By Auwal Umar
Fifth, the Kano people versus the Kano Government Act of Butchery on Land: The writer of this piece is neither environmentalist nor a climate expert, but from the little I know, it is never good for the health and wellbeing of the environment when open spaces in schools, road pavements, school premises and graveyards are fully or partially commercialised. Does this mean our urban areas are as well-planned as other major cities in Nigeria?
Kano’s schools and higher institutions were butchered not to afforest some trees to save us all from the danger of climate change or to provide new classes to alleviate overcrowding in our jam-packed classes that make the teaching and learning environment unconducive. The glutinous act of butchery of the Kano land by the invisible knives of the state government has not spared school vicinities, mosque premises or even graveyards in some instances.
As an illustration, many plots of land were carved out from the School of Management Studies Kano, located near the Sheikh Ja’afar Road and inexplicably allotted to the highest bidders to construct houses. If shame were an animal or human, it would surely be skinned alive. Arguably in most of our primary schools, one class is forced to accommodate two or three hundred pupils. It is surprising that there’s still a government in existence whose target is to commercialise the available spaces that are yet inadequate.
Sixth, Ƴan Adaidaita-Sahu (tricyclists) versus the Kano APC Government: No serious government attempts to base its decision solely on a profit-oriented venture instead of people based. The socioeconomic importance of this socially commercial venture to the state cannot be in any way overemphasised. It would be a minor miracle for business moguls like Dangote and BUA to be able to fully employ these youth when they are forced off the road to look for livelihoods elsewhere. Alarmingly, most of them might resort to illegal ways to sustain themselves.
Despite the huge amount of money the state government generates daily from these hundreds of thousands of youth, the tricyclists operate under constant threats from the KAROTA MD, who wants to ban the profession, notwithstanding the precarious consequences the so-called action may have on the whole state. For example, the Kano market experienced a drastic reduction in the number of customers because the state government has failed woefully to make necessary provisions to cater for the needs of the commuters due to its hasty decision to frustrate the people, perhaps owing to the perceived grudges they had with the governor. Many issues transpired as a result.
The tricyclists were forced to pay about ₦20,000 for a tracker. It is common knowledge that a ‘tracker’ is a technological device that provides much range of functions, including tracing the location of the vehicle, mileage report, stay report, overspeed report, fuel consumption report, travel report moving overview, driver’s behaviours and more importantly, it ensures the security of both the vehicle and the rider. This seemingly new development was welcomed by all and sundry. But to our chagrin, the supposed tracking device mysteriously transformed into a sticker.
The riders used their hard-earned money and tolerated the wonderful disappearance of their sweat for the love of peace. The maltreatment they were subjected to was best explained by both Barrister Abba Hikima and Malam Mubarak Ibrahim Lawan, who stood out and sacrificed their time to fight for them, with the former being their advocate in and outside the court.
Let everyone know that Adaidaita Sahu is not a venture that benefits only a few people. No, the entire Kano populace benefits from it directly or indirectly. For example, traders, students, guests, civil servants and the whole commuters are direct beneficiaries. The state government only suspends the ban for a while because of the looming election and the fear of the backlash from the teeming tryclists. But if they assume power again, nothing may stop them from going ahead with the ban. It is only God who knows how much billions several people invested in the Adaidaita Sahu business. What will be the fate of such a huge investment if this government reinstates the purported plan to ban this profession? The voters will answer these questions on 18th March 2023.
Seventh, the State Civil Servants versus the Kano APC Government: There is constant uncertainty about the actual amount of salary of civil servants in Kano and the time salary is paid in the state. I can vividly remember the biting economic conditions the generality of the Kano civil servants were subjected to during annual fasting periods and Sallah festivities. They were deliberately abandoned at the mercy of lenders and virtually inaccessible bank loans. In the spirit of mercy and compassion, they should have been paid on the 25th of the month of either Sallah or Ramadan fasting due to the increasing demand for money in such periods. This has been the story of Kano civil servants for so long.
In most cases, there is an urgent need for manpower in many ministries, with the education sector needing it the most. Our primary and secondary schools need more staff, but the government does not care to recruit new and competent hands, thereby leaving the current teachers with a heavy workload and a suffocating welfare package. The issue of promotion has become a serious headache for the poor teachers who deserve a promotion but cannot have it without a kickback, especially if you do not know who pulls the string in the top offices in the sector.
Eighth, the Kano Traders versus the APC-led Government: The highhandedness of the Kano state government towards marketers has made the business environment unfavourable. Gone are the days when a person could go freely to Kantin Kwari or Kofar Wambai markets without much apprehension about the parking lots. The lanes are not spacious enough due to the greediness that prompted the allocation of the space meant to be unquestionably public for commercial purposes. Many people can still recall how flood-ravaged many areas of the market recently. The unjust and greedy allocation of shops makes it difficult for the staff of the state’s fire service department to fight fire during some catastrophic infernos. Instead of the markets being decongested, the government created the very problem that made them jam-packed, thereby making it hard for business activities to run smoothly.
Ninth, commercialisation of public places: One can hardly explain what the Kano town plan looks like right now and how it used to be. Everything was thrown into confusion. Kofar Mata Eid prayer plot has been butchered and allocated to the highest-bidding traders. The famous Masallacin Waje was subjected to a similar fate. Many roadsides have experienced the same. Even schools. and graveyards are not spared from this unnecessary marketisation. Heck! Even some parts of the storied Sabon Gari stadium are commercialised.
In conclusion, the surge of anger in the minds of voters is an indication that the people are tired of this government’s style of administration. The issue of transparency and accountability are essential to any good governance. But many statistical data show that this government has performed so woefully in that areas. If we are serious and concerned about the state and overall development, we have cogent reasons to punish them with our PVCs on the D-Dsay.
Auwal Umar wrote from Kano. He can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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