Drama over ‘one minute si­lence’ for mas­sacre vic­tims

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Fran­cis Okeke

A mild drama oc­curred yes­ter­day at the Na­tional Con­fer­ence on whether to ob­serve a minute si­lence for the more than 120 people mas­sa­cred in Zam­fara State Satur­day, or to also in­clude oth­ers who died in other states.

Dur­ing the morn­ing ses­sion, Mo­hammed Bello Hal­liru moved a mo­tion for a mes­sage of fe­lic­i­ta­tion to be sent to Chief Ed­win Clark, a del­e­gate whose son was kid­napped last week but was re­leased. Hal­liru also con­demned last weekend’s killings in Zam­fara.

“I will like to move that this house sends a mes­sage of fe­lic­i­ta­tion to Chief Ed­win Clark who is one of us at this con­fer­ence to fe­lic­i­tate with him for the safe re­lease of his son. Mr Chair­man, while I am stand­ing also, I will like to call on our govern­ment to take very stern ac­tion to con­trol these episodes of kid­nap­ping.

“We have enough prob­lems with vi­o­lence in the coun­try. Un­for­tu­nately, re­cently in Zam­fara State, dur­ing this weekend, about 120 people were mas­sa­cred in one vil­lage…but I will par­tic­u­larly like to ap­peal to the govern­ment, the se­cu­rity agencies in par­tic­u­lar to take some­thing very ur­gent and dras­tic to ad­dress this loss of lives which has be­come per­sis­tent in this coun­try,” Hal­liru said.

Some del­e­gates wanted not just to fe­lic­i­tate with Clark but also to ob­serve a minute si­lence to the Zam­fara vic­tims, but oth­ers kicked against it, say­ing other states have also suf­fered deaths at the hands of gun­men.

At that point, con­fer­ence chair­man Idris Kutigi, af­ter con­fer­ring with his deputy Bo­laji Akinyemi said del­e­gates should only send the fe­lic­i­ta­tion let­ter and leave the Zam­fara mas­sacre for an­other day.

How­ever, dur­ing the af­ter­noon ses­sion when it was the turn of Colonel Bala Mande who is an in­di­gene of Zam­fara State to speak ex­pressed his fears and wor­ries with the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try.

Mande, who just re­turned from Zam­fara yes­ter­day morn­ing pleaded with del­e­gates to re­visit the is­sue of one minute si­lence for the vic­tims.

At that point, a del­e­gate from Nasarawa State, Musa Elayo Ab­dul­lahi raised a point of or­der pre­sum­ably to call for his state to also share in the minute of si­lence.

Ab­dul­lahi who wanted to rely on an un­re­lated Point of Or­der was ruled out of or­der by the Akinyemi who was pre­sid­ing.

Akinyemi who pre­vailed upon Elayo to dis­con­tinue with his quest, said “I have al­ready said we should stand for a minute of si­lence. Distin­guished del­e­gates please let’s stand.”

PIC: IKECHUKWU IBE

Jus­tice Mam­man Nasir (left) be­ing con­grat­u­lated by for­mer Anam­bra State gover­nor Dr. Chuk­wue­meka Ezeife af­ter his com­ment dur­ing the Na­tional Con­fer­ence in Abuja yes­ter­day.

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