Joseph was Igbo. He’s survived by a Hausa wife and two kids. His cousin, Fazebuuk Yeyebrity, gave me permission to share this.
Two months ago, Boko Haram uploaded a video of nearly one hour. A properly edited video with soundtrack and effects. One of the group’s similar numerous videos parading seized Nigerian security vehicles and captives. Celebrating conquests and threatening more mayhem as usual.
The terror group has done this for over five years now. While law-abiding citizens perch on chimneys to find network, a terror group has enough of it to upload hour-long videos and nothing happens.
The Nigerian military, which has now set up a unit tasked with monitoring, among other things, “anti-government and anti-military” social media activities, has done nothing to deploy same technology to track Boko Haram’s online mischief.
If the military has been monitoring Boko Haram’s online accounts, there has been nothing to show for it.
But watch same military soon deliver excellently on this new mission of social media policing. Watch our army trace, arrest, pulverize, and whisk away hapless Nigerians deemed anti-government or anti-military—just what does it even mean to be anti-military on social media?
Watch soldiers descend on the South-East soon, brutalizing anyone with a black beret, anyone faintly resembling the unarmed Biafra Security Service, even as Boko Haram struts around with impunity, sometimes treated to romantic offers.
It was Boko Haram that took away my soldier cousin recently. Recently, being when he was declared dead.
A young man with two tiny kids, he had been missing in action for over two years. He was posted from Lagos to Yobe, then to Maiduguri, then to death.
I woke up thinking about Joseph this morning, thinking about how, as kids, we talked about future dreams.
He ever wanted to be a soldier. Joseph is gone, ladies and gentlemen. He was Igbo and died fighting for Nigeria, over a war he didn’t ask for.
But the President has more rage for social media posts and unarmed Biafran vigilantes than he has for people who killed Joseph. I hope this is not “anti-military”.
I’m sad as I type this. For Joseph. For myself. For you. Sad knowing that, as this clampdown begins, your friends on Facebook may be hired to report your posts to the Nigerian army, possibly for stipends. Sad knowing we all are gonna keep quiet, fearing for our lives. I’m sad aware that finally, a police state is here—and that there are people here who defend it.
But I’m deleting all of them henceforth.