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Kidnapped Kano Kids: Emir’s comments out of order, disrespectful

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Kidnapped Kano Kids

Suleiman Ahmed

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.

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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.

Totally unfair

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.

Headlines

Unusual signs may emerge on Laylatul Qadr – Alakarmawi

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Sheikh Muhammad Nazifi Alkarmawi

Nasiru Yusuf

A renowned Islamic scholar in Kano Sheikh Muhammad Nazifi Alkarmawi said it is sometimes possible to witness unusual signs on Laylatul Qadr.

Kano Focus reports that Sheikh Alkarmawi revealed this while delivering his Friday sermon.

He said Laylatul Qadr is one of the most sacred nights in Islam found in the last ten days of Ramadan.

According to him it is sometimes possible to witness unusual signs on the night.

Some of the signs highlighted by the Imam is the night is serene, quiet and shining where the temperature is neither hot nor cold and the moon shines clearly.

Sheikh Alkarmawi said Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him used to double effort in the last ten days of Ramadan aimed at witnessing the night.

He described as a weak a narration wich declared twenty seventh night of Ramadan as Laylatul Qadr, and urged adherents to seek the night in the last ten days of the holy month.

On the recommended acts in the night, Sheikh Muhammad Nazifi Alkarmawi cited a hadith narrated by Nana Aisha which prophet taught Muslims to recite ‘Allahumma innaka afuwun, tuhibbul afwa, fa’afu anna.

He also admonished faithful on supplication, forgiveness, upholding good deeds and assisting the needy.

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Opinion

Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu at 65

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Professor Abdalla Adamu

By Ibrahim Sheme

On this day, April 25, the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, clocked 65 years.

He was the VC of NOUN from 2016 to February 11, 2021. When his tenure ended, he returned to his former duty post at Bayero University, Kano, but then took sabbatical work as Visitor at Kaduna State University (KASU), Kaduna, on March 1, this year.

Born in Kano City on April 25, 1956, Adamu is unarguably one of the leading academic lights in Nigeria. He obtained a professorship each in Science Education and in Media and Cultural Communication, both from Bayero University, in 1997 and 2012 respectively. Indeed, he is one of very few academics in the country to have attained the feat of a double professorship.

Adamu is an international scholar, having taught media and science education courses in many Nigerian universities and around the world, including serving as a European Union Visiting Professor at University of Warsaw, Poland, in 2012, visiting professor, Rutgers University, New Jersey, and visiting professor, University of Florida in 2010. He was also Fulbright African Senior Research Scholar in 1991.

One other remarkable achievement he recorded was the development of ‘hooked’ Hausa language character font sets (ɓ Ɓ ɗ Ɗ ƙ Ƙ), which were not present at the advent of the Internet. The emergence of these fonts, which he created as part of his various extracurricular activities, has helped many authors, publishers, scholars, students and ordinary users in conveying the Hausa language in a way that it should be written.

Two years ago, on a day like this, I penned a birthday tribute to Professor Adamu to help celebrate his 63rd anniversary. In that write-up I did not dwell on his unfolding accomplishments at NOUN in the area of infrastructural development of the university because others had done so already. Instead, I emphasised on the then VC’s human relation, which I have always found unique. And I wrote: “On that score Prof. Abdalla has remained the same person I have known for about two decades – easy-going, humorous and understanding towards all. I think this essence is a great contributory factor to the achievements he is making as a leader and chief executive.

“His approachability is rare. I know chief executives who are ‘feared’ – and consequently loathed – by those working under them because of their stiffness and unbendability. Some, you strictly need an appointment to see them, and their secretaries become lords because they emulate the ‘man inside’.  Not Baba Prof (as we used to call him). He runs an open door policy, with a  secretary (Esther) just as approachable and nice as he is.

“Once you get into his office, you immediately feel at home. He has a joke for everyone. You will never find him mirthless or sad as if the whole world rests on his shoulders. If it is lunch-time, he offers you his food.

“That sense of humanity, for me, are as important as the infrastructure he is putting on ground at NOUN. That sensibility, plus the infrastructure and the policy transformation, will no doubt count as his best legacies when his tenure ends in February, 2021.”

I daresay many at NOUN would remember him for such virtue. Happily, his successor as VC, Professor Olufemi A. Peters, is another approachable chief executive who doesn’t put on airs. Even though the two men do not necessarily share the same character traits, one can say there are several points of convergence that one can easily point at – but that is a story for another day.

Meanwhile, I’d like to use this opportunity to wish Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu happy birthday and many happy returns.

Sheme is the Director, media and publicity at National Open University of Nigeria, Abuja

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Opinion

Remembering Ja’afar Mahmud Adam

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Na-Allah Mohammed Zagga

Sheikh Ja’afar foresaw the imminent monster called Boko Haram, but was brutally silenced by the assassins bullets!

Today marks the 14th Anniversary of the assassination  Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam, who was fatally shot by yet to be identified gunmen on April 13, 2007. His death was like a defoliation of the tallest tree in the forest of knowledge. He was one of the greatest preachers that ever lived; he was a scholar par excellence. In fact, he defies all the superlatives that you can ever find in  the dictionary.

Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam was not only famous for his erudition, but also for his amazing ability to foresee an imminent danger(what today becomes known as Boko Haram). He posed the most potent intellectual challenge to the outlandish and poisonous extremist ideas of Muhammad Yusuf, the notorious Boko Haram founder. He advised Yusuf, his former student, to renounce those dangerous ideas and apologize to his blind followers for misleading them.

Caught between ego and doing the right thing, Muhammad Yusuf rejected the advice because he didn’t want to lose face by admitting to his brainwashed followers that he was wrong. The rest is history. We are today paying heavily for his stubborn resistance to reason. His poisonous ideas have so deeply settled in the hearts and minds of his credulous Boko Haram  followers that they thought God is on their side and that  any Muslim  who opposes their violent extremism is automatically an infidel or an enemy.

Sheikh Ja’afar Mahmud Adam was thus vindicated; the grave danger he foresaw is now consuming us, destroying lives, schools and disrupting our social and economic life. Since 2009, more than 15,000 lives were destroyed by the Boko Haram terrorism. Because extremism paralyses a man’s capacity to think and reason, the terrorists are not even perturbed by the consequences of their atrocities, let alone give a moment’s thought to compassion and humanity.

I won’t challenge anyone who thinks Boko Haram had a hand in Adam’s death because putting two and two together, it is impossible not to reach that conclusion. Because of their extreme brutality, taking out a scholar who represented the greatest intellectual challenge to their poisonous ideas is not beyond them.

May the soul Adam continue to rest in peace! May Allah  forgive his shortcomings and eternally  reward his great deeds! Amin!

NOTE: I originally wrote this tribute to Sheikh Jafar Adam on April 13, 2018. As we mark the 14th Anniversary of his dastardly assassination today, I find it worthy to reproduce the tribute. He was an extraordinary scholar that deserves such honour.

Na-Allah Mohammed Zagga is a media consultant at Atiku media organization

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