Mannequins, cats and double standards, By Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú

Mannequins

Sooner rather than later, the government will be consumed by the hydra-headed monster that created it. No matter how long it takes, one day we will, as a united entity or a loose federation, agree that Nigerians, north or south, deserve to be safe … we, the people, and those who rule us must stop doing stupid things.

Once a proud international trade and cultural center, Kano has been overrun by religious charlatans, zealots and hypocrites. Kano has developed into the global headquarters of Almajirai and thus the competence center for exclusion and downward mobility. No society advances by cutting off human development. No society grows by stifling freedom. If the Kano State Hisbah doesn’t break beer bottles, they will confiscate mannequins. Human development is psychological, physical, cultural and biological. It is a process that explores the individual and social potential of each person. The Kano dye works are drying up, their leather industry is in a death spiral, the once flourishing textile industry is in a coma. However, the focus is on believing with no opportunity to learn, innovate, or work.

There is a conspiratorial consensus between the elite and the clergy to suppress rational thinking and discovery. Given the circumstances, how can the great city of Kano grow and prosper again? How can there be jobs for millions of his ballooning teenagers? How can Kano grow and develop? Progress in human society is not measured in terms of economic growth alone. Progress and development are also measured in terms of social justice – to what extent the institutions of society through social insurance, public schools, public services, labor laws, taxes, public health and the regulation of markets.

Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq developed the Human Development Index (HDI), a composite index that ranks human development on the basis of life expectancy, education and per capita income. In 2016, Kano was ranked 30th out of 36 countries in the Human Development Index by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). With the international HDI methodology, Radboud University in the Netherlands ranked 27th out of 36 countries in Kano in 2018. Amid these dire results, Kano State Hisbah last week banned “the use of mannequins in shops, commercial and residential homes, and other public places.” . This violates Islamic regulations, it is also responsible for the immoral thoughts of some citizens, who are all against Islam. “

Though they were there by order of the state, the seizure of Igboho’s west and the arrest of his cat by the robbers of the night showed that they appeared ignorant that Nigerian law maintains an objective viewpoint on subjective things like juju and witchcraft. The shooting of small cats and the arrest of a helpless cat are definite cases of animal cruelty.

Aside from the extremely perverted and those who are preoccupied with regulating sexual behavior, mannequins do nothing but help customers observe what suits them. Using a mannequin to display fashion is now a crime in Kano. Adding to this new crime is drinking alcohol, wearing slack pants, women’s use of certain modes of transport, and some type of haircut, all of which violate individual guarantees and constitutional rights. An allusion to the fact that the Sharia is overriding the Nigerian constitution.

In a week marked by mannequins and cats, the arrest of Chief Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho’s cats was the crescendo of stupidity. From Muslim fanatics to Christian zealots, the mannequin ban and the arrest of cats demonstrated the internal confusion, inconsistency and conflict of Nigerians, indeed Africans, whether individuals or groups, in religious matters. We are torn between the belief system we know and hold in the Montana booth of our minds and what we have adopted and do not understand. The cat’s arrest provided evidence of the deep belief of the individual and the state in mysticism. In Africa we rely on mysticism in one way or another, even if our acceptance of Christianity and Islam makes us doubt it. It is a shame that the state’s agent, the Department of State Services (DSS), was guided not by law, but by sheer power and individual beliefs.

Though they were there by order of the state, the seizure of Igboho’s west and the arrest of his cat by the robbers of the night showed that they appeared ignorant that Nigerian law maintains an objective viewpoint on subjective things like juju and witchcraft. The shooting of small cats and the arrest of a helpless cat are definite cases of animal cruelty. Are animals now legal entities under Nigerian law? Will the cat be questioned in court? When do you show the cat? How can what you have done stand up in court if those things don’t stand up to the verifiable scrutiny of court proceedings?

Not a single person in the north has been arrested for killing or possession of firearms. Yesterday, Boko Haram appointed a governor for his territory in the state of Borno. Has the governor of Boko Haram been arrested? Bandits openly collect taxes in the north, have they been arrested? The double standards in these two Nigerias cannot exist. It is a fact of nature.

The contradictions in our lives, belief systems and the supernatural complex are also evident in our criminal code. In Nigeria it is a criminal offense to be in possession of an amulet. Section 213 (b) of the Criminal Code provides a five-year prison term for possession of spells. On the other hand, there are charms now in the form of rings, necklaces, creams, soaps, Kayan Mata, etc. How ridiculous!

The lesson easy to learn from the saga of cats and mannequins is that of two Nigerians. Attacks on Nigerian sovereignty by Boko Haram began in the north. Shepherds were killed, ransomed kidnappings and now banditry. All of these non-state actors openly wield AK-47 rifles. Sheikh Gumi has visited the bandits caves many times, accompanied by state agents. In the north, not a single person has been arrested for killing or possession of firearms. Yesterday, Boko Haram appointed a governor for his territory in the state of Borno. Has the governor of Boko Haram been arrested? Bandits openly collect taxes in the north, have they been arrested? The double standards in these two Nigerias cannot exist. It is a fact of nature.

Sooner rather than later, the government will be consumed by the hydra-headed monster that created it. No matter how long it takes, one day we will agree, as a united entity or a loose federation, that Nigerians, be it north or south, deserve security. You are entitled to education; to a healthy life with an adequate standard of living; and have political freedom with guaranteed human rights. Again, we the people and those who rule us must stop doing stupid things. Justice not only needs to be done, it needs to be seen as done. The government has to do the right things and do things right. Nigeria has to think!

Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú, a farmer, youth lawyer and political scientist, writes this weekly column “Bamidele Upfront” for the PREMIUM TIMES. Follow me on Twitter @olfunmilayo

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