– Gimba Kakanda
Someone here reached out to plead that I let go of the Abba Kyari matter because the embattled cop is a fellow Muslim and that the strength of such brotherhood of faith is enough to overlook and forgive his tango with an indicted fraudster or collusion in a scam that, ironically, targeted a fellow Muslim in another country. I found that amusing but I politely pointed out why such reasoning is misguided. There’s no any personal agenda against the cop. I’ve never ever had an encounter with him, and neither was I ever a victim of his undoings. He’s being haunted by the ghosts of the Chibuzos he neutralized at the service of the Hushpuppis.
Aside from the absurdity of a shared religion or ethnicity being a motivation to launder any questionable character’s image, the intervention was built on a poor understanding of the police. Last October, a friend, Ibrahim Morocco, and I were brutally assaulted by the police at a protest, and arrested. The head of our nightmare was a certain ASP M. B. Shehu who had boasted that he would’ve had us killed and every trace of our existence erased if they had caught us in the dark. He was, I eventually gathered, from Borno State and best known as Mala.
Mala Shehu asked the subordinate brutes to take us to the police headquarters, and that we would be handed over to SARS operatives who had just been announced disbanded. He intended to have Ibrahim and I passed off as criminals, and the outcome of such is predictable. So many innocent Nigerians have disappeared in such a fashion.
Fortunately, at the Louis Edet premises, our arrest was first protested by a mobile police officer who bore the tag “Ibe King N.” He was also an Assistant Superintendent of Police. He asked us to be brought to an office instead of the proposed torture chamber Mala had instructed the junior officers, who had also broken our phones and watches, to take us.
Ibe King is a Christian and Southerner, and yet he questioned what seemed like our death warrant signed by an officer from the religion and region with which Ibrahim and I identified. In fact, Mala was from the same place as Ibrahim, whose brutalization he had gladly supervised. They even had mutual friends and Ibrahim believed that Mala must’ve recognized him and yet that didn’t matter.
Although the Malas are not representatives of their people or place, they are inventions of our primordial sentiments that excuse their transgressions and pave the way for their notoriety in an already rotten system. The Abba Kyaris and the Mala Shehus don’t reciprocate this solidarity in climbing up the ladder of power. They worship money, and the dirtier the better. Their senses are trapped in their guns, which they are quick to activate in convenient “accidents,” leaving behind trails of deaths or injustices.
Those most qualified to speak on the integrity of Abba Kyari and his likes are the Chibuzos of this country, those he illegally hounded at the service of his paymasters. Whether you worship in the same mosque or grew up in the same neighbourhood, the day an Abba Kyari intervenes in a matter that has you against the Hushpuppis of this world, you are going to understand the ridiculousness of your thinking and solidarity. Beyond the smokescreen of their religious, ethnic or regional allegiances, every rogue policeman’s most potent god has always been money.
I often wonder what would’ve happened to us that day if ASP King had not stalled the process instigated by Mala, and if Dr. Obiageli Oby Ezekwesili, who stormed the police headquarters to rescue us, had not responded to the calls of Aisha Yesufu, Florence Ozor and Maureen Kabrik to join in the risky mission to rescue us from a cruel fate