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Al-Mustafa and Idang Alibi’s insensitivity

The poor suspects are spending their 11th year in detention without getting justice, despite the liberal posture of the Federal government towards the activities of…

The poor suspects are spending their 11th year in detention without getting justice, despite the liberal posture of the Federal government towards the activities of murderous gangs in the Niger Delta that maimed, killed and kidnapped innocent people for ransom and engaging in economic sabotage.  Yet Mr. Idang Alibi, in his recent two-part column in the Daily Trust, didn’t see anything wrong in the unconditional pardon offered the militants, in addition to rewarding them with money for peace.

However, Mr. Alibi is rabidly opposed to the freedom of Major Al–Mustafa and others because, according to him, “they haven’t shown any remorse” for engaging in political assassination.  Speaking with a made up mind and a conviction that the suspects are as guilty as accused, Mr. Alibi believes Al-Mustapha and others deserve no mercy.  Alibi’s record of insensitivity is well-known to Nigerians, despite his pretense to religiosity.  When Dr. Onuka-Adinoyi Ojo of Atiku Media Office lost his wife to cerebral malaria, Alibi wrote in his column that Ojo could have avoided the misfortune that befell him if he was close enough to God or became a more committed Christian.

His opinion on Dr. Ojo caused outrage among many readers who believed that Alibi was a cold conformer.  If we are masters of our fate, we could have predicted our deaths and the advance of diseases to avoid their destruction.  Even pastors cannot be masters of their fates, despite their devotion.  It is sad that Mr. Alibi didn’t learn any lesson from that reckless article on Dr. Ojo, who was grieving the death of his dear wife.

In his latest outpouring of garbage, Mr. Alibi has convicted Al-Mustafa and others and directly told the federal government to dismiss any idea of granting than freedom if it has that decision on the agenda.  At a time northerners are making silent efforts to ensure the gesture of amnesty is extended to the northern detainees, Alibi is throwing spanner into the works.

The former leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force, Alhaji Asari Dokubo, openly abused and spat at Judges during his treason trial in Abuja.  Despite his openly defiant and unrepentant posture, the federal government didn’t stop granting him freedom.  Northerners didn’t largely oppose his freedom and that of other militants who were granted amnesty by the federal government.  Indeed, northerners welcomed the amnesty policy as the necessary sacrifice the nation had to make for peace, unity and reconciliation.

Using his column in the Daily Trust to insult the sensibilities of the people is the height of reckless insensitivity.  Even if Al-Mustafa and others were as guilty as charged by Alibi, is their crime worse than the activities of Niger Delta Militants and the OPC in the Southwest?  Yet Northerners didn’t launch any open campaign to oppose their freedom.  There is no instance of any northern columnist that launched a campaign against the freedom of Niger Delta militants and the OPC leaders.

If Mr. Alibi is sadistic enough to oppose their freedom, let him not stand in the way of efforts to find a political solution to their prolonged detention.  His insistence that they haven’t shown enough “remorse” to deserve pardon is a very provocative intervention. Could Idang Alibi have written passionately against the freedom of Niger Delta militants and freely stepped into their areas?  In fact, how many Yoruba newspapers would have accepted his article for publication if he had insulted the OPC leaders and campaigned against their freedom?  As a columnist, he has abused the liberal posture of the Media Trust Publications.  Being a fine writer is not synonymous with good judgment and Alibi’s recent article was one of the most ill-thought out ever written by any columnist.

Achimugu wrote in from Lord Lugard Road, Idah, Kogi State


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