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In Nigeria, not much makes sense

A Chicago lady allegedly used hammers to kill flies. When asked why, she said she wanted to make sure the sucker was dead!—Ezeana Achusim

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has called on 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 Justice Department to maintain the integrity of the detective work that broke 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 assistant, Garba Shehu, in response to the death of baby Hanifa who was originally 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 nearly two months of fruitless search. President Buhari, however, praised the police and the secret services for unraveling the mystery of Hanifa’s disappearance, and in particular for the arrest of his teacher and his accomplices suspected of the abduction and murder of the child. According to him, the family and the whole nation who have followed Hanifa’s work every day since her disappearance hoped that the young girl would have returned home alive and well.

The president said the thorough and thorough detective operation by law enforcement, which led to the discovery of his remains and the arrest of the suspects who have already made confessions, was commendable. He described it as an achievement that should inspire more public confidence in authorities, adding that “when breakthroughs like this happen, people will talk about law enforcement differently.” President Buhari prayed for the rest of the little schoolgirl’s soul and urged her parents to bear the sad loss with courage and courage in God. Until his death, Hanifa was a student at a private school – Noble Kids Academy in Nassarawa Local Government Area in Kano State. State public relations officer Haruna Kiyawa confirmed his death to reporters on Friday, saying his teacher, one Abdulmalik Tanko, had been charged with the murder. Abdulmalik, Kiyawa said, confessed to kidnapping Hanifa and taking her to his home where he contacted his relatives and demanded a ransom of 6 million naira. He then conspired with a certain Hashim Isyaku to kill the girl on December 18, 2021, after realizing that the victim recognized him. Hanifa was buried in a shallow grave in the school premises located at Kwanar ‘Yan Gana in Tudun Murtala wards.

With the above, I’m almost done with this warning. I remember in February 2020 I wrote about a nation that quickly forgets. …So “the scientists are wrong,” said Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano with a warm smile on his face. “Human beings are not made of atoms; they are made of stories. That’s why we want to sing and draw, tell each other about our lives and our hopes, talk about the wonders of our lives and the wonders we dream of. These dreams – this art – are what make us get up every day, smile and move forward in the world. It is so common for human beings, even in the most miserable situation, to find a way to uplift the spirit through our own art forms. In Nigeria, we seek refuge in God, pray for everything, blame everyone but ourselves, and soon we forget. And our art is to forget. Painfully, we forget and very quickly too. Stories of death, brutal death, corruption, mismanagement and poor leadership and, in some cases, no governance at all, and we go on; we may never know how many people die each day, until death takes someone you know.

Last week our young friend John Elama was shot dead in circumstances that will never be clarified. My painter Mohammed’s father and sister were kidnapped in Kaduna after ransom was paid, they released his father and kept his sister, the kidnappers said they kept her as booty. After long, horrible negotiations, we got him out, but not after buying a motorcycle for the kidnappers. They even gave specs of the type! We have a short memory, preferring to forget very quickly from a slow learning point. Either we never remember, or we choose to completely forget. Two years ago, 30 people were killed in two villages of Katsina, 13 in the Plateau communities. What about this attack for which the president went to Borno State? The girl from the University of Maiduguri who was burned or the boy from Plateau State who was murdered. It will be forgotten that 11 members of the same family were locked up and burned in their house in Kaduna by armed bandits who invaded their village of Bakali in Fatika district of Giwa local government area.

Remember Hanatu, the pregnant mother of two children and the pharmacist who was killed by bandits in Zaria. This was August last year and by October officers from the Force Investigation Bureau Response Team, FIB-IRT, had arrested two suspected members of the gang responsible. It’s been months but I date to say that nothing will happen. Hanifa’s case is like the “Mockingbird, you are accused of insulting the king.” He asked when would he have time to insult the king, since he had to sing two hundred songs in the morning, two hundred in the afternoon and two hundred in the evening, mixing it all with a few playful notes? Why should the president be involved in a case that the law should normally take its course, why all the drama for a seemingly simple case? The truth is that nothing is simple in Nigeria. The law, our politics, people, our education, our health, governance systems and structures.

In another incident in Kaduna, an eight-year-old girl named Asma’u was also killed in Zaria after paying a ransom of 3 million naira. The father of the deceased, Alhaji Shuaibu Wa’alamu, said: “My daughter was abducted on December 9, 2021 and when she did not return home, I filed a formal complaint with the police.

“I know those who abducted and killed her. They are around us. I have solid evidence. I notified 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 said, however, that investigations were ongoing into the incident and that he needed to get more information from Zaria’s command so he could give full details.

The fact is that a lot of people whose killers are sick, we have psychopaths, it’s not just bandits, killers, kidnappers or terrorists; We don’t have healers, or a solution to bring healing, because it doesn’t make much sense.

While we cry, we can still see. However, as accommodating as he is, you should never give up on your good judgment. I am personally accommodating of the current generation of leaders but I fail to see where they are bringing the healing from, they still do not seem to understand how to make sense of the Nigerian project, in a few months though weeks we would have moved on, how many time would we go on like this—Only time will tell

  • Dr. Dickson is Team Leader, The Tattaaunawa Roundtable Initiative (TRICentre)