William Shakespeare wrote "Cowards die many times before their death". He made this statement to illustrate how certain actions of some men imply cowardice.
A Pharmacist is trained to speak truth no matter whose Ox is gored. Many healthcare professionals feel threatened when a Pharmacist speaks because we don't mince words in telling the truth about a particular situation as lives may inadvertently depend on it. A Pharmacist knows that one small mistake, one error, one false calculation and many lives may be lost. This is why many who do not wish to see truth come to life because of ulterior motives do their best to deny a Pharmacist his/her voice.
This week a Pharmacist Hannatu Rufai Abdullahi was amongst several hostages of Bandits in Zango Zaria in Nothern Nigeria. She had been abducted alongside her sister and several others around 1:00am.
She was sleeping peacefully in her home with her two sons, a seven year old and a six year old. The bandits broke through her burglary proof door and took her away.
According to a relative Zainab Aliyu Hannatu "hid her children when the bandits came. She was kidnapped along side her cousin sister. We waited to hear them calling us for a ransom only for them to call that they have killed and dumped her corpse along Birnin Gwari."
According to @realvoiceofarewa "They killed her and dumbed her corpse just like that!. Just like that!. She was at home. A mother, a wife, a daughter and a pharmacist contributing her own quota to a country that couldn't protect her."
According to Ahmed Salisu a Kaduna resident the Kidnappers were said to have operated for more than an hour without any form of resistance in a residential area filled with all sorts of academia and intellectuals plus it is very close to a military barracks. The police had made an attempt to intercept them but were out numbered.
The story had it that at some point while being led deep into the bandits hideout Hannatu indicated she could not continue further as she was tired. The Bandits shot her and continued on her journey. The story was confirmed by a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Ahmed Sanni from Kaduna State.
Until her death, Hannatu was a mother of two kids and pharmacist at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria. She was a former Superintendent Pharmacist at Kumbi Pharmacy, Gombe.
Was Hannatu Pregnant?
Though it has been widely reported that Hannatu was pregnant but a Cousin of hers says she was neither pregnant nor heavy with child. In response to a Facebook post one Omar Mustei who claims to be her cousin said:
"Hannatu was not pregnant please. She is my cousin and we were together Thursday before she was kidnapped Friday. She was not pregnant not to talk of being heavy. We can pass the news without false information."
But Ozi Mohammed who described himself as a close family friend of Hannatu's said :
"She was heavily pregnant and told the Animals (kidnappers) that she couldn't walk, so they shot her. She has 2 kids......Her sister in Abuja called my wife on Friday to rejoice with us over my son's issue but unfortunately my sister (her friend) called us the following day to break the sad news. We started praying for them since that day until last night when my sister called"
While controversy surrounds our beloved Hannatu's pregnancy status as at time of death one thing is certain: HANNATU died because she chose to speak truth to Power. Those who shot her did nothing abnormal. It is abnormal for a coward to tolerate truth when he faces it. A coward must react when he sees someone who can stand up to him, speak truth and defend the weak. Hannatu considered her health so she spoke up and said she is tired and can't walk further. The cowards shot because they didn't want her left behind and giving away their trail to security forces. They shot because they were afraid of the truth.
Muhajira Ismail describes Hannatu as "an amazing soul, an easy going person, with a beautiful smile..."
Maryam Jibrin describes Hannatu as "someone I have known for 16 years. Nice and gentle. When I learnt of your abduction I was praying that you will return safely eventually. That did not happen"
Amina Adamu-Mshelia described Hannatu as "lovely, peaceful and devoted"
Umar Farouk said "She's really a nice person always smiling"
The bandits died when they shot Hannatu. You died when you shot Hannatu........yes you, you, you, you......you're the one who died when you shot Hannatu. You shot a mother but you died. Because you are a C.O.W.A.R.D. You will never match her standards. Woman of Nigeria, Daughter, Wife, Mother, University Graduate, fashionista, Pharmacist and Public Health Worker. You thought you could take her voice and shut her up forever but you made a mistake. You made her louder and noisier than she has ever been or will ever be.
While announcing Hannatu's murder @realvoiceofarewa writes "Does this darkness have a name?"
But of all descripions we are most particular about how Hannatu described herself. On her Facebook wall she described herself as a
"Pharmacist, Beauty Entrepreneur! I show women how to start beauty business to improve their lifestyle."
Shes not Hannatu, she's not Hannatwo, we choose to call her Hannathree, Hannafour, Hannafive, Hannasix and Hannatoinfinity