“Reading the statement by Mrs Mercy Yakubu, it appears that much more information needs to be given to the public by Kaduna State government on the matter. Going by the Lady’s FiS (first info statement), it doth appear that a prima facie case wasn’t established before the (apparently govt-backed) demolition was carried out. Terrible things threatening the peaceful and constitutional co-existence of certain people who may not be on the favourite template of government of the day is the apparent reason for the action. The Kaduna State government has a lot more explanation to do.”
Words in quote are not mine but cut deep. They are words flowing from the fountain of my colleague of the pen profession, Mr Bonny Sampson, who never fails to tell “captives” if need be. Mr Sampson was reacting to senseless demolition of the business premises of a citizen, Mercy Yakubu, by officials of Kaduna State government which took place towards the end of the penultimate week in a section of cosmopolitan Kaduna metropolis, at a time millions were celebrating New Year.
Government officials said the complex had to be demolished because there was information the place was used for a purported sex party. So what? What if it was a sex party as insinuated by government, could it in the kind of Nigeria we envisage be enough reason to demolish a business complex with all that is inside it without investigation, trial and conviction. It would seem some are working hard to take the rest of us into an era where the whims of one man or tiny group becomes the law.
The owner of the business complex, Mercy Yakubu, a Southern Kaduna Christian has spoken to give her version of what happened. According to her, the complex is a guest house for accommodation which also has provisions for restaurant and a conference hall which people hire for their events. The last occasion hosted there she insisted had nothing to do with any kind of revelling, she said she was around when the event started before she left to supervise other business concerns; it was from there she heard her business complex was under threat of demolition. She raced back to meet security cordon and actual pulling down of her property. No one gave her prior information, no allegation, no panel, just a pull down.
She was arrested and taken to a police station where she and some of her staff were subjected to human rights abuses of different kinds without courtesy of explanation on the nature of the crime they committed.. Mrs Yakubu said they were vehement no sex party took place within their premise. How did police get information to arrest? Police presented a video clip without producing the creator; the victim protested and that led to other anomalies.
The burden of tracking down the video maker fell on the victim, she had to pay for tracker services, when that aspect was through, it was discovered an indigene of Akwa lbom, one Akpan was the maker and poster of the video. Akpan admitted the video clip was not from a scene in the guest house. Mercy Yakubu didn’t tell us what he Akpan said was his intention for making the video and attaching the name of the demolished complex to it. Even though no disclosure has come along that line, we need not labour too hard to unravel the conspiracy round the silly act.
One can see envy especially given the nasty politics around Southern Kaduna indigenes, there has to be an unwritten policy that they should not be allowed to thrive at all. Living in the north has become hellish for them. Politically, they have been emasculated, their economy must remain rudimentary too. Pure jealousy! There is religious angle too. Men in power playing religion. Men talking God but playing the Pharisee, their mouth is with God but their hearts are with Satan full time, their acts tell us who they are. We are assailed with a kind of wickedness in high places, where men embrace outward semblance of piety, discarding the real virtues which true religion seeks to impart.
It is important one makes this point: the north is becoming notorious for acts that rubbish true nation building. The incident in question is not the first time Kaduna State government would take go after some individuals for wrong reasons. It once tagged a senator an enemy and before our eyes the man’s house became a public park. Now we have same government dealing with a Christian woman, Mercy Yakubu, for no apparent justification; sex party offence in a supposed secular Nigeria, becoming reason to turn to rubble a business complex worth hundreds of millions of naira in these times of great economic strangulation? Few months ago, Kano State Hisba Police took away alcoholic beverages from fellow citizens worth hundreds of millions of naira and destroyed them on account it was illegal goods or contraband items. When you see or hear that, one is left to wonder what kind of country is this. Is it an Islamic or secular state?
One reason our society will not have peace is hypocrisy exhibited by the leadership. National unity is victim of leadership hypocrisy. Take northern leaders for instance: they mouth unity at every opportunity but hardly believe in it. North was the first to shout secession, Araba ba muso, and when it didn’t suit them, they reverted to unitary system in a deeply plural society. It is creating problems yet they hold tight.They are never tired of preaching one Nigeria yet they kill others the most. They say unity not negotiable but insist on creating two laws for one united country, one Islamic and the other normal penal code. They preach religious tolerance but burning of churches and killing of pastors is like a pastime in the region. Core northerners preach love most but inside their actions are bile and hate. Garuba Shehu spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, in his tribute to late Wada Maina, journalism icon, disclosed recently that while both were working for Atiku Abubakar, one of the things they told Atiku was: “Northern establishment hates you.”
Reasons? Atiku wore Yoruba attire and was too liberal to be regarded as a core northerner. While Atiku served as Vice President to a southerner, Obasanjo to be clear, Shehu told us, Atiku went beyond what a core northerner should do. What was it he did? Going above tribalism! In Shehu’s account, we see leadership hypocrisy in particular and this is instructive. It is what is holding down our enclave from moving from the society to a country and then to a nation state. Our leaders say one thing in public, subscribe to another in private and in power positions. No one talks unity more than President Buhari but see what he is making of power and the society. See nepotism as state policy.
It is time we decide if truly we want a country or tribal/religious enclaves. We can all see that the price of double dealing and hypocrisy is becoming too costly. We have a responsibility to call Nasir El-Rufai, to demand that his government rebuilds the destroyed complex not only back to shape but to apologize to Citizen Mercy Yakubu and pay her adequate compensation. It is the right thing to do.