ELEGY FOR GEN­ERAL ALKALI

Weekly Trust - - Sportxtra - With Bala Muham­mad

To­day, this Col­umn is sing­ing yet an­other dirge, this time on the tragic mur­der of re­tired Ma­jor Gen­eral Idris Alkali, im­me­di­ate past Di­rec­tor of Ad­min­is­tra­tion of the Nige­rian Army. He was mur­dered in cold blood by Chris­tian Berom ter­ror­ists around Dura-Du of Jos South Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Plateau State some­time in Septem­ber 2018. Al­lahu Ak­bar! May Al­lah for­give him and ad­mit him to par­adise, amin.

Bi ayyi zam­bin qutila? What crime did Gen­eral Alkali do to de­serve this das­tardly mur­der? Noth­ing, ex­cept that he was a Hausa-speak­ing Mus­lim pass­ing through ter­ri­tory des­ig­nated en­emy by its in­hab­i­tants.

The terms “Chris­tian” and “Berom” here are very rel­e­vant, and they do not in any way in­di­cate hate or bias – for in fact, Gen­eral Alkali was bru­tally mur­dered BE­CAUSE he was “Mus­lim” and “Hausa”. Had he been Mus­lim but other than Hausa-speak­ing, he may have been spared. Had he been Chris­tian even if Hausas­peak­ing (like al­most all his killers), he would have been spared. He was killed be­cause he was Hausa-speak­ing Mus­lim. A hate crime! Ter­ror­ism! Pe­riod!

They would have killed him even if he were Ka­nuri Mus­lim – be­cause he would be Hausa to them; they would have killed him even if he were Nupe Mus­lim – be­cause he would be Hausa to them. And they would kill you dou­ble if you hap­pen to be Hausas­peak­ing from the Fu­lani, or Bolewa, or Kare-Kare, or Ngizim, or Manga, or Babur, or any smaller Mus­lim com­mu­nity of the North. They would kill you.

Bi ayyi zam­bin qutila? What crime did Gen­eral Alkali do to de­serve this das­tardly mur­der? Noth­ing, ex­cept that he was a Hausa-Speak­ing Mus­lim. Ter­ror­ism! Hate crime!

The Army says it has ar­rested sev­eral “sus­pects” We don’t believe these are ALL sus­pects – the Army should quickly in­dict those it feels are al­most cer­tainly guilty. By Al­lah they can no longer con­tinue to be sus­pects – for them to lead you where his car was dumped; for them to lead you where his mor­tal re­mains were first buried; for them to lead you where he was fi­nally dumped. And we hear that they are still sus­pects? No, by Al­lah! They are mur­der­ers.

We, the “next of kin” of Gen­eral Alkali (that is, ALL Hausas­peak­ing Mus­lims in Nige­ria) should quickly be told who and who are in­dicted among those in­car­cer­ated. In Amer­ica, where we all rush to copy ev­ery sys­tem, a “sus­pect” who is ar­rested is im­me­di­ately brought to a court of law and “in­dicted” as hav­ing com­mit­ted such and such a crime. It is the le­gal process that would later un­ravel who is guiltier than whom. But as far as we are con­cerned, all the peo­ple in the Army’s cus­tody are hereby in­dicted. With them are the 500 Women-in-Black who protested against the drain­ing of the bloody and blood­ied Dura-Du pond. Also in­dicted are all those who in one way or an­other tried to pro­tect the mur­der­ers of Gen­eral Alkali.

Bi ayyi zam­bin qutila? What crime did Gen­eral Alkali do to de­serve this das­tardly mur­der? Noth­ing, ex­cept that he was a Hausa-Speak­ing Mus­lim. Ter­ror­ism! Hate crime!

Al­lah says in the Qur’an: “Kullu naf­sin za’iqatul maut…” (Ev­ery soul shall taste of death.)” We sub­mit to that, O Al­lah! But we pray that our go­ing be not as trau­matic as that of our brother Idris Alkali. Trau­matic for him on the day; trau­matic for his fam­ily when he was de­clared miss­ing; trau­matic for the Army which had to re­deem it­self.

What man­ner of death for Gen­eral Alkali – af­ter spend­ing all his pro­duc­tive years in a pro­fes­sion that her­alds death – yet to meet death at the hands of some un­e­d­u­cated, drunken, hate­ful nonen­ti­ties! And I mince no words here – Gen­eral Alkali was mur­dered solely be­cause he was a Hausa-speak­ing Mus­lim. And so am I.

Bi ayyi zam­bin qutila? What crime did Gen­eral Alkali do to de­serve this das­tardly mur­der? Noth­ing, ex­cept that he was a Hausa-Speak­ing Mus­lim. Ter­ror­ism! Hate crime!

In­deed, we don’t know the man­ner about how our death will come – but O Al­lah make it not again in the hands of Berom Ter­ror­ists (or, for that mat­ter, Gonin Gora Ter­ror­ists at the mouth of Kaduna-Abuja road).

It is re­ported that that once the great scholar Imam Ma­lik Ibn Anas saw the Death An­gel in his sleep and the Imam asked him: “How much time is left for me to live?” The An­gel pointed to his five fin­gers. Then the Imam asked him: “Does that mean five years, or five months, or five days?” Be­fore the Imam had a chance to get an an­swer, he woke up. So the Imam went to some­one who could in­ter­pret the dream.

The man told him: “Imam Ma­lik, when the An­gel pointed to his five fin­gers, he didn’t mean five years or five months or five days. The An­gel meant that your ques­tion ‘how much time left for me to live’ is among the five mat­ters that only Al­lah (ex­alted be His Name) knows about’. The man re­cited the fol­low­ing verse from the Qur’an: “Ver­ily, with Al­lah alone is the knowl­edge of the Hour. And He sends down the rain, and He knows what is in the wombs. And no soul knows what it will earn to­mor­row, and no soul knows in what land it will die. Surely, Al­lah is All-Know­ing, All-Aware.”

It is also re­ported that when Caliph Ha­roon Al-Rashid got very ill, the ill­ness that caused his death, he told his staff to go ahead and dig his grave so he can see it be­fore he dies. Af­ter the grave was pre­pared, he asked to be car­ried to it. Upon ar­rival, Caliph Ha­roon looked down into the grave and then looked up to­ward the sky and said: “O [Al­lah] Whose rule never ends, have mercy on [Ha­roon] whose rule has ended.”

Bi ayyi zam­bin qutila? What crime did Gen­eral Alkali do to de­serve this das­tardly mur­der? Noth­ing, ex­cept that he was a Hausa-Speak­ing Mus­lim. Ter­ror­ism! Hate crime!

For the faith­ful be­liev­ers, Al­lah says in the Qur’an: “Those who have said ‘Our Lord is Al­lah’, and then have be­come up­right, the An­gels will de­scend upon them say­ing ‘Do not fear nor be sad, but re­ceive good news of the Par­adise which you have been promised. We are your pro­tec­tors in this life and in the hereafter: therein you shall have all that you de­sire; therein you shall have all that you ask for.”

Al­lah also says: “When the An­gels take the lives of the righ­teous, the An­gels say to them: ‘Peace be upon you. En­ter par­adise be­cause of the good deeds that you used to do (dur­ing your life).”

It was Gen­eral Alkali’s task in March last year to hand over che­ques worth N400m to 197 fam­i­lies of de­ceased Army per­son­nel. Alas! Eigh­teen months later, the Army will have to pre­pare an­other cheque – this time for Gen­eral Alkali’s fam­ily as he has been force­fully re­tired from this earth.

I mince no words here again – Gen­eral Alkali was mur­dered solely be­cause he was a Hausas­peak­ing Mus­lim. And so am I.

Who­ever comes out to de­fend these crim­i­nal mur­der­ers are also our de­clared en­e­mies. Whether it is in court or in cy­ber space; whether on news­pa­per pages on on ra­dio and tele­vi­sion air­waves. They are also in­dicted.

The con­do­lences of this Col­umn and its writer and his read­ers go to the mother and the im­me­di­ate fam­ily May Al­lah for­give Gen­eral Alkali; may He grant his fam­ily and us all the for­ti­tude to bear this loss. Al­lah Ya saka mu ku. Al­lah Ya jikansa.

Abused girl, Ochanya, goes home, on course for jus­tice even in death

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Ma­jor Gen­eral Idris Alkali

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