By Ibrahim Siraj, PhD
One must start by giving thanks and praises to Allah the Almighty for the peace being enjoyed in Kano. Like the Prophet time Quraysh, Allah has made our city a peaceful sanctuary while people are “being snatched all around us”. Known proverbially as tumbin giwa, Kano is not only northern Nigeria’s commercial hub. It’s also a bastion of manufacturing and industrialization, notwithstanding efforts to cripple it by successive governments.
For several decades, Kano has maintained its cosmopolitan status, housing Nigerians from all across the country. Kano is also home to many expatriate communities, many of whom have come to accept it as their first if not the only home. Analysts and historians have attributed Kano’s development to this welcoming and all-embracing posture. In trade and business, education and scholarship, politics and governance, media and entertainment, Kano has provided a level playing field for everyone (indigenes and non-indigenes alike) to prosper, with non-indigenes often making it at the expense of the indigenes.
In Kano, you do your things without fear of discrimination. Once your contribution is adjudged to be positive, you are as good as any bonafide Bakano. Unless, of course, it is realized that you are going to bring a bad name to the state, that’s when you risk being quickly disowned. There and then, you will be reminded that you are not “a son of the soil”. “Ba ɗan Kano ba ne” will now be the chorus around town.
The security situation in the country is so bad and pervasive that many think no place is safe. Innocent people are killed in towns and villages by marauding and murderous gangs of merciless armed men. Kidnapping for ransom has become a daily occurrence. Travellers take the roads not sure of reaching their destinations as many have had their journeys cut or diverted to bushes where they were subjected to the highest form of human humiliation for no sin committed. Such is the sad reality of the North-Western states with the only possible exception, apart from Kano, being Jigawa.
Amidst this terrible state of affairs, Allah has protected Kano from those assailants and made it largely peaceful. Not only is Kano peaceful, but it is also bustling. New businesses are springing up in various corners of the city. So are small and medium scale industries. Rice mills (big and small) are being established in almost all the industrial areas leveraging the Federal Government’s policy of encouraging local food production.
Many new millionaires and a handful of billionaires have been produced among the business class, don’t mind the much-touted poverty and widespread hardship in the country. In Kano, it is a case of “mutuwar wani tashin wani”, i.e. one man’s poison is another man’s meat, so to say. Or, as the Arabs would say, “masa’ibu qaumin inda qaumin fawa’idu” meaning what’s a bad situation for some is a good situation for others. While the poor masses are crying, this new super-wealthy are either smiling to the banks or busy spending lavishly on big houses or malls.
Indications have emerged recently that people from the troubled states in the North, especially Northeast and Northwest, are taking refuge in Kano with reports of several secret relocations. Politically exposed people from those states are alleged to have engaged in buying or building houses in the state with the intention of moving their families if they hadn’t done that already.
Alhamdulillah, Kano is now the place to be by everyone in search of peace and prosperity. Even the so-called bandits are believed to be relishing the peace in Kano. They are alleged to be sneaking into the commercial city to do business and return to their enclaves undetected. Although not confirmed by the intelligence community, this cannot be quickly ruled out given the large number of people coming to Kano daily from that part of the country.
Recently, someone suggested that one of the biggest mistakes of Boko Haram was attacking Kano. He reasoned that a safe and peaceful Kano would have been in their own nefarious interest as they could have exploited its vastness and used it as a cover from where they coordinate their insurgency activities. This may not be entirely correct, though, as we have seen recently, Kano has become the end-of-the-road for many high-profile criminals who wanted to make it their haven. Wadume readily comes to mind here.
The peace enjoyed in Kano is by no means absolute. The state has a myriad of sundry security challenges it is grappling with. Incidents of phone-snatching often with deadly consequences, thuggery fuelled by political actors, pockets of poorly organized abductions, and drug abuse are becoming a major security threat. Kano still has unresolved cases of kidnapped and sold out children, with many more still being reported missing. Yet, the absence of any large-scale acts of insecurity, the kind of which was witnessed during the dark and inglorious years of Boko Haram bombings or the sort happening in our neighbouring states, is giving us a cause to be thankful.
Many people have been wondering what could be responsible for Kano’s relative peace. Is Kano the so-called “God’s own” state? What are the people here doing that others are not? Or what are they not doing that others do? To whom goes the credit? How could the peace be maintained? For me, it’s only the wish of Allah and His mercy for Kano to enjoy this level of stability. As far as I can see, Kano is no less a sinful society than others facing security challenges. Of course, we have good people here, but we have our share of bad and notoriously evil ones too. Apparently, neither is it due to any conscious effort by security agencies – though not belittling their contribution – nor is it the making of government for some unscrupulous politicians to claim the credit.
But as it is often said, Kano is fortified by the blessings and prayers for peace and prosperity courtesy of those pious, sincere, devout, God-fearing and saintly scholars. They either resided in or visited the city several decades ago. It is believed that their remnants are still available, praying fervently though quietly for peace to reign in Kano and for the state to achieve economic prosperity. Their sacrifices and devotions – and not the deceptive shenanigans of those money-mongering, spiritually empty, morally bankrupt, ostentatious prayer merchants parading the corridors of power today – that are keeping Kano safe and secure.
Whatever it may be, maintaining the peace in Kano is in our own collective interest. We must, therefore, play our own roles. We must sustain prayers and shun sinful behaviour as much as we can. Let us all contribute in whatever way we can to preserve the peace. Let us cooperate with security agencies by providing them with the support they need to discharge their responsibility. Let us continue to pray for the quick return of peace and security to all troubled zones in the country and the world.
May Allah continue to make Kano more peaceful and safer. May He continue to protect it and make it more prosperous!
Dr Siraj writes from the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano and is also a reporter for The Daily Reality.
Amin, Malam Siraj namu
Ameen, Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum.
It’s up course, prayer is the major key for peace in Kano.
This is perfect Sir!
We are proud of you💕
I love your writeup Sir, but I have a concern as regard to Kano with the recent political uprising these few days.
At some point I always make reference to the maturity Kano attend in politics. But recently “Siyansa Daba” is gradually sneaking in and it might not mean well for Kano.
May Allah bless your wisdom and sustain the peace in Kano and bring us peace in Nigeria as a whole.
May Allah bless your knowledge and provide more people like you in our community