Sinister terror and hatred have again reached
from the shadows to steal the lives of innocent
Nigerians. In Nyanya, seventy-two people were
killed by a car bomb. Hundreds more were injured
in the devastation.
Their killings serve no purpose except for those
who exalt in evil. The bomb blast quickly came
and went like the deadly thief it was; but we shall
be left to endure the pain and loss from this
terrible act for a long time to come.
What the nation lost is irreplaceable. The number
72 seems like just another grim tally among the
death statistics that have become all too
common. But what occurred is much more than
that. We must really stop and take notice of
where evil is attempting to drive us to.
The abduction of over one hundred school girls is
unacceptable, condemnable and saddens me
greatly. We cannot allow these merchants of
death to make us numb to the tragedy they
manufacture. Those who were killed were not
merely numbers on a page. They were human
beings, made of flesh and blood, body and soul
like all the rest of us. They were someone’s
father or mother, brother or sister. They had
parents; they were someone’s child. They were
husbands or wives, neighboring friends and
colleague. They had dreams and hopes. They
were loved and loved others in return.
Now, life has been taken away and those who
cared from them must bear a grief no person
should be asked to carry. These people
committed no wrong. Their only crime was to be
ordinary working class people seeking to eke out
a livelihood and tend for themselves and their
families. For this, they were killed. They represent
the backbone of the working people. Not many of
them lived an easy life. Most worked hard and
modest wages. They lifted themselves up every
morning to earn their daily bread. They faced the
many social and economic challenges and
obstacles our society poses, yet they worked not
to destroy but to make this a better place by
bettering the lives of their family and loved ones.
These people lived anonymously and died the
same way. We do not yet know their names. But,
in a fundamental sense, we know who they were.
They were part of us. They shared the same
aspirations we all do. We seek an improved fate
for our children and hope to leave them a better
life. We want to work and live in dignity and
respect. We want a life of peace and harmony
with our neighbors regardless of religion, ethnicity
or background. We seek prosperity not poverty.
We seek brotherly understanding not strife. We
seek peace, not bombs.
It was not just 72 people who were taken in this
depraved assault. Each of us lost something that
day. Yet, despite the loss and suffering, we must
not cower in fear, and let the purveyors of death
believe they have scored a victory over us.
Those who committed this act have declared war
on all that is decent and good. They have
declared war not against the state or even the
government. They have declared war on Nigeria
and all Nigerians because this murder took men
and women, old and young, Christian and Muslim
alike. In trying to scare, frighten and divide us,
the evildoers committed injury to their own
For they have shown us that we all suffer
inhumanity in the same way. No matter our
religion or place of birth, we all bleed and are
wounded the same way by injustice. Decency
runs through the teachings of each religion and
ethnic group that comprise the people of Nigeria.
We may have our differences, but the vast
majority of Nigerians stand united against the
appalling violence committed in Nyanya and other
These acts have no place in Nigeria. Those who
commit them have no place in our country. The
perpetrators may look like human beings. They
may have limbs and faces like the rest of us but
they are not like us. In killing innocent people,
they have become inhuman. They live outside the
scope of humanity. Their mother is carnage and
their father is cruelty.
They have declared war against the people of
Nigeria. They have shown that they do not want
to liberate the people. They want to kill them.
Yet, with all the energy of their evil and ignorant
hatred, they shall fail. The good people of Nigeria
shall triumph. Such a wicked mission shall not
succeed. We have gone too far in our journey to
nationhood and endured too much to allow these
terrible acts to divert us.
Not only have these agents of death killed
innocent people, they also abducted over 100
young women from their school. Why abduct
school girls? Whatever they plan, they should be
ready to face the wrath of Nigerian people. They
should release these young girls unharmed.
Anything else would be an abominable crime.
We all must take close heed at this moment and
recognize the severity of what is upon us. A
small minority seeks to bring the nation to its
knees through terror. Thus, we must stand tall
and united. We can ill afford to allow their crimes
to go unpublished united.
I call on the government to improve and redefine
its strategy in the light of this expanding menace.
Clearly, its intelligence gathering needs to be
improved so that it can break terrorist plots
before they hatch.
Moreover, it needs to enact greater social and
economic reform in the blighted areas of the
nation to win the hearts and minds of the people.
Give the youth a viable alternative and they will
not be duped by the lure of extremist dogma. A
major initiative with immediate and long-term
strategies for mass employment should be
introduced right away.
Nigeria must and will overcome this scourge but
it cannot do so merely by wishful thinking. We
need wise and decisive strategy. As for me and
my party, we deplore and condemn these and all
such attacks. Those who commit them must
know that the nation stands four square against
While we are engaged in tight political
competition against the ruling party, we shall not
play politics on this issue so vital to our national
survival and well being. We pledge ourselves to
the unity and safety of this nation and shall do
nothing to undermine national security. We seek
no political advantage from this calamity and
wish the present administration success in
fighting it. We stand ready to help in any
meaningful and productive way to fight this
battle against evil. We extend our hand and
earnest offer of cooperation in this regard.
Nigeria and Nigerians have suffered enough.
Those who now lead the nation and those who
would lead her must overlook political
differences to find whatever ways we can
cooperate to make this a safer, more secure
nation for all.
Thank you and May God Bless the Federal
Republic of Nigeria.
BY – GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI, GCFR
Kaduna, April 20th, 2014
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