AUWAL Bala Shanono was 26 years old and 34th National President of the Nigerian Medical Students Association from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. On June 4th, he was in the company of four colleagues returning from Ile-Ife, where he had addressed a rally on infant mortality.
Shanono was caught up in the NURTW factional clash in Ibadan. His body was discovered two days later “burnt along with other bodies, in a bush….The body would not have been recognizable but for the ring on his finger and a piece of the rally tag on his neck”.
Shanono’s tragic death has not caught media attention. Why? He probably belongs to the “wrong” religion, Islam; and comes from the “wrong region” of the country; the North! If he were Christian and a Southerner and had been killed anywhere in the North, Nigeria’s continued existence would have been questioned/threatened in reportage/commentaries/interviews or they would have ratcheted up chorused calls for “Restructuring/Sovereign National Conference” in the Southern press in response. But not a whimper has issued forth from the all-knowing commentators in the Southern press.
John Donne said every man’s death diminishes us, but there seems to be selectivity in such matters here.