ByKòmbò Mason Braide (PhD)
Port Harcourt, Nigeria
The farcical and fatuous fatwa, pronounced recently by the so-called Deputy Governor of a supposedly democratic sub-component, called Zamfara State, of a supposedly democratic Federal Republic of Nigeria, His so-called Excellency, so-called Alhaji Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi, in addition to other recent threats to the peace and general stability of Nigeria, makes the Government of Zamfara State, the prime sponsor, and flag bearer of dogma-energised terrorism in the ECOWAS sub-region, in case you do not know yet.
Yet, President Obasanjo rewarded that "rogue regime" for recklessly declaring yet another death sentence on yet another Nigerian woman, Ms. Isioma Daniels, by firstly denouncing her freedom of expression, and by insinuation, the freedom of the press in Nigeria, and then proceeding to arrest her colleague, an editor in ThisDay newspapers, after Isioma had fled Obasanjo’s investor-friendly Nigeria, sequel to the complete reduction to ashes of that newspaper’s office in Kaduna, by some dogma-addicted terrorists.
How very democratic!
The War against Women (WAW) has become the obsession of Nigeria’s religious bigots, fanatics, and terrorists alike, all of them, men. Sexual terrorism and/or gender chauvinism easily supersede all other priorities, preoccupations, or developmental concerns, wherever the virus strikes, particularly in Zamfara State, where dogma-energised state-sponsored terrorism flourishes unrestrained. How else could President Obasanjo have rewarded an intransigent state governor, who has repeatedly subjected the female half of the population of Zamfara State to a sustained reign of pure and unabashed terror, trauma, squalor, humiliation, and indignity, with so much audacity, in a country that claims to be part of the early 21st century?
At no point in Nigerian history, have women and girls been more methodically, and blatantly abused than in Zamfara State today where, in the name of a madness masquerading as dogma, the government in Gusau deliberately tramples on their fundamental human rights. Just as it was, in the Taliban era in Afghanistan, pre-9/11, women may not appear in public without being covered "adequately", from head to toe, and from toenail to dandruff. They may not leave their homes without being accompanied by a "trusted" male family member. They are not allowed to attend the same schools with their fellow male students, or be treated by male doctors, particularly male gynaecologists, or travel in the same bus or taxi with male passengers, or ride on an "okada" that is piloted by a male rider. Yet, Nigerians fool themselves that their women, especially those of them in Zamfara State, have any constitutionally assured basic human rights, as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Nigerians are very worried about the implications of supposedly democratically elected, so-called Deputy Governor, so-called Alhaji Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi’s fatwa, on the integrity, political influence, and authority of President Obasanjo’s government. The general impression that "Omo Oba" is presenting to the whole world is that, some Nigerians are at liberty to disregard the demands of civilised behaviour, and the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, since they can kill anyone who offends their personal myths, brainwaves, convictions, sentiments, dogmas, whims, or worldviews.
What if the so-called Executive Governor of Ms. Isioma Daniels’ state of origin stands firm, and issues a very strongly worded counter-statement, giving so-called Deputy Governor Alhaji Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi an ultimatum to speedily retract his laughable so-called fatwa, failing which, all citizens of Zamfara State, be they Moslems, Christians, Animists, or Atheists, irrespective of their individual merits or perceived nuisance potential, would be considered, en-masse, as grave security risks, and repatriated peacefully, and systematically, maybe, by air-conditioned "luxurious" buses, to Zamfara State, in a manner very similar to what some Nigerians experienced, during those heady days in post-Aguiyi-Ironsi Nigeria in 1966 and 1967, shortly after the coup d’état, that was part-coordinated by the incumbent Minister of Defence, and your successor, and one time insubordinate field commander, Murtala Mohammed, that brought you into military politics, or/and in line with Major Gideon Orka’s model of expedited national sanitisation, salvation, and redemption. That could send a very loud and clear warning that the brazen over-indulgence of the Government of Zamfara State, in hard-core theocracy, glorified extremism, intolerance, bigotry, sexism, and/or covert urban terrorism, will not be tolerated in a democratic Federal Republic of Nigeria.
But then, Ms. Isioma Daniel’s so-called Executive Governor may be too petrified to challenge the impunity, given the possibility that Obasanjo would remind him about a tale of "no victors and no vanquished". Very likely, Ms. Isioma Daniel’s so-called Executive Governor may be very engrossed, wallowing in the hallucinations and euphoria induced by Chief Tony Anenih’s open political 419: a shameless strategy of pre-elections influence peddling, elections vote rigging, and post-elections joint abuse of office, treasury evacuation, and general brigandage by political soul mates, via the "adoption", and "endorsement" of some supposedly elected high performance governors, who are now routinely led by the nose by that unelected ex-Nigerian Policeman, gone bananas.
In fact, Ms. Isioma Daniel’s democratically elected so-called Executive Governor may be so busy planning, and putting final touches to various conspiracies, and intrigues aimed at strengthening his self-recycling project, in preparation for the 2003 gubernatorial elections, that he might not have sufficient focus even to think about the serious threat to the life of one of his citizens. Nevertheless, somebody just has to do something fast, if Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (psc; fss) will do nothing about naked sexual terrorism, and gender chauvinism in Nigeria. Please, the ball is in your court, our beloved and gracious elder statesman. Do something.
This text is part of a letter titled: "Our Dear Dr. Yakubu Gowon (GCFR)", published in December 2002