By: Abdulrasheed Ibrahim
Not many writers are celebrated or appreciated when they are alive going about displaying their skills of good writings on what a society should be. There is no better way to illustrate this than by the unfortunate death of Professor Pius Adesanmi, one of the victims of the recent Ethiopian Airlines Plane Crash. It is an understatement to say that this incident was very sad and painful. We pray the Almighty God to condole the families and relatives of the victims and give them all the fortitude to bear the great lost. The demise of Professor Adesanmi has brought about a lot of Newspaper tributes and repeatedly re-publishing of some of his wonderful writings on various platforms on social media. From various comments and remarks by so many people, the Professor seemed to be unknown to so many of them. He was a man who became more popular in death and made possible by the power of his pen. He was a great writer whose writings tell you the kind of person he was when he was breathing on the surface of the earth.
From many of his writings and articles, you will see clearly, if you have not read him before that the late Professor was a writer with great mission and vision to better the society we found ourselves. In one of his articles titled: “LADIES & GENTLEMEN, PLEASE RISE UP TO RECOGNIZE THE PRESENCE OF THIEVES”, where he advised Nigerians against celebrating those who have stolen our commonwealth to enrich themselves, he said:
“…Where thieves feel valued and recognised in the context of societal mores and mentality, no level of leadership or institutional enhancement will work. We have to have a collective vision of the social good and develop attitudes of collective hostility to any citizen who does anything injurious to it .Such an attitude is raw material that leadership and institutions could use. The day you develop the courage to stop recognising the presence of known thieves in your public and social ceremonies, would have started our journey to civilization”
But ironically and unfortunately, the journey to civilization seems yet to start in this country we live as it is even the elites, the educated and those who claim to be learned that celebrated the known thieves in our midst. Genuine fights against corruption are now seen as persecutions. Many so-called elites that ought to know best are the people now speaking in defence of those who have deliberately stolen our commonwealth for their own selfish interests. When these so-called elites are beneficiaries of those loots, what do you expect? In another interesting article titled: “NIGERIAN JUDICIARY BY THE TRUCKLOAD”, where the Professor depicted how we over do things in this country, citing a particular reference to the Nigerian Judiciary where a conference meant to be attended by just only three Judges from Nigeria witnessed the exodus of Nigerian Judges as well as other lawyers from the Federal Ministry of Justice even without the knowledge of the Nigeria’s High Commissioners to Canada, the hosting country. According to the late Professor:
“There was some form of International Conference of Judges from commonwealth countries that Canada was hosting .Each Commonwealth country was allotted a delegation of three judges if I remember correctly. Nigeria sent the Chief Judges of all states and the FCT. Nigeria sent the Grand Khadis of all state shariah courts.Never mind that the Canadians made no provision for shariah law in the conference .Nigeria sent the leadership of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies .Nigeria sent representatives from the Federal Ministry of Justice .For three days ,the High Commissioner and I were driving people, bussing people ,hosting people ….To my friends who have been curious about the source of my powerful connections in the judiciary,now you know .It is because I was a driver ,aides ,cook and tour guide ,in tragic Nigerian circumstance.”
By the time I finishing reading the Professor, the question that came to mind then was that only God knew the actual number of court cases that would have suffered adjournment during that period of Nigerian Judges’ exodus not to talk about those files that would remain unattended to during that same period when the Federal Attorneys were of voyage. We are not saying judicial officers should not go on foreign conference, seminar or retreat but if this is to be done let it be rotational and periodical saying during vacation rather than being exodus in nature at the expense of the work they are primarily being paid to do. As long as we continue this way, the delay in the dispensation of justice we continue to remain with us as justice delayed is justice denied.
With the above two examples, I believe we have able to show the essence and the impact of the late Professor as a great writer who for long in death will continue to inspire many through his writings left behind and with which he has immortalized himself. As a writer he is physically no longer in our midst, but with his works ,he continues to live on as do the like of great writers such as Williams Shakespeare, James Hardly Chase and Chinua Achebe among many who have left behind great literary works that have kept their memories alive till date. When a writer departs this world and goes into the grave, his work does not go to the grave with him. As a great writer, Professor Pius Adesanmi had discharged his responsibilities before his departure to the great beyond. Mr. Mahfouz Adedimeji , an Associate Professor from University of Ilorin aptly captures this in his tribute to the late Professor that :
“ When E.B. White was asked of the responsibility of the writer not long before Adesanmi was born ,he said ‘a writer must reflect and interpret his society ,his world ; he must also provide inspiration and guidance and challenge.’This is exactly what the late Adesanmi devoted his life to : reflecting , interpreting ,inspiring ,guiding and challenging .Virtually every single article and book, every engagement of his reflected this five areas wholly or partly. A journey through his works like ‘The wayfarer and other poems’ (2001), ‘You’re not a Country’ (2011), Naija no dey carry last (2015) and hundreds of articles and lectures will attest to this fact.”
When a writer dies, his work does not die with him and when he goes to the grave; his work does not go to the grave with him. A great writer continues to live in his literary work as he has immortalized himself through the ink of his pen. Adieu to Professor Pius Adesanmi , a great literary giant!
BETWEEN GOD, ANGELS AND MAN
Most times when atrocities are committed by men against their fellow men I become very worried as a writer and some of the questions I keep asking myself are that: are men created to commit atrocities against men on the earth? Are the angels justified in their initial opposition to the creation of men? Has God truly regretted creating men of the earth? According to the teaching of Islam, when the Almighty God wanted to creat man on the earth and informed the angels, their response was in negative. In the Chapter 2 Verse 30 of the Holy Quran, it is stated thus:
“And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place viceroy in the earth, they said: Wilt Thou place therein one who will do harm therein and will shed blood, while we, we hymn Thy praise and sanctify Thee? He said: Surely I know that which ye know not.”
With the eventual creation of men on the earth and with their transgression against one another, one is tempted to share the sentiment of the angels in their initial opposition to the creation of man on the surface of the earth. But the question one is tempted to ask again is that: Has Almighty God regretted creating men on the earth? A passage from the Holy Bible seems to answer this question as in the book of Genesis 6 and from Verse 5-6 we read thus:
“When the Lord saw how wicked everyone on the earth was and how evil their thoughts were all the time, he was sorry that had ever made them and put them on the earth .He was so filled with regret.”
Whether the God has really regretted his action for creating men on the earth or not is a question that can be better answered by the scholars of the religious books. In reality, it will not be proper to say men are created on the earth to perpetrate evils and transgression because God having created the heaven and earth as well as all within them, gave men the knowledge and wisdom to be able to distinguish what is right from what is wrong. Apart from this God sent prophets to them from time to time to guide them to His way. While some men accepted and believed those messengers, some disbelieved and revolted against those prophets of God. Where exactly are we going?
The rate at which atrocities are being committed around the world today particularly in this part of world is becoming too alarming. A crazy young guy recently went to a Mosque in New Zealand and shot about 50 Muslims dead during worship.This is similar to the kind of madness being displayed by the terrorist Boko Haram group in this country wherein they go to Churches or Mosques to mercilessly kill people while they are worshipping. This is a serious act of wickedness. I once condemned in strong term the madness of the Boko Haram in an article titled IS BOKO HARAM ISLAMIC? , published in the Daily Independent Newspaper of 21/8/13 that:
“…The members of Boko Haram are not qualified to be called and regarded as Muslims because their conduct of killing innocent people both young and old as well as destroying lives and properties of Muslims and Non- Muslims alike is contrary to what Islam stands for…”
The irrational visit of death against one another by men on the earth and man’s inhumanity to man is not limited only to those engage in religious fanaticism.We are constantly confronted with the problems of armed robbers, armed bandits and kidnappers every now an then .The incessant conflicts between the farmers and the herdsmen have equally unfortunately dispatched many people to the great beyond.What ordinarily ought not to have led to crisis among men if they had tried to tolerate one another by living together peacefully has become source of worry to everyone as a result of senseless killings here and there. People fight and kill one another because of land that belong to God and ought to be seen as the gift of God and try to mutually enjoy it among themselves. Unfortunately, the land has been turned to the battled field for killing one another and ironically,it is this land that will eventually consume the killed and the killers.
Unjust killing is a serious crime against God and humanity which is the reason why those involve in such crime must not be treated lightly as if they are so treated without being punished,they will continue to be audacious in perpetrating the crime.The government that is shouldered with the responsibilities of protecting us must be up and doing by providing adequate securities. The securities agencies must be adequately equipped to enable them do their work deligently. The government with the support of everyone at every level must liase and mobilize heads of various communities in the locality with the view to rob minds on own to detect and prevent crimes .This will go a long way to drastically reduce crimes and ensure the safety of our communities. If there are disputes between any groups in the community serious efforts must be made to find immediate solutions to such disputes before they get out of hands. We must all be our brothers’ keeper so that we can all live in peace and harmony.
ON CRIME AND SOCIETY
“The powers of arrest and prosecution conferred by the various sections of the criminal procedure law and the criminal code on “any person” has the magic effect of giving locus standi to any person who cares to prosecute an offender, if and only if, he saw him committing the offence or reasonably suspects him of having committed the offence. Criminal law is addressed to all classes of society as the rules that they are bound to obey on pain of punishment to ensure order in the society. The rules are promulgated by the representatives of society who form the government or the legislative arm of government for the benefit of the society and the power to arrest and prosecute any person who breaches the rule is also conferred on any person in the society in addition to the Attorney – General and other law officers for the benefit of the society. The peace of the society is the responsibility of all persons in the country and as far as protection against crime is concerned, every person in the society is each other’s keeper. Since we are all brothers in the society, we are our brother’s keeper. If we pause a little and cast our minds to the happenings in the world, the rationale for this rule will become apparent.”
Per OBASEKI, JSC in Fawehinmi Vs. Akilu (1989) 4 NWLR (Pt. 67) 798 at 832 and also referred to in Fawehinmi Vs. I.G.P. (2000) 1 WRN Pg. 107 Lines 10-20
THE SETTLED PRINCIPLE OF LAW
On right of aggrieved party to appeal against any decision
“It is the constitutional right of every party to any civil or criminal proceedings to appeal against any decision of the trial or even appellate court with or against which he is dissatisfied or aggrieved. He can exercise this right up to the highest level of our judicial hierarchy. i.e the Supreme court.”
See HAWAD INT’L SCHOOL LTD Vs. MIMA PROJECT VENTURES LTD (2004) FWLR (Pt. 188) Pg. 992 Para E
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24th March 2019