…What a sagacious situation.
Neither Papa Olusegun Obasanjo, the Ebora of Owu Kingdom, nor the delectable Dame Diezeani Allison-Madueke naturally should be courting the public’s attention. Ordinarily, by reasons of their past positions and contributions to whatever ills or goods of the country, they would be noticed. But in a time such as this, one thinks they ought to be hysterical, looking for ways to avoid one. But they unwittingly, swarmed into one, almost at the same time.
However, they have the third leg in one innocuous Yahaya Sharif-Aminu. This young local religious sect musician does not deserve the controversies and emotional torments he is being made to pass through since he was arrested in March this year. But here is a country where a slip of garrulous sacrilegious blasphemy carries far weighty judicial sanctions than violations of human rights of existence and sanctity of the State’s Treasury.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPqBuSfle6k
Yahaya, 22, just out of innocence years, until judge Kadi, Aliyu Mohammed Kani of an Upper Sharia Court in the Hausawa Filin Hockey Area of the ancient town handed down the death fatwa, was largely an unknown quantity. His offense? He was said to have waxed a song way back in March of the year. He had circulated the same via WhatsApp to several people. Then suddenly, appeared from the blues was another unknown Idris Ibrahim, whose little was given about his background. He led the protests against the Musician. The Ibrahim–led mob first attacked Yahaya’s family house, burnt it down and then moved to the Offices of the Islamic Police known as Hisbah, demanding urgent action against him.
Yahaya’s offense is laughable compared to the offense committed in the process of getting him to face judgment. He was said to have praised an Imam from the Tijaniya Muslim Brotherhood to the extent he elevated him above the Holy Prophet Mohammed.
The mood of the country, Nigeria, presently, is curiously undecipherable. But if the ordinary folks are allowed to have a say, we might hear more of ‘this judgment will serve as a deterrent to others’. One Idris Ibrahim, an Islamic fundamentalist, at least by his actions, had made this essential comment earlier this week in response to the death sentence handed over to Yahaya Sharif-Aminus.
Neither Yahaya nor the Idris, not even the Grand Khadi that handed down the death sentence could be aware of the need for such in our clime right now. The country is sleeping, and she needs something unusual, in the form of such ‘deterrence to others’ sentences to jerk her back to life.
The death in droves arising from ‘complications from Coronavirus infection’ seems incapable of jerking the country, nor force her people up from their deep slumber. Not even the palpable hunger ravaging the land could arouse the leaders and the people. After the initial shock of the lightning attack of the Virus in the country, the people seem to have slipped back to their normal causal life. Life goes on, as the street saying goes. But unwittingly, making Yahaya the scapegoat of the ‘deterrent sentencing’ by circumstances of his talents: singing, may just be the beginning of several others to come.
Whatever happens, post-COVID-19 Nigeria is not going to be calm and docile. In the cities, the reality of deep economic dislocations is fast becoming apparent. Feeding is becoming an investment and fasts out of the reach of ordinary folks. And no tier of government, nor any official, is paying any fleeting attention to this. Rather the attention is on issues that cannot have any direct impact on people’s lives.
Baba Obasanjo needs not court needless controversy. He is more noted as the Ebora of Owu Kingdom. He has this uncanny lust for raking controversies. But he might have stumbled on the latest one with his condolence, oh sorry, condemnation, letter to the Ogun State Government and the families of the late Senator (?) Esho Jinadu, the man whose life identity was Senator Buruji Kashamu, by mere accident. Remember his ‘Not My Will’ was released on the very first anniversary of the death of late Pa Obafemi Awolowo. He had taken the late Papa’s prestige and honors to the cleaners in the book. Pa Awo’s followers only raked and raged. They soon fell asleep, leaving Aremu boy to his fantasies.
Pa Obasanjo perhaps knew why he waited till the man’s death before unveiling his real identity. Kashamu, if one care to know, had a running battle with virtually all law enforcement agencies in the Country before the suddenly succumbed to COVID-19 and its complications. The United States government wanted him extradited to the country to answer some slouch charges. He bluntly refused. He had claimed at a point that his senior brother, who he shared exquisite facial resemblances with, did commit those offenses. He refused and stay put in this near lawless country, called Nigeria. Even here, he had more tangling with the anti-drug agency, National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). He was able to exploit the several loopholes in our extant laws to escape their dragnet. He landed in the Upper Legislative House, the Senate, and went further to use the privileges and immunity offered by that hallow Chambers to further disentangle the legal web weaved by the agencies around him. He escaped all attempts to pin him down to answer charges of his slouch deeds. Now in death, while some believe soothing words should be spoken to the families he left behind, and his memories, Pa Obasanjo chose otherwise. He practically delivered a message ‘will serve as a deterrent to others’
In another vein, Diezeani came out forcefully too. She has obviously shed the toga of a Cancer-stricken, invalidly looking vulture figure, the Nation was insulted with a few years ago. She too practically had handed down her ‘judgment that will serve as a deterrent to others’. This time to the legion of ‘Yahoo Yahoo Boys’ in the country. And the army of internet fraudsters, popularly called ‘Yahoo Yahoo Boys’ are many all over the country, both sexes from age 16 up to age 40. Why would Diezeani not harangue the Yahoo Yahoo Boys? She did not do internet scam, neither did she does the rituals Yahoo plus, yet she exploited the gaps in our governance and carted the commonwealth of the country and fled to an only God knows where with the loots, said to be in the region of 6 billion USD, or more, intact.
To Diezeani, Yahoo Boys are fast becoming ‘role models’. Does she expect anything less in the country she looted dry and fled into an unknown land? If the former flamboyant Minister of Oil and Gas is a ‘role model’, why not any scammer? Since she, just like Esho Jinadu, better known as Buruji Kashamu, had so far successfully exploited the several lacunas in our legal system to evade justice, she can pop up to pontificates on the ills she helped create in the country.
The nation still hopes. The people still hope fervently too. Not only Yahaya but several others in-country will benefit from the words of Idris Ibrahim, the man who led the protest to for the musician Yahaya’s arrest: ‘this judgment will serve as a deterrent to others’ will come to pass too.
Afolayan Adebiyi writes from Lagos Nigeria.
Images and video, courtesy Google, and YouTube.