OPINION

PUSH HAS COME TO SHOVE: The Death of DSP Usman Umar

Today the Shi’a religious and political organization – Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) led by Sheikh Ibraheem Yaqub El-Zakzaky, killed a senior Nigerian Police officer – DCP Umar Bilel, Director Operations FCT Police Command in the line of duty and burnt down a NEMA Rapid Response Centre together with a Fire Truck and an Ambulance right in the heart of Abuja Federal Capital city.

This is inspite of the deliberate tolerance of the government and security agencies over time. I’m a witness to the high level of professionalism and restraint shown by the Nigerian Police as this group went about its protests in Abuja for months.

Other law abiding citizens in Abuja have equally endured and tolerated the disruptions and tension caused by their endless marches.

However the events of today have clearly changed the narrative and aggravated the situation and there can’t be any way things can be handled with kid’s gloves any longer.

Let me point out that IPOB didn’t cost half the lives this group has before being designated a terror group. And that’s a fact.

I have read a report where Amnesty International Nigeria, through its Programme Manager, Seun Bakare, hastily accused the Nigerian Police of “reckless use of lethal force”. It is quite interesting that he was silent on the death of the senior police officer (who I understand was trying to mediate) as well as the wanton destruction of public property.

This same Police most Abuja residents would attest has handled this group with utmost restraint, so something must have happened today. One really needs to interrogate the impartiality of groups like Amnesty International in this matter and if it truly understands the dynamics at play here especially as pertains Nigeria’s National security.

I certainly do not support any extra judicial release of El-Zakzaky. I never have. I always wanted the legal processes to be expedited. Especially not after what has happened today.

It would look like rewarding criminality and that the government could be arm twisted which would embolden other groups.

I will equally not entertain any talk of not obeying court orders or any of such legal mumbo jumbo as an excuse. Nothing can justify this level of unwarranted brigandage and their taking the laws into their hands.

It’s very important how the government responds to this. There must be a quick and decisive response.

It’s equally important not to paint Shi’a Muslims with a single brush. From my understanding there are about three different groups of Shi’a Muslims in Nigeria. It is the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) led by Sheikh El-Zakzaky that is responsible for what’s going on.

Finally, out of respect for the slain DCP Umar Bilel and his family, I refused to put up the picture of his lifeless body with what looked like a bullet wound to his head here.

I hope Amnesty International Nigeria can explain to the world how a ‘peaceful’ group on a ‘peaceful’ protest could have done that?

May his soul rest in peace.

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