Since the unfortunate incident that happened at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Nigerians have expressed their outrage, as some say it is embarrassing for armed bandits to attack the NDA quarters in Kaduna, killing two officers and abducting another.
Of all those commenting on the sad incident which occurred on Tuesday, one Kunle Olawunmi’s view dominated the online media on Wednesday. The social media handles of even many mainstream media were awash with the news, as they all flaunted different banner headlines.
Olawunmi who claimed to be a former Nigerian Navy Commodore made those ‘stunning allegations’ as captured by many media who made excerpts from what he said about the attack during his appearance on Wednesday’s edition of Sunrise Daily on Channels TV.
Punch Newspapers, for instance, quoted Olawunmi to have said, in part, that terrorists profile security environments during Muslim prayer on Friday, adding that, “I remember I spent about a week in the NDA with the commandant and the staff, but something struck me: every Friday, the gate of NDA is thrown open and everybody has access to pray in the mosque.
“On Fridays, you are going to see the same thing happening across all military formations in the country. That is the time the terrorists have to profile our security environment. It has always been the case.”
It is disheartening that Olawunmi made such inflammatory remarks that lack substance on national television without caution. No junior officer of the cadet can make such careless misinformation, not to talk of someone that claims to be ‘a former Nigerian Navy Commodore’. It is either he doesn’t have the right information or he is part of the agenda to exploit some faulty lines to cause ethno-religious violence in some parts of the country.
If at all he wants to allege anyone, one would have expected an objective security expert to point out that the same gates are also widely opened to Christian worshippers on Sundays. Olawunmi is probably silent on the presence of the church to cover up the imbalance policies and age-long injustice meted out on the Muslims in service. Evidently, there are two churches (Catholic and Protestant) for Christians; and only one mosque for Muslims.
Not only at the NDA, all military institutions in the country also have a Mosque and at least, two churches for Catholic and Protestants Christian faithful to worship. However, Olawunmi did not include Sundays and churches in his jaundiced analysis for his clandestine agenda. To him and his co-travelers, terrorists find safe haven in the Mosque, not churches. Is he trying to say that non-Muslim terrorists who disguise themselves as Muslim worshippers cannot disguise themselves as Christian faithful to Church on Sundays when the gates of the NDA are equally opened to let in Christians?
This is one of the major reasons some Muslims who reacted to his interview which has now gone viral tagged him an Islamophobe, whose only mission is to use the unfortunate incident to blame and smear Islam, Muslims and their place of worship. Of course, his mission was accomplished, as many media have republished on other platforms like nairaland and a lot of people are gullibly buying his tale. We doubt this rejoinder or any other will go as viral as that misleading interview.
The man – Olawunmi also forgot or pretended to have forgotten that there are civilians who are living within the NDA. They include the staff of NDA, who aren’t soldiers. Some of them are Christians, some are Muslims. Just as the Mosque is open for cadet, civilian and military personnel who are in NDA, the two churches are also open for them to worship on Fridays and Sundays respectively.
Apart from this, Muslim News Nigeria findings revealed that the NDA officers’ quarters that was attacked by the armed bandits isn’t close to where civilians can easily access, including criminals who might have come to the mosque on Fridays or churches on Sundays.
NDA has a very large landmark that comprises buildings, farms, and bushes (forest) which serve as training instruments to the officer cadet of the institution. It comprises various faculties, lecture rooms, sports centre, cadet lines, medical centre, religious places (mosque and churches) and the attacked Academy officers’ quarters.
Just like other facilities within the NDA’s expansive compound, the religious centers are always open for worship and services only. Both the worshippers and civilians are restricted to other facilities, including the officers’ quarters, making it difficult for Muslim faithful to carry out profiling when they come for Friday prayer as alleged by Olawunmi.
We condemn the attack on the NDA and sympathise with the families of the gallant officers who lost their lives. We call on the FG and the military to go after the perpetrators and return safely, the abducted Officer. The bandits terrorising this great country should be disgraced and brought to book.
Also, the everlasting solution to the incessant attacks is justice. If we want to put an end to this national embarrassment, we need to cut the tree from the root, not the branches. If there is justice, the already arrested bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements should be tried and sentenced with immediate effect, so that it will serve as a deterrent for others to mend their ways and lead a Godly life, because justice delayed is justice denied.
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