A serious crime – of kidnap, slavery and a change of name, culture and religion of children as young as six and seven – occurred, and instead of focusing on reuniting these kids with their parents and bringing relief to the affected communities, the Emir went on to blame the parents for “negligence,” and even called for their arrest, whilst ignoring or downplaying the actual despicable crime of kidnapping, slavery and a change of name, culture and religion of these children.
If someone like Femi Fani Kayode had made a similar comment, I would have called it a sponsored propaganda or gas lighting of the victims in order to deflect attention from the actual crime; I would have seen it as a ploy by an “enemy of the North” to humanize the kidnappers and slavers whilst making a monster of the grieving parents.
But this wasn’t Femi Fani Kayode or Nnamdi Kanu. This was the Emir; the supposed defender of the people.
An American Example
This is not new. We see it all the time in the American media.
When the police kills an unarmed black boy, the US media, instead of focusing on the actual brutal cold murder of an innocent young black kid, diverts their attention and starts reporting on the bad things the kid may have done when he was alive, such as the time he punched someone in class or the time he stole cigarette from a shop.
They will also go on tell us how their was cannabis in his blood when he was killed, that he didn’t obey police instructions, that he was scaring other kids at the park with his toy gun, that why was he playing alone in the park with a toy gun? That he was raised by a single mother, that he was a gang member and so on and so forth.
All in a ploy to distract you from the main issue — a police officer had unjustly killed someone’s child.
By the time the media had finished blaming the victim, people would have become totally distracted from the actual crime of murder and begin to discuss other legitimate issue such as why kids steal cigarettes, the disadvantages and advantages of single parenting, gang violence and so on.
And before we know it, the actual crime of murder will take a back seat and some people will even begin to sympathise with the murderer.
This is how deflection works. People discuss other legitimate issues just to distract you from the actual crime. This is why we should be able spot such ploys and call them out immediately.
So, when a crime has been committed, except you’ve been paid as a spin doctor or propagandist to deflect from the actual issue, it’s best to focus on the crime itself and ensure the victims get all the support they need.
Trying to muddle up other legitimate issues, such Almajiri with this evil crime of kidnap and slavery, at this particular point in time is totally unfair and disrespectful to the kids, their parents and family members.
Maybe some of those kids were abandoned kids, but we have zero evidence of that. What we know for now is that many of them were kidnapped on their way to school or while playing outside of their own house.
What we are doing right now, without realising it, is making otherwise very good parents pay for the negative stereotypes of the people of their ethnic group just as the African-American victims are victimised using negative stereotypes of their people.
This compounds the problems for the victims and for their own Emir to be the driver of it this time around is completely disappointing and sad.
The Hausa factor
The Hausa ethnic group has become the bogeyman in Nigeria. They get the blame for everything. Their religion and culture are blamed when someone from amongst them does something wrong. Their religion and culture are also blamed even when they are the victims of a crime.
If this was a gang of Hausa Muslims that kidnapped young university girls from the University of Nigeria Nsukka and sold them to slavery in Libya, I can assure you, no one would be assuming or saying those girls were university prostitutes even though female university prostitution is rife at our universities.
For it would be totally disrespectful and insulting to insinuate that that’s what those poor girls were at the time of their kidnap.
Also, when Ese Oruru eloped with her Hausa boyfriend to the north, I didn’t see you people blaming her mother for not raising her properly or for negligence — for what kind of a mother raises a kid that runs away with a boy from Bayelsa to far away Kano?
It is wrong
The hypocrisy is clear and needs to be called out.
I probably wouldn’t have had an issue if this was said by people like Femi Fani Kayode or Nnamdi Kanu, that’s their job — of making a monster of the Hausa ethnic group and Muslims by extension.
But for the Emir to help them do such a fantastic job is totally out of order and an absolute disgrace.
He needs to retract his statement and offer an unreserved apology to the parents of those poor kids, who are the victims of a very despicable crime.
He was wrong and should own up to it.
Suleiman Ahmed, a Software Engineer and Writer tweets from @sule365.
Meet Abdul: The most talented Dabo Babies player of all time
Picking out the footballing stars of the future is a tricky task.
There are so many factors which could hinder the progression of even the most professional of teenagers.
But some do seem destined to reach the top, while others display a work ethic that’s even greater than the natural talent at their disposal.
The second paragraph could be the case with Dabo Babies talented, 19-year-old forward Abdul Attacker.
He burst onto the scene when he was playing for a local club, Golden Bullet and was snapped up by famous Dabo Babes FC after the departure of former Nigeria U-20 star, Nazifi Yahaya.
And has since caught the attention of football enthusiast across the country with his brilliant display for Dabo Babes.
Abdul tormented four-time Nigeria Professional Football League Champions, Kano Pillars FC after he scored twice against the Sai Masu Gida in a friendly match before the kickoff of the second stanza of the just concluded 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League season (NPFL).
He was the catalyst to Dabo Babes good run to the Kano state Tofa Premier League title driving the famous academy from game to game until they reach the final.
The dazzling forward produces mouthwatering display to earn himself accolades from the Pen Profession who could not hide their love for the next Super Star during the Tofa Premier League final.
He likes his game to that of Real Madrid forward, Karim Benzema and Bayern Munich deadly striker, Robert Lewandowski.
The 19-year-old’s talent and versatility has some people wondering whether he could be a bolster for the Nigeria National U-20 team, the Flying Eagles for their upcoming assignments.
As preparations for the 2020/21 Nigeria Professional Football League season gearing towards climax, many top clubs are interested in snapping him to bolster their squad as well as few other European top teams.
He has scored 55 goals and provided further 22 assists for Dabo Babes in less than three and a half years.
Lamido, Jega celebrate NEPU @ 71
Dr. Nuruddeen Muhammad
Yesterday, Sunday, the 8th of August, 2021, I accompanied His Excellency Dr Sule Lamido (CON) who was the speaker at a symposium organised by the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Studies, Bayero University Kano (Mambayya House) to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the founding of the Northern Elements Progressives Union (NEPU), with the theme; ‘Politics of Principles and the Phenomenon of Political Party Defections in Nigeria’.
The event which held under the distinguished chairmanship of the cerebral Dr. Tijjani Muhammad Naniya, also had the ebullient Dr. Auwalu Anwar as the sole discussant. While Professor Attahiru Jega, Professor Dandatti Abdulkadir, Dr. Akilu Sani Indabawa, Professor Hafiz Abubakar, Professor Sule Bello, Dr. Nasir Fagge, former NEPU/PRP regional, federal and state parliamentarians, women and youth leaders from across the country, notably Kano, Jigawa, Katsina and Kaduna States all ran incisive commentaries.
The cacophony of voices were as fierce as they were sharply different in tone, content and delivery. But by far, that which stood out and generated most responses was Dr Lamido’s lead assertion that the raison d’etre for the NEPU/PRP ideological and political initiatives was to liberate the common folks (the Talakawas), first from the clutches of the combined reppression of the colonial overloads and their willing surrogates in the Native Authority establishments in Northern Nigeria, and the restrictions placed on them in political participation, aspirations and freedoms.
He forcefully argued that the movements have achieved on both counts as the children of yesterday’s Talakawas are today the new overloads and oppressors who deny their fellow Talakawas quality leadership as presidents, governors, parliamentarians, ministers, council chairmen and their councils. He concluded that the movements (atleast as organised political actions) should rest and cease to exist. And that today’s progressives should instead leverage around available political opportunities/platforms to confront the existing selfish order using present day political sentiments and realities as mobilization tools.
But recalling copiously from memory, the lead speaker canvassed for an ideological graft transplant from the NEPU/PRP days in ways that the moral and ethical characters of both politics and governance of today can benefit from the sound value systems of old oder.
He narrated how he first resigned as a member of the House of Representatives in Lagos in 1983 purely on moral grounds, and then flew to Kano to convince the then Governor Alhaji Abubakar Rimi to do same as the governor of the old Kano State when the duo defected from the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) that gave them the mandates in the first place.
He then described the present phenomenon of political party defections in Nigeria as the worst form of corruption.
This profound submission drew a symphony of responses from today’s PRP practitioners who are mostly academics. Leading the park was Professor Attahiru Jega who argued that without justice in leadership and the level of impunity as is the case today, the NEPU/PRP cause has just begun and asked Sule Lamido to come lead the national onslaught.
Many other PhDs and Professors joined in the call that Lamido would later say lacked sufficient local and broader national political insight. It is significant to note that I was to totally align myself with the Sule Lamido’s perspective of the argument only yesterday, having engaged with him for over a decade on the same exact topic as the Jegas had done yesterday at Mambayya.
I am now fully convinced that the NEPU/PRP politics exclusively represented yesterday’s political sentiments and realities in the North with no much utility for either our present political and social circumstances or broader national appeal.
The Mambayya rendezvous is prehaps the only remaining theatre in Nigeria where political practitioners, activists and ideologues meet political researchers, theorists and even wannabees in a real time intellectual brawl. Bayero University Kano is both creative and thoughful in this annual ritual. Mallam Aminu Kano and his comrades had lived a very politically active, intellectually robust, and ideologically/philosophically sound lives to deserve this honour.
When academic excellence and classroom sense meet self taught philosophers and the practical hands on the streets, a cetain unique flavour emerges. Yesterday’s flavor has unfortunately left a distinctively sour test in my mouth. The fact that the Talaka is today his very own oppressor is a very bitter pill for some of us to swallow. And even more bitter is the second fact that the second on coming liberation of the Talakawas (from themselves this time around) will have to invent it’s devices with no NEPU/PRP emotional relic to rely on.
This, on a very personal note, was a befitting way to round off my three weeks extended sallah visit in Jigawa.
Dr. Muhammad was Nigeria’s former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs & Federal Minister of Information as
Electronic transmission of results: The joke is on NASS, INEC, not NCC
In the heat of the debate over Electoral Act Amendment Bill and the propriety and workability of electronic transmission of result, the House of Representatives invited the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, the nation’s telecoms regulator.
The House also invited the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to answer to some questions. But as it has now turned out, the invitation to NCC was needless, baseless and at best a futile exercise in red-herring. The NCC, it must be stated, is one of the best performing public institutions in Nigeria with its exemplary culture of good corporate governance noised abroad even as far as Switzerland, the head office of the International Telecommunications Union, ITU.
The NCC has over the years become a worthy Ambassador of Africa in the ITU family. It has not only represented Africa on the international circuit, it has sponsored young Nigerian techies and tech nerds to ITU-promoted competitions on innovation and in most cases, these fecund Nigerians have come out tops, beating competitors from Asia, Europe and the rest of the world. NCC has functioned as a truly independent regulator, inspiring confidence in investors, telecom consumers and other stakeholders including the media. It was therefore needless and a clear act of mischief to drag such an untainted commission into the nation’s murky political waters.
Dragging the commission to testify before the House on the feasibility of electronic transmission of results is mischievous on the part of the lawmakers. It’s a joke taken too far by a body that was supposed to understand the basics of the nation’s Grundnorm, the constitution. They feigned ignorance of relevant sections of the constitution just to scapegoat the NCC and make themselves look squeaky clean.
The Senate itself was fraudulent and duplicitous when it pushed the responsibility of Electronic Transmission of result to the NCC in spite of what the constitution says about the powers of INEC to determine the electoral process including the pattern of voting and mode of transmission of result. Some senators, including the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, a man who once desecrated the hallowed chamber when he sponsored and promoted in broad daylight the ignoble venture of stealing the Mace, the symbolic authority of the Senate, were quick to quote obviously false statistics which they dubiously ascribed to the NCC. What a show of shame that persons elected to make laws for the good governance of the nation and who should know the rudiments of extant laws including the constitution would feign ignorance of aspects of the law that makes utter nonsense of their tomfoolery and moral somersaults in the chambers of the Senate.
For the avoidance of doubt, Section 78 of the Constitution provides that ‘The Registration of voters and the conduct of elections shall be subject to the direction and supervision of the Independent National Electoral Commission’.”
The Third Schedule, Part 1,F, Section15 says: “INEC has power to organise, undertake and supervise all elections to the offices of the President, Vice President, Governor and Deputy Governor of a state, and to the membership of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the House of Assembly of each state of the Federation.”
The Constitution further provides that INEC operations shall not be subject to the direction of anybody or authority.”
This, therefore, renders the action of the NASS nugatory. By inviting NCC and INEC shunning its own invitation, it appears the House was acting a devious and utterly treacherous script intended to do harm to the purity of the electoral process, and only conscripted NCC into the plot to draw legitimacy from the globally acknowledged good governance rectitude of the telecom regulator. It was a wrong decision meant to hoodwink Nigerians and clearly intended to make the lawmakers smell like rose flower while the NCC and INEC appear like villains of a political plot.
Electronic transmission of result is not rocket science. It is a universal norm in the 21st century. Smaller and poorer nations across the globe have achieved electronic transmission of result even with their limited infrastructure, Nigeria should not be an exception. It’s as simple as sending a text message, WhatsApp message or using any other platform recommended by INEC, not NCC, not NASS. Even if network is weak or non-existent in a particular unit, moving further away from such unit until you access a place of better network still will not vitiate the authenticity of the result already tallied at the polling units. The electronic copy only complements the physical copy which must have been signed by all agents relevant to the election. Electronic copy as a back-up copy helps to strengthen the electoral process and reduce incidents of ballot-snatching and primitive manipulation of the physical copy. There ought not to be a debate on this especially when INEC, the only body mandated by the constitution to organize, undertake and supervise all elections has categorically stated that it can achieve electronic transmission of results.
The joke truly is on NASS and an inconsistent INEC.
Aliyu Momodu, is a public affairs analyst.
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