Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
Unmasking The Kano Masquerades
September 9, 2006
The greatest mistake, the brunt of which the good people of Kano had to bear was, no doubt, the voting of the present corrupt and duplicitous government, aka Shekarau Administration. I say so not because Kano people are incurably impossible lot, but because of the administration’s brazen clumsiness in handling our affairs and the masking of their incompetence with religion. We, therefore, will never forget the governor’s tenure of nothingness, the years of embezzlement, the reign of misplacement of priorities, the rule of ineptitude, the term of enthronement of cronyism, the period of crass nepotism, the era of corruption. A government without plans or focus. A government that flirts with the welfarist and egalitarian nature of the real Shariah but palmed “political Shariah” off on credulous Muslim masses in exchange for their votes. A government that is busy buffeting on our treasury with the elite and cronies just the way Warren Buffet’s wealth is buffeted by the needy. Like it or not, Kano made an embarrassing swing from a State that hitherto prides itself on its Groundnut Pyramids to a State that now prides itself on its signposts and tricycles as they are the only visible “achievements” the present government so far achieved in more than three years in the saddle. Shame!
Any visitor to Kano nowadays will be struck by about four
culture shocks. The first culture shock is these “achievements” – some countless
signposts and equally countless yellow tricycles. I write not about the
governor’s signposts/billboards today but rather about other “achievements” like
these yellow tricycles bearing some silly inscriptions “A DAI DAI TA SAHU”
that littered and choked the metropolitan roads with their ugly bodyworks. The
second culture shock is when the visitor is shown the price of each of the
refurbished tricycles (even though I am acquainted with their financial
recklessness, my heart sinks when I set my eyes on the figures). Each was bought
at a cost of
Of course, as things seem to unfold, every right-thinking
indigene of Kano should be worried sick about the way the government runs its
affairs. In a way, one gets stunned by the way the government embraces
propaganda and deception as if articles of faith. Moreso, when one watches a
silly circus where by a governor lured some avaricious religious teachers to
leave the grace of the preaching ground for the grass of the Hisbah
parade ground. Not in their usual flowing gowns but in a hilarious Hisbah
uniforms with no books in their hands to preach, but rather with stun guns in
their hands to torture their erstwhile students. A total of
Beside the Hisbah discomfiture, and to further gain
the support of the ulamas given the role they played in the previous
elections as campaign managers, and to tighten his political grip and earn their
blessings, the governor gave them, through “Shariah” commission, contracts for
the supply of Dala’ilu and other Islamic books amounting to
Since you cannot force the rich to give Zakkat to the needy as Islam stipulates because you are aware that such action is contrary to the Constitution, then I see no reason for spending public funds on the commission. My argument is that if ever the overheads of say Education Tax Fund (ETF) surpassed the tax it collects, then it wouldn’t have been in existence because it was similar motive that gave birth to the Customs Service whose overheads is nothing more than a chicken feed compared with their net income.
Not that alone, just last year the governor went far away
Nigerian Military School, Zaria (NMS), with no iota of respect for public funds
as usual, to build them a parking lot (because all our problems are solved). The
Kano, no doubt, is under the sway of a prodigal governor who embezzles the public funds as if he wins a jackpot. It didn’t, perhaps, occur to masquerades that the “oil boom” is not permanent; nor did they care that Kano tops the poverty index of the country and is scored low in almost all the local and international indexes; nor did it matter to the ostrich that he did not solve our major problems because he buries his head in the splendor of the Government House leaving the masses in the squalor of the slums. Such are the genre of the neo-shariah leader (masquerading as a saint) who still had the effrontery to tell the people that he wants tazarce in a different mask he calls Allah mai mai ta mana. This is what we are witnessing today in Kano – all their atrocities are cleverly code-named and re-christened, and their reports are jumbled together to conceal a lot fact, or rather, on many occasions, cut corners to hoodwink the gullible masses.
By design or by default, the mask was, during the last
Easter recess, removed when the governor got married to a society lady. The
alleged shotgun wedding cost the taxpayers a whopping
Experts, considering the underdevelopment and monumental wastages (for that is what it is) recorded in the last three years, have argued several times that the government put on itself the burden that it cannot carry, and its level of achievement is not commensurate with its earnings as Dr Shamsuddeen Usman of the CBN remarked trenchantly in this regard. It is quite appalling to hear that instead of embracing the views of this celebrated banking guru of our soil, the government got irritated and threatened to bungle the recommendations of the recently held Kano Economic Summit he chaired. With the about N200 billion the government received, you could imagine the infrastructural development these super billions could have put in place; you would expect well-marked illuminated streets, modern hospitals, functioning industries, quality education, etc. But alas, that was, however, not to be. The only remarkable thing you could not miss is the well-marked beaming face of the governor; smiling and basking in the cheers of those he willfully kept unemployed – and uneducated. I am worried to remember that Kano is blessed with arable land that could enhance youth employment and bring economic prosperity to the state when explored. But the painful paradox is that such exalted gift is taken for granted. All you could unfortunately hear in this regard is multi-billion-naira fertilizer scams that occur perennially because where there’s muck there is always brass! Our dreams of a multi-billion-naira groundnut project, irrigation project or independent power project (that will wake up our industries) during this unprecedented abundance have gone, like the billions, down the drain.
In conclusion, I will like to draw the attention of Kanawa to know that Shekarau is not responsive to the masses but to some venal aristocrats who will today give Kano a phantom gift of some millions and be awarded tomorrow with multi-billion-naira contracts to tricyclly fertilize their pockets. Farmer without a single bag of fertilizer while a billionaire contractor gleefully holds his bag of billions. Pity. They (aristocrats) it was who recently stopped the patriotic move of the State Assembly to unmask the masquerades and rescue Kano from this financial catastrophe. They halted the move purely for their own interests. EFCC should hurriedly unmask the masquerades and their cohorts who torment our progress under the guise of their vote-spinner project (political Shariah) before more damages are done.
The wisdoms of these unprecedented wastages, plunder, rip-off, duplicity, masquerading and deception could have been unimpeachable if our taps (like those that are meant for flowers in the Government House) are running, quality education (the like of which they use public funds to give their children) is given to the less privileged, our roads are tarred and affordable healthcare is available to the poor. The fact is that almost all the governors we have today are corrupt but nonetheless, some still contrive to lace their corrupt acts with some meaningful projects that often belie their crooked deals without recourse to wearing politico-religious mask to disguise their incompetence. My burning indignation is that other governors, typically mine, have, to quote Leonardo Da Vinci, “… made a trade of delusions and false miracles, deceiving the stupid multitude” without doing anything meaningful. So if the jihad they launch on public funds continues, corruption persists, collecting ‘Euroed’ kickbacks goes on, and indeed the masks still remain without significant improvement in the social welfare of the masses, we should also launch jihad on them as Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in a hadith reported by Ibn Majah in his Sunan, that the best form of jihad is to tell the words of truth to an oppressive leader. Of this, the truth should be put rather bluntly – a looter must not continua.
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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.