Short essay 24
By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde
NPF, Forget Kabiru Sokoto
Kabiru Sokoto, who some people suspect is the second in command of Boko Haram, would hardly be in police custody again. The probability that he is dead already outweighs the lesser possibility that he has crossed to neighbouring countries.
By the time he was arrested, Kabiru was planning to leave Nigeria, according to reports. That means he has gauged that the country entirely was not safe enough for his abode.
His arrest has deprived him of all his travel documents. If they are not found with the police during the ongoing investigations, then it is a proof that his escape was organized from within the force headquarters. This is a veritable litmus test.
Without the passport in his hand, a neighbouring country would come to mind first. But there too the safety would only be temporary. The authorities there are also vigilant on Nigerian migrants. They were quickly alerted, so they will be on the watch under their strong francophone surveillance network.
How small could the world be sometimes!
I strongly feel that given the uncertainty of his safety even outside Nigerian borders, the best strategy to prevent Kabiru is to kill him immediately after his escape. The arrest of Kabiru must sent some hearts outside Boko Haram racing. His escape would not bring any solace to them unless he is totally put out of circulation.
This has happened to others before him in police custody. I doubt if the Boko Haram leader, Muhammad Yusuf, was killed out of vengeance by the police. Yusuf was killed in police cell shortly after he was visited by the then Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff. Except for the recorded interview that was on Youtube which mainly focused on the ideology of Boko Haram, there is no other record of his interrogation.
In the same manner, the greatest link between the group and the Borno State Governor was brutally severed. Papers reported that Mohammad Foi was arrested on his farm, bundled on a police patrol pick-up van, and taken to the government house in Maiduguri. He begged, in vain, to see the governor. He was immediately driven away to the Police Headquarters where he was gunned down as he was made to walk on the road before a cheering public.
Stories of such executions of senior Boko Haram members in custody are common. Why would Kabiru be an exception? The same brains that hatched the idea of his escape might not lose sight of the danger his life would pose. After all, in the hierarchy of lives in the group, it is difficult to see how those forces that did not spare Muhammad Yusuf would spare the life of Kabiru. It is safer to conclude that Kabiru is most likely lying in a grave somewhere in the Federal Capital Territory.
Moreover, Kabiru has shown discomforting indiscretion in his movements. If, as reports indicate, he knew he was pursued by security agents, how came he did not severe his SIM card from his phone or get rid of both such that he can disappear from the GPRS radar?
Many are suspicious of Zakari Biu, the Commissioner of Police in whose custody Kabiru disappeared. However, Ringim, who is set to be latest Inspector General of Police to be consumed by Boko Haram on that seat, seems to be innocent. If he were an accomplice, he would not have been a target that narrowly escaped death when his headquarters was bombed. He would not have arrested Kabiru in the first place and delightfully broke the news to the President.
I am not surprised that he has stayed put. After all, others caught in similar mess ought to have resigned before him. The Minister of Petroleum, Diezani, would have preceded him. Under her, a colossal N800billion in fuel subsidy alone was stolen last year. The President himself would have also resigned along with the National Security Adviser for showing the most dismal performance among those that occupied their positions in our history.
Asking Ringim (or is it Ring him?) to produce Kabiru within 24 hrs was a project not intended to succeed. And if Kabiru is dead, as he is most probably, Ringim can be assured that his days on that seat are numbered. Azazi may soon ring him to say your time is up.
22 January 2012