Is it possible that, by creating four new emirates out of the older Kano Emirate, the Governor Ganduje administration might have murdered sleep and can sleep no more? That seems to be the case as the action has triggered a plethora of contentions around the issue, Kano State and Northern Nigeria. The Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative, (KCCI) and the Concerned Citizens are some of the groups firing verbal missiles on the issue. Below, another more diffuse group has emerged with its own standpoint on the issue. The text of their Press Conference is published unedited for general readers, researchers, policy makers and the direct stakeholders
We, the concerned citizens, well wishers and stakeholders of Kano State, as individuals and organizations, have individually and collectively through mutual agreement, agreed to come together for the purpose of sharing our common fears, concerns, and despair on the emerging unfortunate situation in Kano State.
It is common knowledge in the public domain that Northern Nigeria is one of the leading regions which is strategically located, blessed with abundant resources with great potential, which has remained over the years untapped and unrealized. These challenges are largely attributed to the leadership deficit, by the political actors in the region, particularly the Governors, who have gradually assumed authority status of being the ultimate political umpires with unlimited power.
A disturbing yet overlooked dimension of this leadership conundrum, however is that, leaders who ought to be responsible for identifying the problems and finding solutions of the society, seem to have little understanding of what these problems are as they do not believe in consultation, or allow for popular participation of the citizenry in decision making process. It is very obvious from the actions and inactions of the political leaders, particularly the Governors, who are becoming continually disconnected from the reality of the ordinary people.
Today, Northern Nigeria, has been identified and trade marked by all sorts of evil and social vices, such as kidnapping, armed banditry and killings, debilitating poverty, increasing unemployment, child labor under the disguise of the Almajiri system, maternal mortality, out of school children, government institutionalized and patronized political thuggery, street begging, drug and substance abuse and many more
The Kano Reality as a State in Northern Nigeria
Kano State used to be a pacesetter, not only in Northern Nigeria, but in the country as a whole, socially, culturally, economically and politically. Kano has since the period of the Trans Saharan trade over centuries ago been recognized as the nerve centre of commerce in West Africa.
Unfortunately, over the years, through successive leaderships characterized by obvious capacity deficit lacking in vision, foresight and direction, has gradually reduced Kano to a diminishing social, economic, cultural and political entity whose values and features of development have been eroded. To summarize it all, our dear Kano can be characterized thus;
- Kano State habours more than two million Almajiris roaming the streets, without any tangible and sustainable intervention to checkmate the ugly situation.
- Reliable statistics has indicated that there are more than three million five hundred thousand unemployed youths in Kano.
- There are more than two million girl children who do not attend formal school in Kano.
- There are more than five million people who do not have access to portable drinking water in Kano.
- Kano State is one of the states with the highest maternal mortality in Nigeria.
- Kano State takes the lead in substance and drug abuse in the whole country.
- Kano State has the highest number of school dropouts due to insufficient support and commitment from the Government.
- Kano State has the highest cases of congested classrooms in the country, with over 150 – 200 pupils in a class.
- Kano State has the highest accumulated pensions unsettled by the Government.
- Kano State has the highest number of poorly managed health care facilities across the state.
- Kano State has the lowest number of higher institutions per population.
- Kano State has the highest number of unsigned bills, waiting for the assent of the Governor, or implementation of the law, such as:
- Kano State Security Trust Fund Law – 6 Years
- VAPP – Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law bill– 12 months
- Child Rights Acts bill – 24 months
- Procurement Law bill – 6 years
- Audit Law bill
- Fiscal Responsibility Law bill
- Due Process Law bill
Despite the above crucial bills which have great significance in the lives of the people not yet attended to, the Kano people woke up on the 12th of May Monday morning to learn about a petition made by a so called West African Institute for Legal Aid through Mal Ibrahim Salisu chambers to the Kano State House of Assembly requesting for the review of the laws creating emirate councils in Kano State, for an amendment and to consider the reorganization and upgrade of four District Areas to first class emirates, which are Rano, Gaya, Bichi and Karaye, respectively.
QUESTIONS THAT REQUIRE ANSWERS
- Should we be obliged to believe that, the creation of additional emirate councils will address any of our growing challenges in the state?
- Is there any rationale or wisdom, where the interest of the common man will be served in the creation of additional emirates councils?
- Can we convince ourselves that the creation of additional emirate councils was done in good faith, and in the overall public interest and for genuine progress of the state?
- Do we have a budgetary provision for the creation of more emirate councils in Kano State?
- Would the creation of more emirate councils earnestly provide solutions to our political and socio economic challenges, or would it only create additional burden on governance?
- What was the need for the extra ordinary and accelerated passing of the two laws in Kano State within a period of 48 hours just after another controversial bill for the granting of life pensions to the principal officers of the state assembly was passed,was it one of the trade offs as alleged by some?
- If the intention of the Government was genuine, why were the Kano Emirate Council and the King Makers never involved in or informed of the process of creating more emirate councils?
- If the intention of our legislators was genuine, what was the need to cut short their recess, just to deliberate on the two unpopular bills?
- Why were the Kano State citizens and stakeholders never considered important enough to be consulted (through public hearings and advocacy meetings for instance) in the process of passing such two sensitive laws, which would invariably affect their lives, directly or indirectly?
We are alarmed by the current administration’s increasing disregard for due process, exhibiting a culture of impunity; ignoring court orders etc. People who have tried to broker peace suffered all sorts of indignities, threats and intimidation in an environment that is increasingly treading the path to a full-blown political dictatorship enabling thugs and bandits to operate freely with audacity thus creating an atmosphere of tyranny and violence. As concerned citizens of Kano state we stand together demanding the followings actions:
- The Government of Kano state should put people’s priority and interest at the center of governance, of which at the moment splitting the Kano emirate is not one.
- We call on government to recognize the preeminent position and crucial role that the Kano emirate has played for centuries and continues to play in the welfare of the people as arbiter, platform for social mobilization, disseminator of information, link between the people and authority, rallying point, moral authority, symbol of a rich heritage and culture among others and to scrap the newly created emirates, which will only serve as a source of division and destroy our monolithic identity which gives us a strong sense of stability and inspires others as well.
- We call on the police to play their constitutional role of enforcing the rule of law by ensuring full compliance of court orders generally and particularly in this regard.
- We call on his Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto being the leader of the Danfodio caliphate to denounce in strong terms the creation of additional emirates in Kano which was done without consultation with major stakeholders and following the due process.
- We call on all the elders in Kano State, to dissociate themselves from these unpopular actions of the Government, directly or indirectly, secretly or in the open in relation to the creation of the so called new emirates, in the interest of peace and tranquility.
- That we condemn in totality, the attitude of Abdullahi Umar Ganduje led Government, for its total disregard for and disrespect of our revered elders in the state particularly with regards to their attempted efforts to intervene in the orchestrated plot of creating new emirate councils in Kano state.
- That, in the interest of the long subsisting peace and tranquility in Kano State, and in the interest of preserving our rich and proud heritage, we call on all the newly appointed emirs in Kano, to resign their appointment, to allow for the peaceful redeeming of the damaged reputation and integrity of our long established traditional system.
- That, we call on the Kano State Government, to transfer its energy in addressing the pressing socio economic and developmental challenges, that hinders the progress of our dear state and to reclaim its rightful position in the hierarchy of the states in the country.
- Jibrin Ibrahim
- Hussaini Abdu
- Auwal Musa Rafsanjani
- Engr, Y.Z. Ya’u
- Yusif Ibrahim
- Umar Tanko Yakasai
- Yusif Rabiu
- Hamisu Sadi
- Ibrahim Mahmud
- Sani Danjuma
- Abdulrazak Dala
- Abdulhadi Chula
- Saida Saad
- Dahiru Yakasai
- Hafiz Bichi
- Adama Usman
- Mustapha Idris
- Abdulrahaman Baffa Yola
- Ibrahim A. Wayya
- Abdulrazaq Alkali
- Kabiru Saidu Dakata
- Balarabe Rufai
- Nazir Halliru
- Nura Iro Maaji
- Aisha Maijamaa
- Hauwa Elyakub
- Zaharaddeen Mustapha
- Ibrahim Garba Maryam
- Peter Hassan Tijjani
- Safiyanu Lawan Bichi
- Mansur Runogu
- Muhammed Tukur Yola
- Badamasi Suleiman
- Sagir Suleiman Gezawa
- Abubakar Sani Yola
- Salisu Bako
- Rabiu Sani
- Abubakar Abdullah
- Haruna Shehu
- Rabiu Shamma
- Kano Civil Society Forum
- Organization for Community Civic Engagement
- Center for Awareness Justice and Accountability
- Citizens for DEVELOPMENT Association
- Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center
- Center for Information Technology and Development
- Center for Research and Documentation
- Network for Justice
- Kano Youth Coalition for Advocacy and Development
- Kano LEADS
- ILMU NAFI
- Northern Youth Assembly
- Network for Development and Empowerment
- Youth Mobilization via Media
- Mufarka Youth Initiative
- Transparency and Development Initiative
- Kano Budget Partners
- Center for Gender Base Violence
- Citizens Voice Against Corruption
- Human Rights and Community Initiative
- Advocacy on Human Rights and Equal opportunities