Why did the murder of 5year old Hanifa Abubakar pain and upset us so?

First of all, we offer our deepest condolences to the family of the precious little angel Hanifa Abubakar, who was allegedly murdered by her school teacher. May her innocent soul rest in peace. And may her death be a trigger that catalyzes the relevant agencies to see to it that the indiscriminate murder of children, which is becoming a worrying trend, is tackled head on.

May something truly move in our hearts that will lead us all to real action and may we not substitute the expression of moving condolences to the family with the important task of getting justice for her, and using her death as our own ‘Never Again,’ moment.

Since the devastating news of her gruesome murder broke, there has been widespread condemnation on the action. Which is as it should be. But why are we so angry and upset? Why has her murder riled us so?

The answer is an easy but very important one. We are pained and upset because killing her was wrong on all fronts! Some things are wrong and some things are right. That inward acknowledgment of those two categories as distinct and separate, is at the core of what makes us human. We may mask it by labels and constructs but right is right and wrong is wrong. While it is true that some people have tried to blur the categories or even invert/switch them, deep down inside our soul is the witness that keeps insisting on the original order. In other words, however compelling the claim that what is right and wrong is relative to people, places and nurture might seem, the fact of the matter is that such attempts ultimately reveal themselves as formless, shadowy, regrettable and unsustainable. They will fade away, now or later, regardless of the appearance of appeal and robustness that is sometimes put forward.

It is obvious that because of the prevalence of the relativity idea these days, some things that hitherto were seen as right are now seen as wrong and vice versa. Those who want to ‘normalize’ the murder of children under whatever guise must be reminded that what is right, as it was in the beginning, which much of our conscience agree with anyway, will ultimately triumph over whatever ‘substitutes’ may seem to be hugging some parts of the limelight these days.

As we continue to mourn the death of this precious child, let’s not miss the ‘awakening’ from this moment.

How far, Hanifa?

How far? She can’t hear you, she’s gone to a better place, returned to her creator because we didn’t deserve her here.

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