Hanifa: A heartbreaking homicide that would leave a haunting history-Bala Ibrahim

Hanifa Abubakar,Abdulmalik Tanko, Kano, murder
Abdulmalik Tanko and late Hanifa Abubakar

This is the third attempt I am making to write something on this terrible incident. Each attempt is aborted by the terrifying sickness, sadness and the sentimentality of the imagined feelings of the parents of Hanifa, the fervour of Hanifa’s mother in particular. More so, when I got to know that Hanifa was the only child in the family. Indeed this is a heart-breaking homicide that would leave a haunting history.

As a refresher, let’s take an overview of what happened to little and late Hanifa, who was harmed at the early age of five. Hanifa Abubakar was a pupil of the Noble Kids Academy, kwanar Dakata, in Nassarawa Local Government Area, Kano.

The five-year-old Hanifa was abducted on 4 December by her teacher, Abdulmalik Mohammed Tanko, who demanded a ransom of N6million, but went ahead to kill her after receiving the money.

According to the police, on investigation, Abdulmalik confessed that Hanifa was his student, and that he kidnapped her and took her to his house, where he contacted her relatives and demanded a ransom of Six Million Naira (N6,000,000). The Public Relations Officer of the Kano Police Command, Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, added that, “On the 18/12/2021, having realised that the victim recognized him, he claimed to have poisoned her to death, conspired with one Hashim Isyaku and buried her in a shallow grave within the private school premises located at Kwanar ‘Yan Gana, Tudun Murtala Quarters, Nassarawa LGA, Kano State”.

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For a family with such a beautifully lively and lovely looking child, and being the only child-gift to the family by God, no trauma could be more deeply distressing or disturbing, I think. So the heartbreak of the homicide would leave a haunting history in the memory of the family. Not just the Abubakar’s family, every family that knows the value of a child.

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Particularly painful is how Hanifa was intercepted, kidnapped and killed. According to the cruel kidnapper Abdulmalik, he contacted his friend, Hashimu Isyaku, and one Fatima Musa, to kidnap the girl from her home but they failed to carry out the abduction.  “I lied to Fatima and Isyaku that the girl’s mother was the one behind the plan to kidnap the girl in order to extort her father. After Hashimu and Fatima failed to kidnap the girl, I decided to carry out the kidnapping myself. I kidnapped her when she was returning from Islamic school and took her to my family house. She stayed in my family house for about two weeks before I killed her. I killed her after some teachers in my school came to my house. I became suspicious. I thought they came to investigate me because they said the girl had once mentioned my name. It was after that visit that I gave her rat poison. I then contacted my friend and asked for his help to dig a hole where the girl would be buried”.

Poor Hanifa, killed with rat poison.

How I wish the law has something harsher than death, I would have recommended it for use on Abdulmalik Mohammed Tanko, the knucklehead that came with names that ought to stand for, and symbolize the high moral standards of Islam. But the idiot acted in the reverse. May Allah reserve the hottest part of hell for the coming of this halfwit.

The haunting history of Hanifa’s heart-breaking homicide would not be limited to her departure only, it could come with additional unintended consequences or repercussions, that could consume more lives, starting first with the life of her mother, as adduced by Dr Khalid Sunusi Kani, a Medical Doctor/Public Health Advocate, in his article, Doctor’s Spectacle: Hanifa’s Death Could Lead To The Death Of Her Mother.

Khalid wrote and I quote, “On the backdrop of the above incident, only God knows the trauma the parents of this innocent girl are going through at this moment. I got information from a genuine source that Hanifa’s mother had slapped the culprit out of anger before policemen; she was understandably disturbed, confused and mentally traumatised. This happening alone is sufficient to convince one that the Mother is in critical psychological disturbance as a result of the gravity of this heinous act. If care is not taken, her condition may deteriorate and lead to depression and subsequently psychosis. Most of all, the mother is at risk of committing suicide. Yes, she is! This occurrence could ignite a series of events that could ultimately lead to her demise. It is worthy of note that the deceased is the only child in the family. At this point, it is crucial that her (Mrs Abubakar’s) relatives monitor her closely, and offer her much needed moral and psychological support. She could also develop a psychological condition called “Conversion disorder.” This condition is thought to be caused by the body’s reaction to a stressful physical or emotional event. Some research has identified potential neurological changes that may be related to symptoms of the disorder. With this disorder, she would require “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy” and other medical interventions. Prevention is always better than cure. Please, let’s prevent her from plunging into these conditions”.

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The most potent prevention against the mother plunging into these conditions is speedy justice. I am happy the government of Kano and the federal government have all expressed sadness over the gruesome murder. Everyone would.

Kano state government must be sagacious enough with prudence and wisdom, to be followed with speed till the final disposition of the case.

And hopefully, the principle of reciprocal justice would come to play, where we would hear, “An eye for an eye”.

Ibrahim , a media advisor writes from Abuja.

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