Column Opinion

In Nigeria not much makes sense

By Prince Charles Dickson PhD

A lady in Chicago was reported to have used hammers to kill flies. When asked why, she replied that she wanted to make sure the sucker was dead! –Ezeana Achusim

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the relevant bodies to ensure justice is served in the murder of Hanifa Abubakar, the five-year-old schoolgirl killed in Kano State.

He specifically ordered the police and the Ministry of Justice to uphold the integrity of the detective work that busted the case by preparing well and presenting a good case that will earn the respect of the court.

The President gave the directive on Friday in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, in reaction to the death of little Hanifa who was initially abducted in December last year.

He expressed the nation’s condolences to the family of the schoolgirl whose body was discovered in a shallow grave in Kano after almost two months of fruitless search.

President Buhari, however, commended the police and the secret service for unravelling the mystery behind the disappearance of Hanifa, and particularly for the arrest of her teacher and his accomplices suspected of the child’s kidnap and murder.

According to him, the family and the whole nation which followed up on Hanifa’s travail every day since her disappearance were hoping for the girl to have returned home alive and well.

The President stated that the thorough and painstaking detective operation by the law enforcement bodies, leading to the discovery of her remains and the arrest of the suspects who have already made confessions, was commendable.

He described it as an achievement that should instil more public confidence in the authorities, adding, “when breakthroughs like this happen, people will talk differently of law enforcement.”

President Buhari prayed for the repose of the soul of the little schoolgirl and urged her parents to bear the sad loss with courage and fortitude in God.

Until her death, Hanifa was a pupil of a private school – Noble Kids Academy in Nassarawa Local Government Area of Kano State.

The Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Kiyawa, confirmed her death to journalists on Friday, saying her teacher, one Abdulmalik Tanko, was indicted in the murder.

Abdulmalik, Kiyawa stated, confessed that he kidnapped Hanifa and took her to his house where he contacted her relatives and demanded a ransom of N6 million.

He later conspired with one Hashim Isyaku to kill the girl on December 18, 2021, having realised that the victim had recognised him.

Hanifa was buried in a shallow grave within the school premises located at Kwanar ‘Yan Gana in Tudun Murtala Quarters.

With the above I am almost done with this admonition. I recall that in February 2020 I had written about a nation that forgets quickly.

…So, ‘Scientists are wrong’, the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano said with a warm smile on his face. ‘Human beings are not made of atoms; they are made of stories. It is why we want to sing and draw, tell each other about our lives and our hopes, talk about the wonders in our lives and the wonders that we dream about. These dreams – this art – are what make us get up each day, smile, and go forward into the world. It is so common for human beings, even in the most wretched situation, to find a way to lift the spirit through our own forms of art. In Nigeria we seek refuge in God, pray about everything, blame everyone but ourselves soon we forget. And our art is to forget, painfully we forget and very quickly too.

Stories of death, brutal death, corruption, maladministration, and poor leadership and in cases total lack of governance, and we carry on; we may never know the number of people that die every day, until death takes someone you know.

Last week, our young friend John Elama was shot dead in circumstances that will never be unravelled. My painter Mohammed’s father and sister were kidnapped in Kaduna after ransom paid, they released his father and kept on to his sister, the abductors said they did keep her as a booty. After long gruesome bargaining we got her out, but not after buying a motorcycle for the kidnappers. They even gave specifications of the type!

We have a short fuse memory, preferring to largely forget very quickly from a point of learning slowly, we either never remember or we choose to totally forget.

Two years ago, 30 were killed in two Katsina Villages, 13 killed in Plateau communities, how about that attack for which the president visited Borno state. The University of Maiduguri girl that was burnt or the lad from Plateau state that was murdered.

We will forget that 11 members of the same family were locked up and burnt in their house in Kaduna by armed bandits who invaded their Bakali village in Fatika district of Giwa local government area.

Remember Hanatu, the pregnant mother of two, and a pharmacist that was killed by bandits in Zaria. It was August last year and by October Operatives of the Force Investigation Bureau-Intelligence Response Team, FIB-IRT had arrested two suspected members of the gang responsible. It’s months gone but I date say nothing will happen.

Hanifa’s case is like the, “Mocking bird, you are accused of insulting the king.” It asked when would it have time to insult the king, seeing that it must sing two hundred songs in the morning, two hundred in the afternoon, and two hundred at night, mixing it all up with some frolicsome notes?

Why should the President be involved in a matter that the law should ordinarily take its course, why all the drama for a seemingly straightforward case? Truth is that nothing is straightforward in Nigeria. The law, our politics, the people, our education, our health, the governance systems and structures.

In another incident in Kaduna, an eight-year-old girl named Asma’u was also killed in Zaria after a N3m ransom was paid. The father of the deceased, Alhaji Shuaibu Wa’alamu said: “My daughter was abducted on the 9th of December 2021 and when she failed to return home, I lodged a formal complaint with the Police.

“I know those who abducted her and killed her. They are around us. I have strong evidence. I have told the Police. And they are on it. In fact, the suspects have been arrested,” he said.

Kaduna Police Command Spokesman, ASP Muhammed Jalige, confirmed the incident.

He however said investigations were ongoing on the incident and that he needed to get more information from Zaria command in order to be able to give full details.

The fact is that many people including the killers are sick, we have psychopaths, there are not just bandits, killers, kidnappers or terrorists; We do not have healers, or a solution to bring about healing as not much makes sense.

While one weeps, one can still see. However, no matter how accommodating one is, one should never take leave of one’s good judgement. I am personally accommodating of the present crop of leaders, but I do not see where they are bringing cure from, they still cannot seem to figure out how to make sense of the Nigerian project, in few months albeit weeks, we would have moved on, how long would we go on like this—Only time will tell.

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