Season of insanity (1)



It’s a season of madness, time when mindlessness is wisdom and the most mindless occupy premier positions in the land. It is a period when followers stupefied by poverty and prejudice crassly relish celebrating each other’s misfortune. And an age when the sane get whacked for being sane and the insane are awarded priceless trophies.

It is a season of extreme vacuity; those who unleash the worst havoc simply sit down to rewrite history and force down the throat of the gullible that are scarcely scarce. It is a season of unrestrained insanity but because insanity is the vogue the maddest are society’s role models.
It’s our society – where murderers are plentiful, felons are custodians of the law and crimes of the highest gravity attract no penalty or at best an ineffective slap on the wrist. And because life is so worthless no murder crimes are ever unraveled, so murderers live to kill another day.

On April 13, 2014 it will be seven years since the bullets of assassins cut down the well-respected Islamic scholar Sheikh Jafa’ar Mahmud Adam. The late Sheikh was known for unequivocally speaking out against the many ills that now typify out society, including corruption and misgovernance. Naturally his death was blamed on politicians and some even went as far as pointing accusing fingers at the then governor of Kano State, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau.
In the course of researching for an academic article I published with the Journal of African Media Studies (JAMS), I had participants in one of my studies who thought Sheikh Adam’s killing had nothing, at least not directly, to do with those fingered. They argued he was a victim of what today is dismissed as the Boko Haram killing spree, over which the government has no control.

Although the Friday morning cold-blooded attack is still cloaked in mystery more evidence have emerged suggesting the Sheikh was, indeed, killed by the sect after he made attempts to dissuade them from furthering their divisive, murderous agenda.
Nearly seven years after, apart from a series of conspiracy theories no one can, with definiteness, say the Boko Haram sect was behind Sheikh Adam’s murder. Yet again, no arrests or prosecutions or convictions were made in respect of the matter. So whoever it was, is probably out there killing and killing again.

The death earlier this week of prominent Islamic scholar Sheikh Muhammad Awwal Zaria (Sheikh Albany) brings back the memory of Sheikh Adam’s. The two sheikh’s dissimilarities notwithstanding, each was a scholar per excellence, an undiluted critic of the moral bankruptcy our society epitomizes and a victim of the ills they spoke against. So, no one should expect any justice for either of them. Not in our land, the land of the insane.

Like the murder of Sheikh Adam and many other cruelties of similar or worse enormousness Sheikh Albany’s will be blamed on Boko Haram. But no one will remember that Boko Haram, as Professor Jean Herskovits succinctly argues, has evolved into a franchise of several interests, under whose aegis the plainly criminal and the high profiled congregate. And because it is such a shrewdly designed crime charter they easily meander their way out of trouble.
Boko Haram is unarguably a complete nuisance. Sheikh Albany clearly preached against its dogma and criticized the evil it represents. He lived his sermons; detachment from Western civilization, he said, was not an option since there were positive aspects of it worth emulating.

Unlike Muhammad Yusuf and his cohorts who denounced education, Sheikh Albany once said: “My belief is that Muslims must engage in the acquisition of western education known as Boko.” And so he put what he preached into practice by acquiring a master’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering.
But on the day he died the most ignorant of our society, trounced to a state of senselessness by penury and bigotry, went to town jubilation. For them an enemy has been deservedly felled by his own device. This is how low our society has plunged.

(To be continued)
Postscript:
Birthday for me is like everyday of my life: an occasion to count my blessings one-by-one and exalt the Lord Almighty for His mercies. It is also a time to soberly look into a future whose span could be only a few minutes or hours or days or months or years and trust my God with all my affairs. In life each minute spent brings one closer to his/her grave. Death is inevitable but it is not by my doing that I have added one more year to my bag of years. It is not because I have done anything extraordinary it is by God’s mercy. As I thank Him for this and all mercies, I wish to seize the opportunity to extend my appreciations to everyone that has wished me a happy birthday. I am overwhelmed by the torrent of love showered on me. You are indeed my people, whom I can count on in times of sorrow and merriment.