Between Bulama Bukarti And KTSG/Governor Masari — By Maiwada Dammallam
On 17/3/21, Audu Bulama Bukarti, a popular and respected foreign based social media activist, posted on his Facebook page thus:
“Governor Masari’s dehumanisation of the anti-corruption activist #MahdiShehu is utterly appalling. A clip circulating online shows how very ill Mahdi is, but Katsina State has ignored a Court Order granting him bail. This is illegal, contemptuous & unacceptable. #FreeMahadiShehu.”
Out of Bukarti’s 155,000 followers, “3000 and others” viewed the post out of which 260 commented and 478 (with each having a room for 5000 friends) shared the misleading opinion to their possible 2,390,000 friends. Although I cannot say how many of Bukarti’s friends of friends shared the reckless, hastily put and clearly below standard and unnecessarily emotive opinion, it’s easy to calculate how far and wide it went and how much damage it must done the reputation of Governor Masari and the officials of Katsina State Government giving that, “Governor Masari’s dehumanization of Mahdi Shehu” on which Bukarti’s entire opinion was rested has been thoroughly and convincingly exposed for the ruse it was complete with a video to back up the expose.
My questions to Audu Bulama Bukarti:
With 155,000 followers on Facebook, mostly people who believe in you as a credible source of information and a reliable tool to build their personal opinions on contemporary issues, don’t you think you misled them to believe there’s no distinction between being a Governor of Katsina State and being the Inspector General of Police when you accused Governor Masari of dehumanizing Mahdi Shehu whom you clearly knew to be in the legitimate custody of the Nigerian Police which, in turn, you fully knew to be a Federal Government’s agency independent of Katsina State Government, it’s Governor or any of its officials?
For the sake of your emotions, let’s assume Mahdi Shehu was dehumanized in custody, how’s Governor Masari responsible for the so called “dehumanization” when he’s neither the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police nor the Commissioner of Police supervising Katsina State? I don’t want to assume it’s above you to understand and appreciate the architecture and responsibilities of the NPF which was made very clear in the Nigerian constitution and, which could not be reconciled with the reckless, unfair and somewhat dangerous scenario you painted in your shabby and anarchistic opinion which, if I may add, an activist of your reputation and coverage shouldn’t be caught experimenting with.
But for your post which was provoked by a “clip circulating online” as you clearly pointed out, one could swear you are above falling for “clips circulating online” to the point of putting people’s hard earned reputations reputations on the line unless dome deliberately with specific intentions. You are not just any social media user but one with large followership whose opinion could shape public opinion for good or bad. You have a heavy responsibility to be fair and just not only to the weak but to the mighty because as a Muslim, Allah SWT has sanctioned you be fair to all regardless of class or status. So, how are you fair building as serious opinion as this by relying on unverified and possibly unverifiable “clip circulating online?”
Interestingly, while you find it very fair and convenient to build and share to your 155,000 followers a very acerbic and provocative opinion against Governor Masari and Katsina State Government on the basis of a “clip circulating online,” accusing especially Governor Masari of a behavior unbecoming of a man of his status and political responsibility, you remain, to this day, very quiet about another “clip circulating online” which exposed as a ruse the “clip circulating online” you relied on to convict him without proper prosecution.
Another “clip circulating online” showing Mahdi Shehu as healthy in a holding cell as he was sick in the courtroom is still trending which you are yet to debunk as a ruse much less, apologize to the people you harmed with your hasty and clearly unjust conclusions. Is your fairness entirely reserved for the rights of the weak to the exclusion of the mighty? Even the world title holder of building hasty opinions based on “clips circulating online, Farooq Kperogi, did better when he posted “clip circulating online” of Kannywood movie scene and depicted same as real-life events. He apologized and retracted the lie!
To another hasty and seemingly mischievous aspect of your lamentation. You wrote: “A clip circulating online shows how very ill Mahdi is, but Katsina State has ignored a Court Order granting him bail. This is illegal, contemptuous & unacceptable.”
It will help rescue your reputation if you will explain how “Katsina State ignored a court order granting Mahdi bail.” Was the court order issued to Katsina State? Certainly not because, unlike you, the court must be aware Mahdi was under the custody of the NPF and not Katsina State. It must also be aware that court orders issued for the release of detainees is directed at the authorities in whose custody the detainee is domiciled, in this case, the NPF.
The court, unlike you again, must also be aware that Governor Masari is neither the IGP nor is the IGP answerable to him. So, where is this “but Katsina State Government has ignored court order granting bail” coming from? Are you saying the IGP must wait for the directives of Governor Masari before releasing a detainee under his custody. This is way below “suya-joint” analysis and conclusions and it pains more coming from you — somebody expected to be a leading light in public enlightenment and proponent of peace, harmony and good governance. This bizarre opinion deserve your clarifications and subsequent apology if, as is fairly assumable, you intend to sustain the confidence of your followers.
You review my observations above and confirm you unnecessarily harmed Katsina State Government and Governor Masari with your off-the-road analysis or debunk my opinion with superior facts or logics.
Retract the post under review and apologize to your 155,000 followers for misleading them into believing Governor Masari has the capacity to dehumanize a detainee under the custody of the Inspector General of Police without having any constitutional or military powers to do so.
Review the “clip circulating online” showing Mahdi very healthy in a holding cell which debunked the “clip circulating online” on which you relied and accused KTSG/Governor Masari of dehumanizing Mahdi and tell your 155,000 followers your opinion about it. This is not for me but for you. Your reputation is heavily rested on your ability to do so as it will help convince your followers your hasty “dehumanization” conclusion was a forgivable error of judgement. Silence is simply not an option.
Pls be guided by the objectives of your page which you listed as advocacy for Human Rights, Rule of law, peace and social justice.