Borno Elders Want Ex President Jonathan Charged To ICC For Genocide

President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan

By Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri

A group of people in Borno State, under the umbrella of the Borno Elders Forum, BEF, has asked for the prosecution of former President Goodluck Jonathan before the International Criminal Court, ICC, for genocide.

The group also called on the federal government to set up a judicial commission of enquiry to investigate why the Jonathan led government failed to adequately equip the Nigerian armed forces to fight Boko Haram insurgents in the North east.

The elders in a statement issued on Tuesday and signed by its chairman, Usman Gaji Galtimari, said recent statements by former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, Air Chief Marshal, at his ceremonial pull-out from service that the military was ill-equipped and poorly motivated under his watch should be investigated and the former President made to account for failings of that era in the war against terrorists.

The group expressed distaste that the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, was vilified by the Jonathan administration when he cried out against the inadequate kitting of the military and insisted that Badeh’s recent disclosures had made clear the true situation of things.

“The Borno Elders Forum found Badeh’s comments very revealing, an eye opener, a precursor to judgement day and extremely disturbing.  As Chief of Defence Staff under His Excellency, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, Alex Badeh was not just the most senior serving military man and head of all serving military men in Nigeria, he was also in the best position to know the state of affairs regarding the provision of military supplies and motivation of troops,” the Borno elders observed.

The group said further in its statement: “To our very rude shock, it turned out on Thursday, coming from an authoritative mouth, that indeed the Governor was absolutely right after all. He has been vindicated by no less a person but the then Chief of Defence Staff who was the symbol of the Nigerian Armed Forces.”

The statement listed a number of demands including the following:

1. A National Judicial Commission of Enquiry under an incorruptible judge from preferably the Southern Nigeria be set up to ask the immediate past President questions on why his administration refused to provide the military with the required functional and superior equipment whereas our sons and daughters were exposed to mass murder, severe injuries and grave destructions of our communities

2. If the former government is found wanting, it should be charged for genocide against the people of Borno State or at least criminal negligence at the International Criminal Court of Justice.

3. The retired CDS (Chief of Defence Staff) should also be asked why he kept silent when the military under his command was not provided with the right equipment. He had the option of speaking or resigning as he ought to have done in order to draw attention of the world and by that he would have saved lives of Borno people.



    4. A list of citizens of Borno State killed from the time the issue of military capacity became in question, is compiled and relations of those killed are fully compensated for the death of their loved ones as a result of criminal negligence.

    5. A list of soldiers sent on missions without being properly equipped and exposed to death at different battle fronts in Borno State, is also compiled and that they are specifically celebrated with their survivors fully compensated since their bread winners died not just in combat but out of negligence of those in authority.

    6. An unreserved apology is tendered by the immediate past President and his service chiefs to the people of Borno State, especially those lost relations and also to Governor Kashim Shettima for all the humiliation he was made to suffer for telling the truth about capacity of the military at that time.

    7. The President Muhammadu Buhari administration in constitutional collaboration with the National Assembly considers the need to set up a Presidential Armed Forces Capacity Monitoring and Evaluation Unit which could be directly supervised by the President, Commander In Chief in order to at all times, have accurate data of the capacity of Nigeria’s Armed Forces, monitoring military procurements and hardware and their deployments, so as to avert future discrepancies unless if of course, there is already an established system of this nature.

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