by Pius Adesanmi
So the accused killers of Mrs Bridget Agbanime were declared innocent and freed and it hardly made national news? In fact, someone only just emailed me about it. How many “national priorities” have we had since this latest addition to Nigeria’s mountain of moving on without justice for the dead and their living families?
I hear that the latest national advocacy emergency is protecting Sambo Dasuki’s right to attend his father’s funeral. Yesterday’s national advocacy emergency was defending the former first lady’s right to her dollars.
Now, can we agree to add Mrs Agbanime’s case to the list of issues worthy of emergency public advocacy? I have since read many reports on the discharge and acquittal. Folks just gathered in a Kano magistrate court and said no case. End of story. Magana ya kare.
Well, don’t we need to explain to the Nigerian state that it doesn’t work that way? Don’t we need to explain to the Nigerian state that when a court dismisses a case of murder, it is the responsibility of the state prosecutor to assure the public and the bereaved that the pursuit of justice shall continue?
You see, if you do not explain these simple things to the Nigerian state, she just shrugs and moves on from unsolved murder to unsolved murder, allowing the criminally porous memory of the Nigerian to take care of business.
Nigeria is the only place on earth where there is a mnemonic statute of limitation on murder. Once we murder you, we grant you the privilege of a few headlines lasting one or two days before we move on to the more urgent task of defending our favorite politician or religious cleric of whichever faith. If you stake a claim to being remembered beyond the time slot allotted you, we don’t like it.The state walks away from the business of finding your killers.
The people say God will judge your killers.
We move on.
If you are a family member, only in your loneliness are you allowed to remember that
There was Gideon Akaluka
There was Grace Ushang
There was Christiana Oluwasesin
There were the Apo Six
There were the Aluu Four
If you, family member, returns to the public sphere to mention these names when we are busy defending politicians;
If you come to disturb us that we never gave you justice, we turn against you and remind you that you are not the only one who has lost a family member.
Maybe we can break this cycle and explain to President Buhari that the acquittal in Kano does not mean that Nigeria gets to shrug in the cold calculated conviction that she does not have to do anything to get justice for Mrs Agbanime?
Don’t let Nigeria get away with the strategy of inviting time to take care of the business of wiping her off our national memory.
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