Martin Luther King said: “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamour of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
King was a Baptist minister, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is a church minister as well.
Osinbajo’s silence on the plight of the “Kano Nine” is troubling. A Sharia court in Kano has sentenced them to death for “blasphemy”. And the Kano State government has “hailed” the judgment.
President Buhari has also failed to comment on the issue and we stressed earlier how this questions his claims about being a “reconstructed democrat”.
The president has history as an advocate for extending Sharia law beyond its constitutional provisions. But Osinbajo has no excuse for his silence. He is a professor of law. He should know better. Both he and the president swore to uphold the constitution when they took office.
In the past week, Osinbajo has visited internally displaced persons from the conflict with Boko Haram in Maiduguri. He also visited troops wounded while fighting the insurgents in Adamawa State. Yet, he is strangely silent on the plight of nine Nigerians facing the hangman’s noose in what is clearly a violation of their constitutional rights.
The Boko Haram insurgency is rooted in the politicisation of Sharia law by some northern governors and their appeasement by then president Olusegun Obasanjo with the return to civilian rule in 1999. We seem to be witnessing similar acquiescence to unconstitutional behaviour from Buhari and Osibanjo after they promised Nigerians “change”.
It is also shameful that the obsequious mainstream Nigerian media have not forced the president or his vice to address the plight of the “Kano Nine”. It is very unlikely that the president would be able to avoid answering uncomfortable questions on the matter when he visits the US later this month.