What if Kanu was arrested?

On Thursday, June 24, 2021, I came across a viral video from Zamfara State. In the four-minute clip, a notorious bandit leader could be seen boastfully confessing to senior security officials about the atrocities he has committed against the Nigerian state and its people. The man, popularly known as Dan-Karami, is said to be one of the main members of the gang of the late Buharin daji, a bandit general, who controlled rural areas of Zamfara until his death in 2018 at the hands of one of his other gang members, Dogo Gide. Dogo Gide had “repented” and submitted to the Zamfara State government led by Abdulazeez Yari and Yari had decided to use it to kill his boss. Gide has since resumed crime and operates from his base in the vast forest reserve that spans several northwest and north-central states. He and Dan-Karami were among the many gangsters who sealed and violated several peace agreements with the governments of Zamfara and Katsina states.

I watched the video clips several times and after investigation learned that senior government officials were there to beg him to allow people to go and farm in the areas he controlled now that it is the season. rains. The areas he controlled, as he said in the clip, are south of the Jibia-Gusau highway where he claims to be responsible for “any crime you hear about”. It should be noted that a week earlier, 53 people had been killed in the region. This is several times the number of Nigerians killed due to IPOB activities since the beginning.

From what he said, the Nigerian government has no choice but to go begging him because, according to him, he has successfully repelled all attempts by the Nigerian military to defeat him. In one of those attempts, he said, he was attacked by a combined team of Nigerian and Nigerian security forces and he defeated and killed more than half of them. He also confessed to kidnapping 40 children from Zurmi commune at another time.

Another thing he said deserves consideration was the initial refusal by the now deposed Emir of Zurmi to enter into a dialogue with him or any terrorist for that matter. If what he said was true, the emir only agreed to speak to him after it was clear to the emir that the government could not defeat him. The question to ask here is: if the emir decided to communicate with the excluded in order to protect his people, was he doing or not doing the right thing? Why was he dismissed by the same government which has now decided to go and smile with a confirmed criminal who admitted having killed several people including our soldiers? When did the Nigerian government become a coward aiming only at soft targets?

After watching this video, I started to wait for a statement from the federal government. None came, at least not to my knowledge. The expectation of any citizen who has watched this video would be that the government is now launching a major manhunt to have the criminal charged with murder, treason, kidnapping, etc. Alas! The attention of the leaders of the APC and the PDP is not there. Their concern is not how Nigerians can sleep with their eyes closed or how many criminals are brought to justice, but how many politicians from one party to the other. Sadly, for the people of Zamfara State, the next thing they heard was that their governor was now defecting to the ruling party (sorry “ruling”) as if that would solve their problem.

But there is one thing I did. After watching this video, I decided to send it to the media assistant to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and asked him to hand it over to his boss in case he didn’t see it with our message. of disappointment.

My choice of Abubakar Malami is deliberate for two reasons. First, he is not one of those opportunists who only started supporting President Muhammadu Buhari with the storm of 2015. He has been a supporter of Buhari from day one and therefore witnesses all the promises his Oga has made. made to Nigerians. Second, he is the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

Nothing has changed. The Sheikh Gumis are busy moving from one bandit camp to another and ask Buhari to pay salaries to the Fulani criminals. The Kabiru Gombes are everywhere to tell the masses that Saint Buhari is not responsible for protecting their lives and property since he has appointed northerners to take charge of security. The Aminu Masaris accuse the masses of waiting for the government to grant them protection. This is the very sad situation in which the people of the North find themselves. You are alone if fate makes you an ordinary Northern Nigerian.

Yesterday, while the rest of us were still waiting for action (although most northerners genuinely gave up hope), Malami appeared on our TV screens to tell Nigerians that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the ‘IPOB, was arrested’ thanks to the collaborative efforts of Nigerians. intelligence and security services ”. That’s good news, I thought, but it’s not news. Kanu has never been the major problem for peasants in the North. His arrest will never make the Kaduna-Abuja, Kaduna-Birnin Gwari, Jibia-Gusau, Kankara-Sheme or any of these highways safe. He will never stop the harassment of our people killed, kidnapped and raped daily by bandits. So what if he’s arrested?

But Kanu is “accused of inciting violence, particularly in south-eastern Nigeria, which resulted in the loss of life and property of civilians, soldiers, paramilitaries, police forces and the destruction of ‘civil institutions and symbols of authorities’. Here is someone right here on Nigerian soil bragging about committing all these atrocities and government daring. However, the government goes there to smile at him. Isn’t that an irony?

Professor Jibia teaches at Bayero University, Kano

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