Exposing Peoples Gazette’s Mischievous Reportage of Pantami’s Yelwan Shendam Speech
Abdulhaleem Ishaq Ringim
The Yelwan Shendam conflict that Pantami was talking about in that clip was a conflict between Christian Tarok and Fulani Muslims over claims of fertile lands for farming. As usual for conflicts like that, it took a religious dimension and was precipitated by the fact that the Christian Tarok community usually condemn the Muslim community as mere outsiders or settlers.
Aljazeera reported that “Survivors of the Yelwa massacre said they had buried 630 corpses in several mass graves around the remote market town after Sunday’s attack. It was not possible to confirm the figure independently, but a senior policeman spoke of “hundreds” dead.”
In the same report, Aljazeera stated that a Reuters witness said “Armed with assault rifles and machetes, Christians went from house to house in Yelwa slaughtering men, women and children, survivors said. Some corpses showed signs of mutilation and sexual abuse.”
You could here Pantami stressing the need to take the displaced persons back home. This is connected to the section of the same Reuters Sourced Aljazeera Report which reported that;
“Mairiga, who led the first medical team to visit the town on Thursday, said he was overwhelmed by the needs of the injured.”
“There are so many people with gunshot wounds,” he said. “Some had bullets in their heads, others in their tummies or shoulders.”
“Mairiga said the local government had put medical supplies in the general hospital at Shendam, a predominantly Christian
village about 10km from Yelwa, but the Muslim victims were too afraid to go there.”
“The people in Yelwa think they will be massacred if they go
there,” Mairiga said.
Thousands were displaced by this conflict , as stated by the same report that;
“Thousands of displaced people have crossed into Bauchi from Yelwa and the surrounding area,” said Umar Mairiga, who led a Red Cross team to the area on Thursday.”
“They are using police escorts to take them out of the area completely because militant Christians have mounted roadblocks on the roads,” he added.
Below is a more correct translation of Dr Isa Ali Pantami’s speech which – as opposed to the intentional agenda this fake news outlet is pushing, of posing it as a call for Jihad – speaks to the fact that the speech was simply a call to take the displaced Muslims back home just as you could see in the report that they are afraid to go back even as there were medical supplies and provisions back there that could cater for the wounded. They were afraid the Christians would attack them again. He also lamented on the humiliating fact that instead of people to seek for justice for this people and find ways of taking them back to their communities, they are bringing 5million, 10million (as we are talking about thousands of refugees here).
“Let us board cars or trek on foot and take them(Muslims that were displaced from their homes) back to Yelwan Shendam, let us go to Mentang and Lantang too(for same purpose of taking displaced Muslims back).”
“What are we afraid of? What is our fear in this world? Is it not death?”
“Our teachers must look into this situation, committees that are being set up will not solve this situation.”
“In bringing aid, they are bringing 5million or 10million as aid to these displaced persons, this is humiliating.”
“Let us meet in the town, let us board cars. Even if It will be by trekking, from here to Lantang We can trek. What are we doing?”
“If they will not do it, the fact is we don’t want to go against the wishes of our teachers, we are just respecting them, we are waiting for them, if they don’t have time, I swear to Allah I agree that I would be the commander.”
“I swear to Allah they should give the go ahead, I will lead. I swear to Allah I will lead so that we will take everybody back home.”
“Every Muslim that is (displaced) from Yamini, Yelwan Shendam, Garkawa; I promise I will be in the front to ensure all of them go back and enter their houses. I agree to be killed in the course of defending the religion of Allah. I agree to be killed for the religion of Allah. What are we doing in this life?”
“This humiliation that we are in, what are we going to tell Allah in the day of judgement? They are just pursuing/displacing people(from their homes) and we are keeping them. The early companions of the prophet did not live this way.”
“Teachers of the Sunnah, you are our teachers, you are our parents, you are our guide, we don’t want to go against your wishes, we don’t want to go against what you have been teaching us.”
“This humiliation, we are tired of the humiliation we are living in. Nobody told us prior, they came and destroyed our mosque in Numan, Muslims were crying, the enemy of Allah ordered the demolition, nobody talked. Muslims just came for Friday Prayers and saw Graders destroying the mosque in Numan.”
“What are we going to go and tell Allah? Is it only prayers that Allah expect from us? Is is only fasting that Allah expect from us? Are we not going to die, oh people?”
Does this in any way sound like a call for Jihad?
It is unfortunate that People’s Gazette would give their followers a clip of a speech, misconstrue and intentionally tweak the translation to suit their biases (knowing that majority of their followers are not conversant with the language) and refuse to give the background and the context from which the speech was made. And it would be a shame, if we understand this mischievous nature of this platform’s reportage, and yet continue to accord them credibility especially as far as this case is concerned.