The Emir of Kano’s Comments Were Out Of Order By Suleiman Ahmed - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Emir of Kano’s Comments Were Out Of Order By 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 Fani Kayode had made a similar comment, I would have called it a sponsored propaganda or gaslighting 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 humanise the kidnappers and slavers whilst making a monster of the grieving parents. But this wasn’t Fani Kayode or Nnamdi Kanu. This was the Emir. The supposedly defender of the people.

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 there 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 a someone’s child. 

By the time the media had finished victimising 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 to 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 ethnic group has become the boogeyman in Nigeria. They get the blame for everything. His religion and culture is blamed when someone from amongst them does something wrong. His religion and culture is 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 UNN Nsuka 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? 

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 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.

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Suleiman Ahmed is a Software Engineer and Writer. He is the author of the socio-political novel, “Trouble in Valhalla,” and tweets from @sule365.

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