister agencies for their humanity as they strive to defend the Nation.

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This entry was posted on February 4, 2016 by in Human Rights.

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