By Yakubu Musa
The founder of Sokoto Caliphate, Sheikh Usman bin Fodio, reminds us of the worth of justice in leadership with his famous quote, “A kingdom can endure with unbelief but cannot thrive without justice”. But what Shehu, as he is fondly called, does is simply echo the teaching of Islam about the concept. The idea, no doubt, is central to Islamic civilization that even Harvard University finds fascinatingly unmistakable. A famous verse in the Surat Al-Nisa “O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both,” finds its way to prominence in one of the varsity’s colleges.
Yet this clear instruction may appear simple to follow by Muslims, but many a Muslim has displayed a gargantuan insouciance to it despite that for Islam, no society can thrive in the absence of social justice. There was a bandwagon longing to return to Sharia rule under democracy at the beginning of this dispensation by the Muslims in northern Nigeria. The general assumption was that the governors who embraced it were ready to dispense justice to the people and, more importantly, to themselves. The reverse turned out to be the case as the major opportunity to showcase the justice of Islam was eventually bungled. The people ended with massive disappointment and perhaps with disillusionment with what former president, Olusegun Obasanjo rightly tagged, “political sharia”.
However, sharia or no sharia, a good Muslim must continue to strive to live according to the dictate of Al-Nisa 135. One of my favorite radio programmes recently is Berekete Family. I’ve found myself addicted to listening to it every morning. And this is not because of the tall tales we hear daily, but the way people come to the progarmme and seek redress when injustices are meted out to them. Berekete Family takes you into the real world. It connects you to the reality of the world of the downtrodden.
I always told myself that if I had an opportunity to govern my state, I must have a programme like Berekete Family the state’s radio station to assist me. But must the idea wait until I become a governor? No. I am sure the newly inaugurated Governor of Kano State, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf can benefit from having a compass like that to guide him. I will therefore urge him to deploy this powerful by introducing a human rights program on the radio, following the footsteps of the renowned Berekete Family of Human Rights Radio and TV in Abuja. This program would catalyze exposing and fighting injustices, and corruption, and promote good governance and transparency at the grassroots level.
Kano is officially the most populous state in Nigeria if the figures of the last national census are taken into consideration, and as such, it is inevitable that injustices not only occur but can be ubiquitous. Our police stations, and our courts are witnesses to unpleasant stories of such horrible tales of injustices, which often go unnoticed or unaddressed, leaving the victims without recourse. A dedicated human rights program on Radio Kano can serve as a platform to shed light on these issues, giving a voice to the voiceless and ensuring that their stories reach a wider audience. By exposing injustices, such as human rights violations, discrimination, and abuse of power, Governor Abba can work towards building a more equitable and just society.
Corruption is a cancer that undermines the foundations of any society. To combat this pervasive problem, it is crucial to expose corrupt practices and hold those responsible accountable. A human rights program on Radio Kano can play a vital role in this regard. By featuring investigative reports, interviews, and discussions focused on corruption at the grassroots level, you can create awareness among the public and encourage whistleblowing. This will help in identifying and eradicating corrupt practices that hinder development and erode public trust.
Good governance and transparency are essential for the efficient functioning of any government. By introducing a human rights program on Radio Kano, Governor Abba can actively promote these principles. The program can provide a platform for government officials to engage with citizens, address their concerns, and explain policies and decisions. This direct interaction will foster trust and accountability. Additionally, the program can educate citizens about their rights and responsibilities, empowering them to actively participate in the governance process.
The grassroots gave Governor Abba his mandate. A human rights program on Radio Kano can serve as a bridge between the government and the grassroots, ensuring that their voices are heard. By featuring stories, interviews, and discussions from different communities, you can identify the most pressing issues and work towards finding solutions. This inclusive approach will not only strengthen the bond between the government and the people but also lead to more effective and targeted policies.