[UPDATE 17 April 2011, revisiting this piece over two years later, I see that the links to the Triumph and the Trust piece have both been taken down. However, you can still find the ‘Asabe Murtala’ piece on Gamji.]
“Asabe Murtala” writes on the Iyan Tama case again apparently in reply to a rejoinder by an Aminu Sa’ad Beli from Lawyers Without Borders. However, I have not been able to find the rejoinder using google. (If anyone has seen it, please send me the link or the letter) Ms. Asabe’s initial mode of attack seems to question the credentials and moral authority of Aminu Sa’ad Beli, several choice quotes being:
“Beli should understand that, it is the kind of their write-ups that makes he public unruly. Not a decent government agency like the Kano State Censorship Board. Absolutely not them!”
Paragraph number 7 of Beli’s piece is one of the areas that shocked me to my knees. Let me quote the part precisely. He says “But then whatever is the undercurrent, my candid opinion is that, the attitude of the Rabo managed censorship board is not only contradictory but unnecessary.” For God sake how can a sane person come out and boldly say a board that looks after people’s moral practice is not necessary in the society? So do you want us to always be wallowing in moral bankruptcy?
There is much much more, but I will leave that to the delectation of the reader who is tempted to click on the link.
“Asabe Murtala’s” piece to which Aminu Sa’ad Beli was apparently responding was initially published as “An Open Letter to the US Embassy in Nigeria,” in the Daily Triumph on 23 December 2008. It was published 8 January 2009 in the Daily Trust as “Iyan Tama, U.S., and the Kano Censorship Board” under the name “Asabe Muktar.” In this first piece Asabe Murtala/Muktar claims to be a “stakeholder in the film industry in Kano State;” however, in a discussion about the piece on the finafinan Hausa listserve, no one had seemed to have heard of her in the industry or in related publications. In this piece “she” uses the evidence that “she” had applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for the company name “Iyan Tama Multi Media Limited,” and correspondence came back saying that the name was avilable, to make the claim that “the above informaation is a clear testimony to the fact that Hamisu Tama did not register with the Corporate Commission.” Iyan-Tama later mentioned to several of us who visited him in prison that his company name has a hyphen “Iyan-Tama”–and, of course, as Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu pointed out in an email to the Finafinan Hausa listserve, there are any number of combinations of the name that would not come up in a search for the name she entered:
“Shin YAYA ake rubuta sunan kamfanin Hamisu —
Iyan Tama Multimedia, ko kuma Iyan-Tama Multimedia, ko kuma Iyan-Tama Multi-media, ko kuma Iyan Tama Multi-media?”
And in other news Ibrahim Sheme updates his blog with a Hausa version of the open letter to Governor Ibrahim Shekarau
(For background on the censorship crisis in Kano, see this post)