This is to draw your attention and that of NCDC to the ongoing controversy over the cluttering of Kwari Market. We hope you will temper the issue with compassion and shrewdness befitting your sage, administrative excellence and political dexterity. Sir, if you solemnly declared that Kano will become a megacity in the very near future, which you did as reported on Blueprint Newspaper, August 21, 2020, why do you now allow our markets, especially Kwari to be congested? You made the declaration “on the eve of the Kano Economic and Investment Summit (KanInvest) which held in May, 2017, where stakeholders and bigwigs in the business sector converged to share ideas concerning issues affecting the economy, especially as it concerns Kano state”. There you rightly observed that the crowded population of Kano of about 20 million people will multiply in 5 years time. With Coronavirus threatening our lives, now is the time to decongest the city or else risk spreading the virus like wildfire.
In the process of affirming your declaration, you continue with the construction of the new Economic City of Kano located at Dangwauro Town along Kano -Zaria federal highway. However, your construction of a mall at the popular Kantin Kwari textile market named ‘Yan Tebura Mall has opened a dangerous door of congesting the market. What follows the mall are structures being erected on Taambo and Bayajidda Streets in the market. Unfortunately they are becoming a greater bone of contention because they stand on the way and so will endanger our hygiene, your excellency. After the recent rainfalls in Kano, the market was always flooded as the main waterways there happen to be on these streets. With the buildings being erected on them, the ancient market is seriously damaged, congested and so the megacity target is defeated.
Moreover, the damage brought about by the new buildings includes blockage of the former known 16 entries to the market which were serving as good ventilation and escape exits in case of a stampede. Still, the structures have saturated almost all the streets in the market, whereas the frontage of every shop is also “officially” being choked with iron stalls which would lead to disaffection, disharmony and clashes between the shop owners and stallers. To make matters worse, the installers of these iron stalls are damaging some newly tarred roads as they fix the stalls on the edge of the roads to larger part of the roadside drainage. Therefore, as the whole pathways are narrowed to almost nothing, people have to be squeezing around, highly vulnerable to Coronavirus infection.
These problems are not far from the government’s sidelining of the market people in the activities of the market, especially on strategies to improve the government’s revenue. This way, the outsiders brought in to supervise and advise on such affairs, as in the case of an administrator appointed from the head of service, come to enrich themselves only at the expense of anything good in the market. They never protect the interests of the market but theirs and sometimes end up starting a fire of enmity among business friends. It is a wonder how an outsider could tell an owner of a house where roofing leaks. Instead of looking at what is good for the market, those people look at what could bring them money no matter how damaging they appear to the good people of Kano. In that respect, owners of shops have to pay 200 thousand Naira to buy their shop front if they do not want that iron stall stationed there for sale.
Worse still, over five thousand labourers stand the risk of losing their livelihood if the contentious buildings continue. As a politician who is committed to forestall the increasing poverty-induced insecurity in the State, we are sure that you would not take this risk. Notwithstanding, the already erected structures have no accessibly enough toilets as those available are far upstairs and so women customers going to the market suffer super shame when they want to ease themselves in the centre of a Shari’a compliant state, under you, Khadimul Islam. In case of a fire accident like that of Sabon Gari Market, God forbid, the large fire fighting vehicles that need room for manoeuvre would never get entry as the ways are now being blocked. So against this background, all concerned persons in the market say no to the project and even go to court.
Following on from that, the State High Court, on 12th August, presided by Justice Suleiman Baba Namallam, has restrained the Government of Kano State from blocking or erecting structures at any part of Taambu and Bayajidda Streets at the popular market, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice. Nonetheless, It has never been our intention, your excellency, to be at loggerheads with your government over this issue. We are only after decongesting the market especially to observe the Coronavirus protocol; to help the government, on the other hand, in spacing the already jam-packed market in preparation to reaching the megacity status and to target the recent Federal Government’s campaign of “Ease of Doing Business”.
Nevertheless, Your excellency, we appreciate your effort towards making Kano a megacity as you ease traffic congestion by finishing the construction of the Sabon Gari axis 2km bridge inland flyover (named after the Kano business mogul Alhaji Aminu Alhassan Dantata) along Murtala Muhammad Way, which is the longest in West Africa; the Sharada/Panshekara Junction Underpass; the Bukavu Barracks underpass; the Underpass, Flyover and Roundabout at Dangi road connecting Zaria road-Zoo road and Silver Jubilee road as well as the now-under construction Hotoro NNPC (Muhammadu Buhari) bridge among others. These justify your administration’s commitment to the safe development of the sprawling city of Kano. In spite of that, we also need our existing markets to be spacious, uncrowded and comfortable so as to have good standards of health and hygiene regulations, especially Covid-19 protocol.
It is our fervent hope that Kano will continue to benefit from the wealth of your immense administrative experience and astuteness in politics, especially in this much worrying matter. Show the world that you are an ace politician, agreeable to the yearnings and aspirations of your people by justifying the confidence collectively reposed on your administration and unselfish persona.
We pray that may Allah Subhanahu wata’ala strengthen your resolve in elevating the status of Kano to compete with other megacities around the world. May you be successful in your future political endeavour. May Kano remain peaceful forever! Amin thumma Amin!