The murder of a Christian pastor in Kano has raised questions about justice, fairness and fairness for non-Muslims in Muslim-dominated Kano state. Muslim wild boars killed Rev. Shuaibu for his alleged role in converting a Muslim to Christianity in the region. Such horrific acts of religious extremism are nothing new in Kano State. Kano is one of the Muslim majority states in northern Nigeria where Sharia law is in effect. Islamic theocracy prevails in the region. Kano State officially treats non-Muslims as second-class citizens.
Muslim extremists engage in attacks and killings of non-Muslims with impunity. Federal government authorities are turning a blind eye to abuses and crimes based on the Muslim faith. The Christian Association of Nigeria has called for justice in the case of the late Pastor Shuaibu. But will justice be done? Will the murderers of this pastor be brought to justice? Police have reportedly arrested some suspects. But will they be prosecuted and punished for their crimes? Based on the history of religious bloodletting in the state, justice would likely not be served. It is not in the character of the Islamic State of Kano to ensure justice and fairness for non-Muslim believers. Whenever Muslim jihadists lash out, attack or kill non-Muslims, as in the case of Pastor Shuaibu, the Kano state government bends to the Islamic base. State officials look away; they pretend not to know their duty and responsibility. The state government downplays the atrocity. State actors pretend to ignore the law and the constitution. In most cases, arrests are not made. Muslim assailants and murderers are unharmed because the murder of a non-Muslim is not treated as a criminal act. Killing an unbeliever is widely seen as a religious duty that advances the cause of Islam and not as an offense against the state.
In some cases where victims survive, they are arrested and detained for their safety. The victims of attacks by the Islamic mob are prosecuted for having engaged in actions likely to undermine public peace. In situations where they did not survive, such as in the case of Rev. Shuaibu, suspects can be arrested. But they would later be released secretly. As in the case of Bridget Agbahime, whenever the alleged perpetrators are indicted in court, state prosecutors at some point declare nolle prosequi on the case. They would free the leeches. This disgusting scheme applies to the handling of jihadist attacks and the murder of non-Muslims in Kano State. Everyone expects the pattern to unfold in the case of Reverend Shuaibu. The Kano state government could also choose to prove the experts wrong. Now that the police have arrested some suspects, will delaying tactics take hold? Will the police charge them in court? Will the police keep them in custody until the tension dissipates and then release them? We know that the attorneys general sometimes also act as if they wanted to deal with the matter with diligence. They would take the case to court and later either suspend the trial or ask the judge to dismiss it. Would this drama play out in the case of Reverend Shuaibu?
The authorities in Kano State should know that the world is watching and closely following the case of Rev. Shuaibu. The world is taking note of all the evils, ploys and intrigues that the Islamic theocrats of Kano use to deny justice to non-Muslims.
Igwe is a Nigerian human rights defender and humanist.