Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
Wednesday March 4, 2015 morning, I was prevented from entering Shehu Shagari College Of Education ~SSCOE, Farfaru, Sokoto.
Given the options – take off my Niqab or turn back – I gladly did a u-turn.
The college where I did my Nigeria Certificate In Education ~NCE has descended into a Niqab-free zone.
– Sokoto the seat of the Islamic Khaliphate [Caliphate] indeed.
My visit was to enquire the availability of my certificate and process its release to me.
Despite holding a metal detector with which to search persons at the entrance gate, the security woman on seeing me was more interested in my Niqab.
She did not search me and instead emphasised I could proceed into the premises only after unveiling.
Before hypocrites blame the incident on Christians, I remind my akada such Christians tread the route of the Hausa-Fulani.
I have not experienced discrimination over my Niqab from independent minded Christians.
Actually, while a student at the college, another student sought advice regarding the Niqab and associated victimisation.
Presented to me was a list of lecturers who pose a threat to individual liberty and it included a Christian female.
I cleared her; she was no threat.
The woman under discussion always interacted with me, in and out of class, which cannot be attested for some Muslim female lecturers.
Several other Christian lecturers were even more courteous.
One, frequently, extolled me in lectures even after I had completed my studies at the college.
Another would welcome me into his office with a smile.
I gained abundantly from pieces of advice from this person who did not hesitate to offer me a drink.
I have deliberately avoided providing identification information on Christian lecturers whose generosity reached me in order to protect them from harassment and intimidation by creatures who espouse wickedness as a religious doctrine.
Besides, a Christian was more likely to halt and offer me a lift; so-called Muslims stare and drive past.
Muslims who did give me a ride were cosmopolitan Hausa-Fulanis, who of course came under egregious pressure.
Offering a lift to a woman whose face is covered is a cultural taboo; a woman in a tight blouse is a preferred car companion.
In any case, there were remarkable academic staff of Shehu Shagari College Of Education who treated me with utmost respect throughout my stay at the college.
Two persons made a lasting impression on me.
The very first is Dr Malami Uthman Umar Tambawal, better known as Dr Malami Umar Tambawal, then the Registrar of the college.
The day we met he referred to me as a Muslim and followed it with respect for my rights.
Later, I found I was described as a Muslim by the Hausa-Fulani only as a prelude to manipulate me into succumbing to abuses.
Then, whenever I was furious with Hausa-Fulanis and Dr Uthman came to my mind, my anger would dissipate, for he too is Hausa-Fulani.
And when I was annoyed with Zarumai, as I fondly called him, I would credit him for not being an idiot.
He is one Hausa-Fulani who does not want to be an idiot, I demurred. He is surrounded by idiots.
His reluctance to behave as his people had to count for something and was a deciding factor in why my interaction with him lasted for close to five years.
The second outstanding individual is Aminu Yabo who spoke in my defence to a fellow lecturer, without my prior knowledge or solicitation.