Do Boko Haram Adherents Think Nigerians Are Rats?
If there is any malevolence in the ongoing political dispensation that has assumed a worrisome dimension, it is undeniably the unprecedented and callous manner in which innocent lives are being wasted by each passing day. With the rate of senseless killings across the country, which has invariably heightened since the last few weeks, it would not be wrong to say that the entire country has literarily become a slaughterhouse.
Without any iota of exaggeration, the foregoing view cannot in any way be pooh-poohed as at least 60 people were in May, 2020, killed in a sequence of attacks by armed gangs in the restive northwest region of Nigeria. The attacks, according to media reports, were carried out by dozens of gunmen who stormed five villages in Sabon Birni district in Sokoto state. Presumably painting a graphic picture of the killings, a nurse at the time of the grisly incident, who works at General Hospital in Sabon Birni said, “We received a total of 60 dead bodies and several people with gunshot injuries from the villages attacked by the bandits last night.”
A local resident at the time substantiated the reports, noting that the gunmen opened fire on homes as residents were gathered around. He said, “We lost 60 people in the attacks. The bandits killed 16 in Garki, 13 in Dan Aduwa, 22 in Kuzari, seven in Katuma and two in Masawa.”
As gruesome as the killings were, anyone that values human lives would have thought that never again will Nigeria experience such despicable manner of massive deaths. But such wishful thinking never came to reality as members of Boko Haram few days ago, precisely on Saturday November 28, 2020, killed scores of rice farmers in the same northern Nigeria that is somewhat becoming a regional theatre of war. The group said the attacks were carried out in vengeance for farmers cooperating with the Nigerian military.
Sequel to the killings, mourners attended the funeral of 43 farm workers in Zabarmari, about 20km from Maiduguri, on November 29, 2020, and the Boko Haram group on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, claimed responsibility for the brutal massacre of the farmworkers as the death toll rose escalated.
Ironically, millions of people find it difficult in slaughtering chickens, goats and other domestic animals. It is crystal clear that members of the Boko Haram seemingly take pleasure in exterminating the lives of others without even blinking their eyelids. Simply put, the life of any man in the estimation of members of Boko Haram group is just a “RatWorth”.
It is germane to say that screaming and gruesome news headlines in newspapers cast in the similitude of “Tens of civilians’ killed in gruesome Nigeria massacre, UN says”, “At least 60 killed in attacks in Nigeria’s northwest”, “At least 110 dead in Nigeria after suspected Boko Haram attack” neither hold readers spellbound anymore. Paradoxically, most newspaper readers are beginning to see screaming and gruesome news headlines as one of the elements of a good newspaper or magazine.
In a state of lamentation over how fast human lives are been wasted by members of the Boko Haram, one may not be wrong to conjecture that they now estimate the value of human lives as that of a rat. They no longer see the lives of others as priceless. The callous manner they kill fellow Nigerians these days, particularly in the northern axis of the country is condemnable and mind-boggling. One may not be wrong to say that life is “RatWorth” in the estimation of members of the Boko Haram as earlier noted.
Be that as it may, no sane human being will agree to trade the lives of others in exchange for Rats. The value which humanity has literarily placed on human life is so inestimable that it would continue to defy being exchanged for a Rat.
Though, this piece is not a sermon, members of Boko Haram as a group who I guess may not be Christians may be ignorant of David’s words in Psalm 139 verse 14 that say, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Life is so precious and valuable that a hackneyed aphorism aptly says “Life has no duplicate”.
In fact, one of the sacred commandments which God gave to Christendom through Moses on Mount Sinai in Exodus chapter 20 verse 13 is: “You Should Not Murder.” The Fulani Herdsmen may equally be ignorant of the fact that Cain violated this command by killing his brother, Abel, and that God was angry with him.
It is expedient to say at this juncture that the inspiration to write this piece emanated from the fact that human life cannot continue to be taken by each passing day through wicked acts. Also, the inspiration to write this piece is to sensitize members of Boko Haram that they cannot continue to perpetrate the evil of slaughtering other people as if they are rats. To my view, Boko Haram adherents should be sternly warned to shield their swords (or rather surrender their AK 47) and be told that Nigeria has not degenerated to a Hobbesian state of nature that is short, brutish and nasty.
Be that as it may, there is a nagging question that has been agitating the mind of every Nigerian, and that is: “Do Boko Haram Adherents Think Nigerians Are Rats?”