By Ambali Abdulkabeer
More than any other incidents, the recent killing of one Hanifa Abubakar in Kano state by her wicked school head, Mr Abdulmalik Tanko, has been making the rounds on social media. People have angrily commented on the gory incident and demanded that the perpetrator be immediately killed in return. However, more than the angry ocean of comments made by parents who put themselves in the shoes of the diseased’s parents, it would be depressing to construe the motive behind the action. If truth be told, we live in a world rife with sheer inhumanity.
Based on the reports published by several newspapers, Mr Tanko, who is a father of three, had kidnapped the deceased and demanded 6 million ransom weeks before he eventually murdered her. He did that, according to reports, because the innocent girl recognized him. I can’t wrap my head around this. But, while we feel battered by his action, we should not forget that Mr Tanko is a representative of a larger, utterly redolent society.
In several parts of the country, such a case is rising. Our society has degenerated into a theatre of inexplicable death while we continue to pretend nothing is happening. It is not out of point to mention that ours is a world of wolves in sheep’s clothing. We no longer value human souls. Instead, we belittle the significance of life as enshrined in the sacred books available to us. Daily, people’s interactions are shaped by motives that stray away from the principles of humanity.
In all of this, I think we have to reflect on the happenings in our world. The fact that suspicion, manifest in hypocrisy and sheer wickedness, defines our relationships as a people should remind us of the destruction that has befallen the human race. As far as I know, no religion justifies the termination of the human soul on flimsy reason. No culture encourages such. What is wrong with us?
For instance, ALLAH reminds us in Qur’an 5:32 that killing of the human soul is a grave offence: “For that, cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.” Several Hadiths of the noble prophet Muhammad (SAW) also remind us of the enormous aberration that unjustifiable termination of human souls represents.
It is high time we began to pay attention to virtue in our society. I have always felt that Nigeria is descending into a society where morality and values are no longer cherished. People are driven by wealth, and this practice is not unconnected to the litany of woes that our society experiences. Cases of young people dying in their quest for ‘quick money’ are numberless. Unarguably, the high rate of unemployment, mismanagement of resources by those at the helms of affairs, utter cynicism evident in our religious institutions and others have also been cited as reasons people engage themselves in the unimaginable.
However, we would help our society a lot by refusing not to be driven into egregious acts such as killing innocent people, as Tanko did. He didn’t even think about Hanifa’s innocence, her parents and the fact that she had a future. Mr Tanko’s action, in other words, is a manifestation of the death of ethics in our evil society. George Bernard Shaw was right when he said, “The nation’s morals are like its teeth; the more decayed they are, the more it hurts to touch them.”
Mr Tanko should be punished according to the gravity of his offence. He doesn’t deserve mercy, and the law must not be altered to excuse his egregious act as not deserving of death. For subjecting the deceased’s parents to endless grief, for showing that the human soul doesn’t matter to him, for doing the unimaginable, Mr Tanko must not go scot-free. May ALLAH bless the deceased and comfort her parents.
Ambali Abdulkabeer writes in from Ilorin. He can be reached via email@example.com.