Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
There is a widely held perception that to live in the North of Nigeria one ought to relinquish rights as a citizen and comply to the culture of the Hausa-Fulani.
For eight years of my residence in Sokoto, Hausa-Fulanis and their want-to-be have harassed me that this is Hausa land.
Each time, my vindication has been the same:
This is Nigeria.
For 8 years, the Hausa-Fulani have been importunate in demanding I conform to their culture.
Each time, my rebuttal has been:
Culture is for those who subscribe to it. At no point have I subscribed to Hausa-Fulani culture.
One of the two Hausa-Fulanis I met initially on arrival in the metropolis was for months the only member of that ethnicity to identify instantly with me as a Muslim.
He respected my right of Religion and did not expect me to live in Hausa land on Hausa terms.
Such Hausa-Fulanis are a rare and precious species. I have met some of them.
The rest prefer someone who pretends to be a Muslim provided one abides to the culture to an actual Muslim who reasons.
In recent months, I have taken recourse to the Constitution and have quoted sections on fundamental human rights of Religion and so on.
The Constitution is disregarded as if it is not applicable in Sokoto.
To protect my constitutional rights, I visited the Commissioner Of Police on Monday October 20, 2014.
At the entrance to the State Command, naturally I was stopped.
Explaining I had an appointment with the Commissioner, I learnt the security men were under instruction from the Commissioner not to grant entrance to anyone in my dress.
I called the Commissioner and informed him I was dressed in Niqab and he made arrangements for me to be brought to his office.
En route, my escort reiterated the position of the police officers at the security gate.
I assuaged the concern:
I have no problem with anyone during their job, so long as they do not bring their personal problems into it.
As the Commissioner had explained prior to the appointment that he had other engagements, he assigned me to his deputy who listened to my case.
It was Sirajo Aliyu again.
Sirajo in a conversation with someone the day before threatened to impose himself on me.
Citing Islam as his backing, he vowed to intimidate me into talking to people against my wish.
His frustration was that earlier that day I had sent my son [not parental] to deliver to another neighbour my electricity contribution for October bill.
Sequel to the cabal of my neighbours, I had resolved to have nothing more to do with any of them.
My sending a third party to act on my behalf ignited the bully mentality of Sirajo.
When I stepped out to obtain some dinner around 18:00 hours later that evening, a group of Hausa-Fulani boys threatened me.
Today, you will see, were their remarks.
Whatever it was I was to see will have to receive the attention of the police.
On Tuesday morning at 11:00 hours, I returned to State Command for a formalization of my complaint.
Sirajo was invited and as expected he denied it.
The police asked him to write an undertaking not to directly or indirectly infringe on my rights of Religion, association, life, dignity and expression.
The police ensured he understood that the Constitution protects my rights.