Recall that following the break of the news of the discovery of the theft and baptism of nine Kano children the Coalition of Northern Groups issued a statement in which it condemned the heinous crime and made several fundamental observations and demands.
Key among the demands were:
- Instituting an enquiry by the federal and Kano state governments.
- Reviewing the penalty for this and similar incidences to include death or life sentence.
- Relocation of luxurious bus stations from outskirts to mainstream motor parks.
- The CNG observes that the Kano state government has harkened to the concerns raised by announcing plans to institute a comprehensive enquiry into this and similar crimes to ascertain the depth of the operations.
- We note also that the Kano state government has vowed to ensure prompt police action for further discoveries, thorough investigation, prompt and diligent prosecution and appropriate conviction and sanction as demanded by the CNG.
- We note with deep regret that the federal government, most northern States governments, northern political class, traditional, cultural and religious leaderships in the North and the international community are yet to make definite and categorical pronouncements on this matter that threatens an entire generation.
- We note also that a large section of the traditionally hostile southern media and the vocal southern-based human rights defenders appear to conspire to frustrate the accurate reporting of the matter or mute it completely.
Our Current Stand
- While we are impressed by these initial steps taken by the Kano state government, we earnestly hope it will expedite the setting up of the commission and give it a free hand to operate.
- As we await the setting up of the commission, we call on all the people of Kano who have lost relations in the recent past to begin submission of their names, dates missed and photographs to us by Monday 21 October, 2019 at an addressed to be specified shortly.
- The names would be comprehensively compiled and tendered before the commission when it starts sitting.
- The compilation would also be copied to the police, Directorate of State Services and the Hisbah.
- We insist that the Kano state legislature enacts a law to compel the relocation of the luxurious bus stations from the outskirts to the mainstream Naibawa motor park for proper monitoring.
- All incoming and out bound luxurious buses must be thoroughly searched at the park for drugs, arms and other dangerous substances.
- Passengers carrying babies and children along must obtain police reports certifying they are the lawful custodians.
- The state government should create Hisbah outposts in the park to compliment the police effort and enhance efficiency.
- While acknowledging the concerns shown by a few Kano personalities, we condemn the silence of most northern political, religious and traditional leaders over the fate of these innocent victims.
- We are particularly unimpressed by the silence of the presidency, the international community and a large section of the media.
- We call on the general public particularly the people of Kano state to take note of those leaders who abandoned them in their hour of need.
- Finally the CNG recognizes the courage of the few organizations such as the Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and the Association of Female Lawyers that are standing firmly for justice for these poor children.