Retired Col Hassan Stan-Labo, a regular on the Lagos-based Channels TV as a “security expert”, today openly advocated the committing of war crimes against civilians in the Niger Delta.
Stan-Labo said that “Obasanjo’s leveling of Odi should take place if the communities” in the Niger Delta, where hostilities have kicked off again with the blowing up of oil pipelines, “do not fish out the insurgents”.
Watch the clip here.
Stan-Labo insisted that no one should tell him about the “rules of engagement”. We will tell him even if he doesn’t want to know. Intentionally killing civilians is a war crime. Collective punishment of communities for the crimes of some of their members is also a war crime.
The despicable comments made by Stan-Labo, and the comfort in which he was able to air such crimes against humanity on national TV, demonstrate the level of impunity that is part of the culture in the Nigerian military. It shows how soldiers could carry out a reprisal attack against Shia Muslims in Zaria in December last year and allegedly massacre at least 300 people according to Human Rights Watch.
The Odi massacre that the deranged Stan-Labo wanted to emulate happened in 1999 when then president Olusegun Obasanjo sent the Nigerian army to the town of about 15,000, and they proceeded to raze the town to the ground, killing hundreds of people.