Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Re: Maiduguri University Student Hurt In Shootout Between JTF And Boko Haram
The Nigeria Army operations (STF, JTF) across the country has come under attack in recent times, but this particular incident has left the writer with no option other than respond for the inconsistencies and false claims presented by JTF spokesman, Lieutenant Col. Sagir Musa.
The story was posted last week on Sahara Reporters, precisely on the January 7th. As a first-hander in this event, shamed and fear greeted me when a simple event was doctored to the favour hitherto, respected JTF.
Abdulmumin Abubakar the student shot, was just resuming the new school session. He had passed the night in the terminal, owing to the curfew in place. Haven boarded a cab from the terminus with four other passengers the next morning, they headed for the University campus.
One of the passengers was to be dropped along the bypass at Gwange area, but before then, they had made their way through a couple of checkpoints without interruption. The Gwange bound passenger had dropped when they reached this particular checkpoint with no military personnel on hand to conduct the check, the JTF men were seated mitres away from the post, so the driver had to slow down and make through the barricade.
From the distance where they (JTF) were seated, one shouted stop, the driver heeded, and instantly one of the soldiers headed towards them and pulled the trigger. That was the bullet that hit Abdulmumin, seating by the door side.
The driver had just complained that one of his passengers was hit, when JTF men asked him to lay flat, face-down, another replied "so what?" And they even further threatened to even shoot him if he is not mindful of his utterances.
The commander/superior officer coundnt stand the guilt, so he ordered the driver to get into his car with the victim and drive behind him; as he the Officer drove the patrol van. They drove down to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital. On getting there, the JTF officer stopped and made U-turn while asking the driver to take the victim inside the hospital for medical attention. So the driver rushed him inside the hospital but unfortunately had to wait for more than 30min without been attended to.
In summary, this is the true picture of the incident. Going back to the statements made by the JTF spokesman, Lt. Colonel Sagir Musa, anachronism dominates his account. First of all, Sagir wasn’t there, and professionally, it is his duty to hear from both parties- his men and the victim as to what had truly transpired.
In his account, the spokesman had claimed Abdulmumin was hurt in a shootout between Boko Haram fighters and the JTF. This is far from true, no matter how immune, nobody will advance towards an on-going battle.
The spokesman also miscalculated the timing in his doctored report as he claimed the incident had occurred at 5:50am. The curfew in Maiduguri is not new, and rationally no taxi will hit the road before approved time. If the time to move wasn’t right, the previous checkpoints would have stopped them long before they got to Gwange. Infact, a passenger had even dropped before the incident. It was 6: 15 when the bullet hit Abdulmumin, So Mr Spokesman should be wary of this.
Lt. Colonel Sagir’s report also claimed the wounded student was escorted to the hospital and was receiving treatment. Unfortunately, the military vehicle didn’t cross into the hospital gate to talk to medical personnel and expedite treatment, so where did Sagir get his “receiving treatment” from?
This attitude is common among politicians, the Army ought to be a disciplined protector of human lives. They should have values; this is what we’ve known them for. Unfortunately, they seem to be striving on their past glory.
The victim, Abdulmumin Abubakar hails from Niger state and has been in hospital without the deserved attention, either from the school management, State Government or JTF. Thank GOD for some of his friends, course mates & family who stood firmly by ensuring that gets the care and support he needed. Abdul as he is popularly called, has undergone surgery on his head successfully and no longer in comma. However, Abdul is still laying down on his sick-bed without proper attention from the various institutions concerned.
The report that JTF in Maiduguri has killed more than the insurgents is true. These unprofessional weapon carriers will continue to commit atrocities if left unchecked.
Abdulkadir Bamoto wrote this piece from Maiduguri and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org