I read with utmost surprise an article by Bala Ibrahim, a former staff of the Hausa service of the BBC and ‘media consultant’ titled: “Bashir burial: Again Ganduje’s government goofed” and published on one of the highly paid social media platform by the opposition, Solacebase, in which he attempted to politicize the death of some prominent citizens, particularly the businessman and former presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in the June 12, 1993 election, Alhaji Bashir Othman Tofa.
Other deceased illustrious citizens whom Ibrahim should have allowed to rest in peace but uses their names to settle political scores include Alhaji Muktar Adnan, former district head of Dambatta and Sarkin Bai, Malam Ado Gwaram, two-time Secretary to the Kano State Government (SSG)and Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, the founder of Asmau Memorial Hospital in Kano, former President-General of the Shari’a Council of Nigeria and one time presidential aspirant on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP).
I would not be tired of responding to this kind of disgusting pieces but for the political instinct and the sentiments which overshadow the writer’s sense of reasoning to such an extent that he used the free passage of all garbage offered by the handy social media and carelessly published the gibberish without cross-checking the facts.
One is utterly disappointed with the writer’s political motivation which is influencing his professional judgement. In fact, this rejoinder is intended to bring to fore the lies buried in the article which may deceive unsuspecting public and also help in discouraging him and his likes bent on sullying any target personality by every available dribble they could get.
First of all, I have been a keen follower of events in Kano and Bala’s online publications. In them, I found that he drives pleasure in using the slightest opportunity to descend on Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. All these years, he never see anything good and worth telling about the governor, which clearly indicates his bias and unprofessional conduct.
A typical Kano man needs not to be told that in history no governor matches Ganduje in identifying with the people. He always create time for friends, families, associates and even the commoners to attend their funeral rites, wedding Fatiha and visit the sick at home or in hospital. There are those who never did that. Bala knows exactly what I meant here.
Even if he is out of town, when death occurs, mostly, his first port of call will be a visit to condole with the family, including those of his opponents. This is in addition to issuing of press statement and dispatching of a delegation on behalf of the state government.
From what I have gathered, Ganduje may differ with the late Tofa on certain government’s policies and programmes, but definitely that cannot prevent him from attending his funeral prayer. After all, as I learnt, the governor is out of town for quite some times now. If Bala cares to find out, a delegation of the state government has been there during the funeral rites, while the state acting governor, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna who was also away in Abuja, has condoled with the family upon his return on behalf of the governor and the people of Kano state.
The acting governor also condoled with the family of late Sarkin Bai in addition to other senior administration officials that included the former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Chairman, Policy Coordination and Policy Implementation Directorate, Alhaji Rabi’u Suleiman Bichi. I have also seen pictures of the Kano state commissioner for Information leading the federal government’s delegation to the same family. Still, the acting governor has consoled the family of the former SSG, Malam Ado Gwaram, just like the present SSG, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, while another delegation comprising of members of the state Executive Council has commiserated with the family of late Dr. Datti Ahmed.
Even though I have known fully the writer’s knack for absolute condemnation and total envy of Ganduje, it is mortifying of Bala to compromise his career by engaging in putting out deleterious articles just because he hate the governor. That is I still do not understand how one should politicize the issue of death just to serve the interest of others.
The Islamic funeral rites or Salat al-Janazah is a collective obligation upon Muslims (Fard al-Kifaya), that is, if some Muslims take the responsibility of doing it, the obligation is fulfilled, but if no one fulfils it, then all Muslims will be accountable. After all, what the dead needs is prayer which can be performed from any angle of the globe.
This attempt to analysing funeral attendance questioned your sit-tight disposition and integrity as a trained journalist and a clear indication that you are all out to make mischief. If you had been there and objective enough you wouldn’t be creating a story that never exist and goofed again.
Adam is an Abuja-based freelance journalist