His ‘summum bukmun’ syndrome



‘Looks like I’ve won again Hubby dearest. This man is getting away with his wrongs.’ I announced, my eyes glued to the TV screen.

‘What man are you talking about?’ Tahir asked, raising his head to look at me.

‘I’m talking about this service chief that’s on the news. See him going about his duties as if nothing is amiss. But it is exactly what I predicted last week, isn’t it? When you said the whole matter surrounding him will be investigated when the Big Boss returns, I told you that it might get swept under the carpet too. And now it has been.’ I said, smugly.

‘Don’t be too sure Bint. For all you know, he is indeed investigating the matter quietly before he takes a stand.’ Tahir insisted.

‘I assure you our Oga at the top will do nothing about this erring service chief. If his previous record is anything to go by, he will keep his mouth shut, plug his ears and play deaf-mute till the matter dies a natural death.’ I predicted.

‘Then maybe it’s for the best. I mean who will gain if the service chief is made to bite the dust because of this issue? Almost no one. So it’s just as well if the Big Boss pretends not to notice and the matter is allowed to die quietly.’ Tahir stated, dismissively.

‘Really? I am truly amazed by what you said now. How can you dismiss a scandal of this magnitude with a wave of the hand? I mean here is the chief law enforcer of the land breaking the law in every sense of it, in the service of a crony. And you prefer that the matter be allowed to die? Just because he heads a whole section of our security forces, he allowed himself to deploy four truckloads of personnel to harass and detain three men unlawfully. I say unlawfully because nowhere on this earth is a man arrested for legally marrying off his daughter. But the resounding irony is that this chief law enforcer, who reportedly has a degree in law to boot, threw all caution to the winds and sent his men to arrest the bride’s father, his son and his friend, all because a friend of his insists the young lady was still his wife.

This, despite the fact that Nasiba, the disputed bride, had valid documents to show that her marriage to her ex-husband had been dissolved. And even if she was wrong and her marriage wasn’t really over, who said giving her put in marriage to another man is a criminal offence that calls for a commando-style raid using four truckloads of uniformed police? I mean every way you look at it this man deserved to be taken to task for abuse of office and unlawful detention of a man who did nothing other than exercise his God-given and civic right of marrying off his daughter.’ I argued, heatedly.

‘You are right Bint the action really consisted of unnecessary muscle-flexing. It shouldn’t be so, especially in a matter that’s civil in nature. In any case who said a woman has to remain married to a man she no longer likes? I mean that’s the question that kept coming to my mind since I came across the story. Whatever the status of her court-given divorce, the truth is that she does not wish to remain married to her ex, isn’t that sufficient for him to let go? But he insisted he has appealed the divorce and as if that wasn’t bad enough, he used his connections in high places to get his father and brother-in-law, as well as a respected judge arrested and detained for two days. The whole  matter is truly unfortunate.’ Tahir concluded.

‘Aha, I’m truly happy to see that you are seeing things my way at last. And this is precisely why I said the Big Boss has to take a stand against his appointed service chief. If he can’t fire him for this glaring abuse of office, at least let him hand the man to the Police Service Commission in order to investigate him and decide how best to sanction him.

This is the only way out otherwise others in the force will emulate their boss by sending troops in aid of family and friends when the guys are badly needed elsewhere to provide security.

This is why I’d like to call on civil society groups to mount pressure on the Oga to make him act decisively against this man. I mean his summum bukmun (deaf-mute) attitude towards his erring appointees won’t serve the country well. Twice before he had failed to do what’s right until the embattled appointees decided to quit on their own. I hope this time he will do the needful because his hear and say no evil will only compound our problems as a nation.’ I declared

‘Very true Wifey dear, this is well spoken. I just hope he will listen and act accordingly.’ Tahir concurred

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