The death of Akaluka Gideon is a case seeking for justice. It has been a popularly discussed issue of recent. The question is directed to the former Emir of Kano, Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. When will the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and deposed Emir of Kano give answer to this question from the law court? Another question is, “can such a thing happen at all?”
Periodic outbursts of tribal and religious brutality are not new to Northern Nigeria more especially in Kano State. It has become a culture, a norm and a heritage, but a radical group of zealots, the Alamjiri boys who have nothing doing, who do not value life and have no regard for human life have gained ground among the youths of the Islamic Fulanis.
Undeniably, for any enthusiastic bystander of governance in post-colonial Africa, believes that Nigeria must be a very depressing address. And this is applicable simply because of the fact that no country in history has done so much which Nigeria, has consistently and consciously found herself. Nigeria has been an object of everlasting travesty and mockery in the committee of civilized countries of the world. That explains why those, especially young Biafrans who dispute that Africa’s backwardness and poverty is a function of Nigeria’s pathetic and dismal leadership style, cannot be entirely wrong after all. Even Nigeria’s own citizens, who look up to their country to provide the required domestic and international leadership, have continued to be utterly disappointed and embarrassed in so many ways.
Gideon Akaluka, was a young Biafran trader who was falsely and allegedly accused of desecrating the Koran that brought about an outbreak of riots in May 1994 that kept the city of three million people on a dagger edge. He was arrested in December on the order of the then Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, after his wife was allegedly accused of using pages of the Koran as toilet paper for her baby. After he was imprisoned by the police, a group of Muslims broke into the jail, killed him, and walked around the city parading his severed head. The head was hoisted on a stick and used as trophy which the mob carried around the streets in a chilling victory parade. There was neither arrest nor prosecution.
But against all expectations, the case has decidedly been bungled by the government headed by Islamic fanatics, which ought to protect citizens and messed up in a manner that powerfully vindicates those who insist that Nigeria is not yet a nation but a joke of Africa; that as much as the people desire to live together as one, there is an urgent need for a round-table meeting of it’s various stakeholders to fashion out a modern nation by agreeing on terms for the people’s co-existence. Call it whatever name: ‘restructuring or structuring,’ young dreaming Nigerians have to work towards arriving at an acceptable outline that determines the center of a much desired unity.
The basis of that outline must be free from prejudice. As it is now, no matter what any Nigerian leader at whatever level preaches about Nigeria, with the way they have been denying justice to young Biafrans residing in the North, Biafrans will never, ever feel that they belong to this country which they forcefully amalgamated.
But this government can still redeem itself and that is what it should do by revisiting the case of Gideon Akaluka and making sure that those who needlessly killed the young man are truly punished. Otherwise, this country will continue to be a laughing stock in the eyes of the world. It is already late for Nigeria because greater number of the people have queued behind those who maintain vehemence in their candid opinion that Nigeria as an entity is just a mere geographical expression.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media