Emir of Kano Malam Muhammad Sunusi II has complained that his recent comments on the abduction of native Kano children by Igbo kidnappers, were deliberately misinterpreted by journalists.
Kano Focus reports that Mr Sanusi had November 9, 2019 sparked controversy after he accused parents of abducted children in the state of “criminal negligence”, with many people describing his comments as “insensitive”.
It could be recalled that the Kano Police Command had rescued ten missing children and paraded six Igbo natives who confessed to abducting the kids, renaming and forcefully converting them to Christianity before selling them in Onitsha, Anambra state.
Speaking during the 2019 Public Campaign on Drug Abuse organized by League for Societal protection against drugs abuse (LESPADA) held in Kano, the emir said parents of the abducted kids deserved to be jailed for allowing their children to roam the streets without supervision.
“People are talking that Igbo kidnapped our children, yes they did, but do they enter your house and steal them? Or you left your 3-year-old child roaming the street without knowing their whereabouts until they were missing?,” he had asked.
“Let’s tell ourselves the truth, I could remember when the case started and complaints were filed at the palace of missing children, what I said at that time was if I am the government I would have ordered the arrest of the parents for their negligence.
“I even asked my aides to find out from the commissioner of police if there is any law on criminal negligence. How can someone appear before the emir and say his 3-year-old or
However, reacting to the controversy last Wednesday, Mr Sanusi said his comments were deliberately misinterpreted by journalists.
He spoke while receiving the Commander-General of the state Hisbah board Sheikh Muhammad Harun Sani Ibni Sina, who had paid him a visit at his palace.
“People sometimes have to be patient with hearing things that may not please them. But after the anger and noises, people should sit down and think honestly and do justice to themselves. How we treat our wives and children. Have we treated them in accordance with the teachings of Islam?,” he asked.
“So, you have to understand. We know journalists and we have already said it that our comments will be deliberately twisted and misinterpreted and that was what happened. Even these latest comments I am making will be misinterpreted.
“I tell you, tomorrow you will read a different thing from what I said but I won’t stop saying the truth. And those that are doing it are not hurting the emir, these are issues about reforms in the society. And if they resist reforms, who are they harming?,” the emir asked.
‘Even non-Muslims know the value of safeguarding children’
The Emir said that in the (United States of) America, parents are punished whenever any of their children, below the age of 14, is seen roaming the streets.
“In America, if your child below the age of 14 is seen roaming the streets, it is you the parent that will be arrested. You must bring out your son or daughter and wait in front of your house for a school bus and the driver will collect your child from you.
“And after school closes, the school bus will return your child to your house and if you’re not there to collect him, the driver will not drop him off even though it is in front of your house. No, the driver will return the child to school and you must go there to pick your child. Most countries of the world even non-Muslim countries know the importance of safeguarding children,” Mr Sanusi said.
‘If one woman dies, there are 20 more’
The monarch lamented that the main problem affecting the Hausa society is how men are allowed to marry wives and produce children they cannot cater for.
“If one woman dies, a man feels there are 20 more out there for him. If one child is kidnapped, he will just marry another wife to give him another child,” he said.
“We are waiting for the governor to return. The committee that prepared that marriage reform law has almost finished. There are so many things in that law that will educate people on issues like this including the rights of children.
“And it is clearly stated in the law that if your child is found roaming the streets, you have committed an offence.
“You have tough responsibilities. And these responsibilities start from the family level: How to marry, how to manage a marriage and maintain a wife and how to raise children.
“Has a parent taken responsibility for his child, responsibilities placed on him by Allah for feeding, clothing and educating his child?
“When Allah gave you the privilege to marry two, three or four wives, He did not give you the right to leave your wife hungry,” Mr. Sanusi added.