Two Tears For Dadiyata And The Sun

Dr. Gimba
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By Hassan Gimba

At about 1 am, on the cold night of Friday, August 2, 2019, exactly two months after celebrating his 34th birthday, Malam Abubakar Idris, commonly known as Abu Hanifa Dadiyata, or just Dadiyata, was abducted in front of his house at Barnawa, a quiescent area of Kaduna.

Armed men kidnapped the PhD student and History of English Language lecturer at the Federal University, Dutsinma, from his house after they breached his house’s security from where they took him away in his BMW car.

For all these four years, no ransom was asked and nobody has contacted his family in any way. This sensibly cancels out, from the range of suspects, those who abduct as a way of making money, a new business channel that has proved to be lucrative in today’s Nigeria. But it also made some suspect the nation’s security agencies, especially the Department of State Services (DSS).

Dadiyata was said to be an unapologetic supporter of Abba Yusuf (Abba Gida-Gida) when he contested the governorship of Kano State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election.

This prompted Sanusi Dawakin-Tofa, spokesman of the gubernatorial candidate, to come out the next day with claims that the social media influencer had been arrested by the security agency. He then called on the DSS to release Dadiyata unconditionally.

“As members of the opposition in Kano and Nigeria, we will continue to give constructive criticism to the ruling party within the confines of the law,” he added in a statement

Believing that the DSS was behind the abduction of Dadiyata, the PDP also asked the secret police to ensure his release.

“The PDP therefore demands the DSS high command to speak out and take urgent steps to secure the release of Idris from his abductors before it is too late,” Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesman of the opposition party, said in a statement.

But the DSS denied having the social media influencer in its custody while the police in Kaduna said they had commenced an investigation into his disappearance.

Abba Yusuf has now been elected as governor of Kano State under the banner of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and he has promised to go to the roots of this issue.

Even the United Nations frowns at such disappearances. In Articles 1 and 2 of the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, Article 1 says, “Any act of enforced disappearance is an offence to human dignity. It is condemned as a denial of the purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and as a grave and flagrant violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reaffirmed and developed in international instruments in this field.

“Any act of enforced disappearance places the persons subjected thereto outside the protection of the law and inflicts severe suffering on them and their families. It constitutes a violation of the rules of international law guaranteeing the right to recognition, as a person before the law, the right to liberty and security of the person and the right not to be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It also violates or constitutes a grave threat to the right to life.

Article 2 states that “No State shall practise, permit or tolerate enforced disappearances…”

But beyond this, it is not only painful and sad but worrisome and unfortunate that this young man, or any other person, can suddenly disappear and none of the country’s security agencies can provide any definitive information on his whereabouts – after four years!

Dadiyata is today somewhere. That somewhere is where his parents, wife, children, friends, loved ones, associates and students cannot access. Is that “somewhere” in this world or in the other? What should it be for him, hope or a tear and a requiem?

That False Fiction

Tears of the Sun is the title of a 2003 American action thriller film depicting a fictitious U.S. Navy SEAL team commanded by Lieutenant A.K. Waters (Bruce Willis) who came to Nigeria and routed a battalion of its army.

The team purportedly came to Nigeria on a mission during a fictional civil war in which the “Fulani” were massacring the Igbo to rescue Dr. Lena Fiore Kendricks (Monica Bellucci). But as always with Yankees who portray themselves as a people who can sacrifice their lives for others, the doctor, an American by marriage, refused to be airlifted from the war zone with them unless they saved 70 refugees, too.

In the story, less than a dozen American SEALS on a humanitarian mission were able to defeat over 300 Nigerian soldiers about to annihilate the Igbos and cut off its “tribal lineage” – whatever that means.

The film, shot in Hawaii, has no resemblance to Nigeria in any way. Save for a few spoken Hausa words like “you will die”, “we will kill you,” or in Igbo “oh, God”, neither did the “Fulani”, who looked more Igbo, look like Fulani, nor the Igbo Igbo.

 I just wonder why there was never a complaint from any quarter in Nigeria over that gross misrepresentation and its motive to cause more disaffection and disunity.

Hassan Gimba is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Neptune Prime.

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