The recent discovery of nine children in Anambra state who were abducted from Kano, sold, enslaved and converted to Christianity has opened serious debates about the hypocrisy of Nigerian media and Civil Society activists in the country. Many were saying that the menace has been in existence for a very long time without anyone raising an eye brow in the past. Though the Kano state government has now constituted a committee that will ensure the return of the remaining children and their reunion with their families, to many, that was a mere illusionary journey taking into cognizance that most of those children might have been transformed into something a whole different identity while many others may not even remember anything about their past and ethno-religious identities.
Many may remember that in 2015, a girl named Ese Oruru was brought to Kano by one young Hausa Fulani boy called Yunusa yellow, the girl was said to be 13 years old while the boy was said to be between the age of 19 to 22 at the time. According to many activists and media houses what Yunusa yellow did was an act of abduction, rape, stealing and forcing a minor into two things: one, he forcing her to convert to Islam and second marrying her without the prior consent of her parents. Even though Ese had confessed to the police that she actually willingly followed Yellow to Kano so that they could get married but despite that most people still went ahead and criticized, accused and castigated the boy, Hausa Fulani and in extension the Islamic religion for allowing Yellow to bring Ese to Kano without asking anyone from the far north whether he/she was consulted by Yellow before bringing the girl to Kano. And the blind law? Of course it convicted him certainly on the grounds of legal technicalities. This has shown how badly the media is in the country, where editors, for the most part choose to portray one part of the country as evil for committing a particular crime while maintaining a mute passivity when one of them commits the same crime; is this not hypocrisy?
In the last two weeks, the social media handles of activists and media professionals, especially those from the Northern part of the country were agog and dominated by this report which was first published by an online newspaper owned and operated by a northerner about this discovery. Many northern warriors, including myself, were accusing the southern media of not given the issue the proper attention it deserved, but the question we need to ask ourselves is why would someone care for your problems and use his own resources and weapons to fight your war when you yourself have long forgotten about the importance and significance of that weapon in the society? The debate of establishing media houses by northern elites has been in existence for many years, but still, these northern elites do not find it worthy to invest their money on it apparently perhaps they are afraid of the possibility that if they give us too much information we will use it against them just like the way they intentionally dilapidated the education sector in the region thinking that it is the only way to continue enslaving the northern community of ordinaries. May be this will serve as an eye opener for the upcoming generations to give the media the attention it deserves in the region.
Ali Sabo works with Centre for Information Technology and Development in Dutse, Jigawa State. You can reach him either through email: [email protected] or his twitter handle @alygee124