By NBF News
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God, did you create Plateau State?
By Funke Egbemode
S unday, March 14, 2010

My first thought was to tell the traumatised people of Plateau state to take care of their own security, leave the troubled zone, the land of pain and bondage and go into the wilderness like the Israelites. I said to myself, why would a tailor from Ogun state leave all the clothes available for sewing in his state to go to Dogo Nahwa or any part of Plateau state to be killed? Why would a man take his wife and children from a safe zone to a shooting range?

I was so pained by the visuals and pictures of dead children, women whose lives had come to an abrupt end in the middle of the night. The suggestions that came to my mind were really terrible ones and at some point I also felt like shooting someone. And you know what, I knew the people I wanted to shoot if I got a gun. But the hours have dulled the pain. The days have cleared my anger and I think I can see more clearly now. Exodus of people from Jos will not be the final solution. Where will people who have lived 20 or more years in the once-peaceful-now-killing-fields go? Where will they start from? Why should the poor be the ones who'd leave town after being the pawn the rich and ruthless have used? Why should the man who has buried three children and a wife be the one who must be forced into exile? Why should the forces of evil always triumph over good in Nigeria?

After sorting all that out in my heart, I decided to pray, petition God, challenge the Almighty. After all, he saw the men who bought the AK47 while they were doing it. He created Jos and the people who died with the breath from his nose. He is the omnipotent, Omniscient, the One who has not created any creature that he cannot cut down. He is bigger than all Presidents, all governors and all General Officer Commanding (GOC). He is higher than all security advisers, police commissioners and army chiefs. His report and decree is final, better than 10 commissions of inquiry reports and more final than buried White Papers.

The Plateau state Commissioner of Police has a different casualty figure from the Commissioner for information. The governor and the army boss are trading accusations over who we should hold responsible for the massacre. General Dambazzau said he was disappointed that Governor Jang, with his long credentials as a military fellow, has displayed such naivety in the dynamics of land operations. Now, when I hear words like dynamics and operations in the same sentence, I get veeery suspicious. I always know someone is about to hoodwink me with rehearsed speech. When 109 deaths instead of 500 mean less casualty, I fear that we have all become mere figures on security balance sheets and comparative analysis. Did Major General Saleh Maina, the GOC 3rd Armoured Division, actually say he got just text messages and no official security report from Jang and his crew?

Do you folks still think we need leaders in Plateau? Do you think we have honourable men in that part of town who'd ensure that we don' t continue to bury our children at an annual mass grave event? I think the questions are even dumb. I know the buck passing has become a tradition and you can't blame those who are comparing death figures and trading blames. It is not their children that are being buried.

My conclusion is let us all take our case to God. If after reading this you agree with me, you may use these as prayer points.

Oh God, when death came calling last week, there was 'supposed' to be curfew in place. Soldiers, policemen were supposed to be on duty but they were not. They were smooching their girlfriends. They were snoring in their beds. They were making babies with their wives while night marauders snatched infants from their mothers' arms and butchered them. Lord, are you going to keep silent? Will those watchmen who slept our children into sudden graves go scot-free? Are you no longer God of vengeance? Arise Lord and do unto conspiring security agents what you did to those who dared you in the days of old.

Let them experience the pain of sudden loss.
Almighty God, are you still the Lord of Hosts? Are you still the consuming fire? Are you still the defender of the oppressed, the husband of widows and father of the fatherless? Are you still the God our fathers served, the God who created Plateau state? If you are still God, then the mothers in this land ask you, this minute, to send the Angel of Death into the camps, houses, meetings and hiding places of those men who have thrown this nation into mourning again. We don't want to know if they were sponsored, all we know is they killed. God, relocate them from among the living to the land of the dead. Let sudden death come upon them. Let their memories be wiped out.

God, are you still the keeper of your own, the One who has never lost any battle? The men who bought the AK47 and other ammunition for the killers of March 7 in Jos, God make them like snails crushed by a speeding car, like a stillborn child, may they not see the sun. Let them varnish like water that flows away. Because they provided weapons to kill innocent children, may their days be few. May another take the place of their leadership. May their children become wandering beggars and their wives widows. Because they have hounded to death the poor, the needy and the broken-hearted, let their prayers condemn them, let their descendants be cut off and their names be blotted out from among the living.

Let those who use these deaths, these crises, for their selfish reasons lose all they have worked for. As some mothers have become childless overnight, some burying as many as seven children in one day, like chaff before the wind let the joy of the wicked men in Plateau disappear. Let creditors seize all that they have made overnight. Let strangers plunder the fruits of their labour. Let those who arm the poor against the poor die spectacular deaths.

Once again, suspects have been arrested, about 200 of them. They have owned up that they were sponsored. Their sponsors will be running up and down now to evade justice and release their stooges . They are set to sweep the death of the innocent under the carpet of bureaucracy and politics. They are calling your bluff once again God. They said they will wash their hands in the blood of children and nothing will happen. Are you going to let them? They are meeting at night and over bottles of cognac to ensure nobody is tried or punished for the pain we have suffered, the indignities we have been subjected to as a nation on CNN. They have told us once again that the 'perpetrators of the dastardly acts will be brought to book'. But we have heard all that before. We do not want their books of sins. We want your instant justice that cannot be appealed. We want to prove to those laughing the bereaved to scorn that there is still God in Nigeria. Let those who shield killers from justice bury all their children too, in one day.

Our throats are parched from crying for justice. Our eyes fail looking for you, Lord. The widows, widowers and orphans of Plateau are sinking in the miry depths of anguish with no foothold. The innocents in Plateau are being made to restore what they did not steal. They have looked for sympathy from government, committees and panels, but there has been none. As a final judge, we beseech you to come down in your anger and with all that makes you God, answer us quickly before the wicked conclude that there is no God. If these men escape the judgment of man and yours Lord, then, we are finished and on our way to Golgotha.

God, give us aid against those who have turned Plateau state into a land of blood and mourning, for the help of man is worthless.