The Oasis Reporters
June 19, 2017
The disappearance into thin air of 200 tonnes of dates (dabino) as Ramadan aid from the Saudis and their discovery in our markets and mosques is very embarrassing to say the least, more so when it is transparently acknowledged by our government.
It would have been less disturbing if it had happened when Jonathan was distributing billions for re-election in 2015 – a chunk of which went to some clerics of Muslim and Christian faiths. Now that our prayer was answered and we are fighting corruption full-gear, the discovery that some officials have proved impervious to change raises a lot of moral questions into the affinity that mankind has for sin and the penchant to commit it even in the domain of the Almighty.
I can understand people pressed by poverty pilfering some coins or the ignorant indulging in greed, who would justify dishonesty of any form. I have come across both.
Some steal ablution kettle in mosques, some ordinary slippers. A governor in the Northeast once lost his shoes to such rats. I once lost mine to them – a very expensive one – in 1985. Since then I knew what to wear when attending the congregation.
I have also met very rich and fairly educated people indulging in theft. Do not ask me why I did not blow the whistle. You also did meet them and kept mum as I did. I only reminded them to fear God. I know they would not divert dates meant for the poor, though.
Dabinogate will go a long way to reinforce the dual stereotype that the Arabs have for the blacks. It will never surprise them. In fact, our honesty would have come to them as a surprise. The African DNA, they believe, is blessed with the kleptomanic gene.
When the black is hungry, the Arabs believe, he will steal (In ja’a, saraq). So to keep the black slave away from pilfering around the house, they feed him well. But that raises his second and more dangerous occupation: “When satisfied, he fornicates (wa in shabi’a zana).” To check the shameful result of that act, they castrate him, knowing that he is the favorite character in the sexual fantasy of many a white female as depicted in the Arabian Nights (Dare Dubu da Daya) and the sensual literature of Nancy Friday.
It is not at all surprising to find that today there are almost no blacks in the Arab world compared to America, though both have received millions of black slaves in history.
That is how many Arabs came to believe that our women are free for all and most of us are born bastards. The truth is that they are no better folks when it comes to satisfying their lust. Ask the returnee victims of modern slavery in the Kingdom. It is a case of the kettle calling the pot black.
Dabinogate will definitely ring a bell from the negative image we carried over centuries of association with the Arab world. Sadly, this is in spite of four decades of Saudi investments to cleanse Nigerian Islam of “innovation” and “infidelity”. The House of Saud must have felt that our fasting is now clean enough to deserve the charity of its war-mongering princes. Unfortunately, at the very debut of that optimism, we proved not to have shifted away from the moral position black slaves in the escapades of the harem dwellers in Arabian Nights, though we can claim to be more monotheistic than Abraham.
Had they invested in character building, tarbiya, as others did before them, the result – may be – would have been better.
We challenge the government come out clean on this mess. Let it tell us who were consigned the distribution of the fruits.
Then we can ask them the necessary questions, collect our dates back, before handing the guilty over to the shariah-compliant Saudis to chop off their hands. This one is beyond Magu, the acting czar of Nigeria’s anti corruption agency, the EFCC .
The government should thoroughly probe the scandal. It is the only Sallah gift that can extricate it from culpability.
Aliyu U. Tilde, PhD
(Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as date or date palm, is a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit).
Dr. Tilde is a farmer and former university teacher. He currently produces Milk derivatives from his herd of cows in Bauchi.
One distinguishing factor about him is that he grows his own grass to feed his cows with. A modern day dairy farmer if you like.