By Muftau Gbadegesin
SIR: In less than 30 days, Aminu Shariff, the controversial Kano gospel singer whose blasphemous song led to wild protest across Kano municipality would be sent to guillotine except the death penalty handed to him by Judge Khadi Aliyu Muhammad of the Upper Sharia court in Hausawa filling hockey area of the state is appealed. But his death, news report says, will pass through the table of the state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who’s declared his readiness to smash Aminu’s head with his official “cudgel” should he fail to appeal the judgement.
The Kano of Ganduje is home to highest number of out of school children in the country with over a million kids roaming aimlessly on the street. It is no surprise Kano is one of those crime hotbeds in the country. Furthermore, the state’s poverty rate blows off one’s mind, as it is for prevalent drug abuse and petty crimes. As for unemployment, Kano sits comfortably among other states on the large keg of gun powder ticking to explode. All of these and more seem not to pinch the governor to demand quick and speedy action as it is for that dastardly death sentence aim at bloating his ego while appeasing to a section of his state.
Aside Governor Ganduje’s cudgel and Aminu Shariff blasphemy lies an important and deeply ingrained issue of double standard especially between the poor masses and the ruling elites in matters of law. Northern Nigeria displays this crass and flagrant disregard to the apogee. When a member of the elite errs, he opts for secular law that can take years of battle while a poor man is speedily tried with Sharia. What errant contradictions? Unfortunately this Kano shenanigans confirm Karl Marx’s Maxim that indeed “religion is the opium of the masses”.
Malcom Gladwell says the principle of legitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same as the rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from other. As Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje raised his ‘cudgel’ to hit Aminu Shariff’s skull, one is tempted to ask, where is justice, fairness, voice and equality?
- Muftau Gbadegesin,