In a move coinciding with the 37th anniversary of the death of Mallam Aminu Kano, leading Non-Governmental Organisations in the state are warning of a plausible breakdown of law and order and how to avert such a breakdown. While the Centre for Information Technology and Development, (CITAD) which had earlier on endorsed the lockdown imposed by the state government against unmanaged ripples, the Advocates for a United Kano, (AUK) is offering the state government options “toward alleviating the suffering of the people of Kano State and, hopefully, beyond”. Interpretatively, both can see people suffering and are reading danger in that.
Coinciding with the 37th anniversary of the death of Mallam Aminu Kano means four completely different variables becomes connected together. That is the anniversary of the sage and the management of a pandemic in the sage’s home base of Kano, the leading NGOs and the Kano State Government. It conforms to how reality is a matter of assemblage – things mixing and producing a completely different outcome. In other words, nothing makes sense in itself.
Justifying its support for locking Kano city down effective from midnight of April 16th, 2020 on ground of conformity with the position of many health professional bodies and organizations, including the World Health Organization, (W.H.O), CITAD is, however, reckoning with the densely populated demographic profile of the city “with majority of its residents dependent on informal jobs which requires them to go out daily to look for what they will eat and feed their family”.
It is subsequently fearful that the Government has yet to announce any palliatives even as it says it should be clear that there is no way people will be kept under lockdown for one week without food and be expected to survive. Certain that unless the Government comes up with a clear directive and concrete measures to cushion the hardship, most vulnerable people in the society would find themselves in serious problem which may render the lockdown ineffective, CITAD is now asking the Government to come up with a clear and elaborate plan on how to support the vulnerable people in the society.
It is also insisting that this must be an accountable and all-inclusive one, wondering why the state Government has refused to disclose how it spent the donations given to it by individuals and organizations. Adding how such shows lack of transparency on the part of the Government, the NGOs asks the Government to co-opt civil society organizations and other individuals into all the committees for transparency and accountability.
Beyond the state Government, CITAD is also tasking well-to-do-individuals in the society to support vulnerable groups in their areas at this critical time.
In its own prescriptive package through a letter addressed to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and signed by its Chairperson, Bashir Othman Tofa, the Advocates for a Kano United, the Advocates for a United Kano, (AUK) is canvassing massive procurement, storage and free distribution of essential medicines,“particularly those that would improve and boost the immune system”, to cater for the weak and the vulnerable, on a need basis”.
It follows this with asking the Government to be keenly cautious of the types medicine and vaccines that should be allowed into the State, justifying the caution as on grounds of what it calls various rumours and theories being peddled locally and internationally on the matter.
Similarly, in its view, the State Government should embark on massive procurement and storage of staple food items and establish a reserve in order to prepare against short-term food shortages and to cater for the uncertain future. As much as possible, the food should be procured from outside the state to avoid creating artificial scarcity.
Primary health and sanitation worker will smile should the government accepts the position of the NGO which is suggesting recruitment of more of their category and deploy them to local communities to train people on basic hygienic practices as well as on encourage environmental sanitation. This initiative, it also advises the Government, should be retained for the long term.
Health workers should, additionally, survey markets where essential food items are sold with a view of ensuring sales with minimum personal contacts and adequate social spacing. This is the practice in many places where “locked down” is enforced, it says, justifying this on the health risks posed by lack of water supply and places which depend on water hawkers. This explains its recommendation in favour of the State Government providing water in residential areas throughout the state for a period of four weeks, in the first instance, to encourage good hygiene practices.
Two other recommendations in the comprehensive outing by the AUK are the State Government seizing the opportunity of the lockdown to embark on state-wide sterilization of public spaces such as roads, markets, hospitals, schools, etc, with removal and cleansing of gutters, dried ponds, and junkyards as a priority. And then the case made for adequate arrangements for the next planting season “so as not to jeopardize food production”, a recommendation it accompanies with the case for relevant ministries and agencies being alerted to take the necessary steps.