Hanifa Abubakar’s death is one that will be talked about for a while, not just because she is a small kid, also because kidnapping – and incessant killing – has become a big business in Nigeria.
At the Kano Police Command, Hanifa Abubakar’s father, Abubakar Abdulsalam, while in tears, called for the immediate prosecution of the prime suspect. Abdulsalam said, “kill this bastard now, please don’t spare him, please I beg you in the name of Allah”.
The private school, Noble Kids Academy, at Kwanar Dakata, in the Nasarawa Local Government Area, has been closed by the government. The state government ordered the immediate closure of the school as this was where the body of the abducted girl, Hanifa Abubakar, was buried by the suspects.
The State Commissioner for Education, Muhammad Kiru, announced the closure of the school in a statement after policemen exhumed Hanifa’s corpse buried in the private school. The body had been dismembered before being buried.
The principal suspect, Abdulmalik Tanko, said he kidnapped the 5-year-old Hanifa owing to his debts – he owed the landlord of the structure that housed the school.
He demanded a ransom of ₦6 million but was paid ₦100,000, which, he claimed, was used to pay his teachers. He said he killed the innocent girl with ₦100 rat poison.
Abdulmalik conspired with one Hashim Isyaku to kill the girl on December 18, 2021, having realised that the victim had recognised him.
In response, the governor of the state, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, committed to meticulously monitor and ensure the prosecution of anyone found culpable in the kidnap and murder of Hanifa Abubakar.
He said his government is terribly disturbed that people entrusted with the care of children only turn out to be their murderers.
Also, Minister Of communications, Professor Isa Pantami has visited the family house of late Hanifa.The minister with his entourage purposely went to sympathise with the victim’s parents.
The killing has also caught the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari who ordered the police and the Ministry of Justice to uphold the integrity of the detective work that busted the case by preparing well and presenting a good case that would earn the respect of the court.
He also expressed the nation’s condolences to the family of the schoolgirl, saying Nigerians had hoped for her to return home alive and well.
Most of the argument by Nigerians is that Abdulmalik Tanko should be given the capital punishment and it should be immediate. This has been corroborated by Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari, who is known to be vocal on such issues.
Aisha shared a short clip of a sermon by an Islamic scholar, Abdallah Gadon Kaya, demanding justice for the late Hanifa.
The cleric said in the Hausa language, “Therefore, he should be killed just the way he murdered the little girl. And this should be done openly for everyone to see. Let it serve as a deterrent to others.”
Reacting to the murder, Kano youths stormed Noble Kids Academy, setting it on fire. The police spokesperson in Kano, Abbdullahi Kiyawa Monday, said the angry youths set fire to the school in the middle of the night.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Grace Most Revd Ignatius Kaigama, has said that Nigerians need a change of attitude for the country to overcome its numerous challenges.
He said, “No doubt, we are good at blaming others, especially leaders in government, forgetting that what each Nigerian needs is radical positive attitudinal change.
“How can one ever explain that a school teacher abducted and killed five-year old Hanifa, and could not hear the cry for mercy of the angelic looking girl? Where is our humanity? Is government alone responsible for this monumental deficiency of basic human feelings?
“Like the men, women and children in the days of Ezra, the priest, let Nigerians listen attentively and act based on our scriptures, social norms and basic traditional values.”
Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram