By Bala Nasir
Once again politics is in the air in the country.
As the general election is coming up in less than a month, flag-bearers of respective parties are gearing up to get people to vote for them.
As usual, politicians are perfecting moves that will cajole voters to vote in their favour.
One of these moves is by printing posters and pasting them on all available spaces they could.
Though candidates do not directly paste the posters, they are the ones who mandate their supporters to paste on walls and other available spaces in and around cities, towns and villages all over the country.
In Kano, such bills have already start dotting almost everywhere in the city especially government buildings which by way of our attitude are considered ‘no man’s land’ hence the reason for de-facing them by all manner of posters.
These posters that are usually printed in various colours and sizes, compete to outdo each other in capturing the attention of passers-by and for the most curious among them to want to read the inscription.
That is why the posters were mostly placed on the most vivid locations on highways, major streets and even in towns and villages.
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The desperation in our politicians is expressed clearly in some of the pictures as some posters portray candidates raising their hands implying supplication to God who is the giver of power to whoever He so wishes.
Some are seen with rosaries in a public display of their level of devotion to God so that it could fetch for them voters’ sympathy which may translate into votes for them.
The most astonishing aspect of these posters is the amount of money spent on them going by the expensive nature of printing in the country.
Meanwhile, according to the law of demand and supply, when demand is high, supply will be low and therefore, price increases.
As such the cost of printing all these posters is better left to the imagination as some candidates print more than one type of poster.
One other thing is that these posters that dotted spaces in and around cities, towns and villages can be an eye-sore especially as they are pasted unprofessionally, as such, they are not properly pasted or arranged.
Also, the youths usually entrusted with the pasting of the posters are the ‘JAGALIYA’ type that are doing it for the sake of the money involved and nothing else.
“But it is high time this poster craze is brought to order with a view of sanitizing the environment from the filth usually associated with them in our cities, towns and villages.”
Usually the posters are pasted deep in the night by the youths who do not care about the eye sore they are causing as their pre-occupation is to finish with what they are given and move forward.
There is also the issue of de-facing structures like walls, sign-posts, public structures and even stationary vehicles on streets.
Sometimes the wind blows off these posters from the walls or other surfaces and the papers litter streets, making the environment filthy and forcing either government or the community to bear the cost of cleaning the streets.
Some posters produced in an elaborate size by way of bill boards are erected at various strategic locations in and around city centres depending on the constituency of the candidate.
In addition, supporters of various candidates are in the habit of defacing or tearing the posters of their opponents to express their disapproval.
Even the bill boards are not safe as some youths are wont to go up there and cut the pictures to shreds.
But it is high time this poster craze is brought to order with a view of sanitizing the environment from the filth usually associated with them in our cities, towns and villages.
An enabling law should be put in place to ensure this as in Jigawa where posters are disallowed in the state.
This is where the Kano State House of Assembly comes in because the legislature is responsible for making such a law.
Bala Nasir, journalist and public affairs analyst writes from Kano.
Sex for marks and the culture of victim blaming
Hadiza S. Ibrahim
The ‘sex for grades’ phenomenon uncovered by the BBC Africa Eye documentary in the University of Lagos was published on YouTube on October 7, 2019, and has gone viral in the social media. This has led to a domino’s effect in other higher institutions.
In response to this, some commentators are of the view that it is not only the universities’ male lecturers that are to be blamed, but the female students should be blamed even more. They argue that some female students lead the lecturers on or seduce them by making sexual advances to the lecturers privately in their offices when they fail to meet up pass marks.
However, even though some female students seduce male lecturers into having sex for grades, we cannot dispute that female students stand at more risk of being pressurized and exploited by male lecturers in the pursuit for sex for marks. There are more facts of vulnerability as seen in the documentary, from the side of the female students who are sometimes underage and become victims of sexual harassment from male lecturers at different variations ranging from verbal or physical abuses, blackmail, molestation or rape.
For the lecturers, they stand no risk at all. First, they have a choice, whether to fall into the temptation of their female students’ sexual advancement or turn them down. If they agree to the advances of their female students, they end up not as victims but rather as counterparts to the criminal offenses.
On the other hand, the female students who are sexually harassed by their male lecturers find themselves victimized. They are left with the choice of either being sexually abused or stand the risk of forgoing their grades; or in some instance, repeating a class/year of academic study, or even get withdrawn from the school. Consequently, such female students stand the risk of being oppressed, silenced and depressed. In some cases, where there is no immediate help, with no justice after being threatened by their predators, such female students go as far as attempting suicide because of trauma from the experience of sexual harassment, molestation or even rape.
In cases where lecturers are reported, the authorities are reluctant in implementing policies regarding criminal offenders or do nothing about it. This has led to a culture of impunity among the lecturers. For example, in the BBC Sex for Grades documentary there is even room commonly known as the ‘cold room’ in the Senior Staff Club of the University of Lagos where lecturers have affairs with students openly.
So, the question is, who is at a greater risk of being victimized, the female students or the male lecturers? The gravity or effect of these occurrences in the lives of the victims is what is of greater concern.
Hadiza S. Ibrahim is a Life Coach based in Kano
Sex for marks: Blame the students
Abba Ibrahim Gwale
The BBC has indeed conducted an excellent investigation into the sexual harassment of female university students by the lecturers, but I blame the students more.
A lecturer once told me that one of his female students came late to a test. After the test, the student entered another class, ruffled her dress, and exposed half her breasts, retouched her make-up and approached the lecturer’s office. Before going, she confided to her friends that she was going to seduce the lecturer into giving her another test.
Unknown to her, a male student overheard her and reported to the lecturer. The moment she entered the office, the lecturer shouted at her to get out. From that day she had been avoiding the lecturer.
Another lecturer told me that a female student once told him that she couldn’t pass his examination however much she tried and was therefore willing to give him whatever he wanted from her.
“Whatever I want?” he asked her.
“Yes, you do understand what I mean.” She replied.
Also, when I was in Level 200, one of my female course mates was unable to submit an assignment on schedule. She went and wore a revealing dress and knocked on the lecturer’s door. Fortunately for him, he wasn’t in.
I know another lecturer who received a text message from a female student after she had sat for his exam. In the text, she wrote that she knew she didn’t perform well but needed to pass the exam. She therefore was willing to offer herself to him. She ended the message by begging him to tell her where he would like to meet her.
There is another lecturer who was told by a married woman that she was willing to have sex with him if only she would pass his course. She even urged him not to waste time as her husband was about to return from a journey.
There is yet another lecturer who I found in a sad mood in his office. He told me that he was about to terminate his employment with the university. When I asked him for a reason, he confided that his students have been trying to seduce him. He narrated a lot of stories regarding several female students.
This problem is also prevalent in secondary schools where many male teachers suffer from the seductive cravings of female students.
However this is not to absolve the lecturers from blame as they are also guilty of harassing students sexually. In fact, the lecturers initiated the problem by demanding sex from their students. Nevertheless the students have become willing partners in this heinous crime.
Abba Ibrahim Gwale is a journalist based in Kano.
How Kano has become Kidnappers Den
Abbas Yusha’u Yusuf
For the past four years Nigerians are awash with news of kidnappings of high and low profile personalities. Citizens whose loved ones are frequent travelers on Nigerian highways are not that tranquil unless until they relations return safely from their journeys.
A number of deviant Nigerians are exploiting the opportunity to make money from kidnapping; some are obscure while others are prominent. The horrors with which kidnappers are visiting Nigerians have made them to lose hope as if the crime is getting out of government’s hands. The security and welfare of people should be the primary responsibility of government.
For the past thirty years the springing of disperse settlements are making Kano city to be a haven for different categories of people apart from those living in the ancient city surrounded by the old city wall.
Previous governments have frowned at how unorganized settlements are frustrating efforts in making the city one of the best even though its master plan has been disrupted severally by allocation of plots by the same governments calling on residents to help organized the city.
No one will purchase a piece of land or a house without a ward head or a village head signing the receipt but the big question is why are kidnappers hiding in Kano?
When Magajin Garin Daura was abducted for more than 42 days, his captors brought him to Kano. People were thinking that Magajin Garin Daura was not even alive or was flown out of the country, but unfortunately he was found in Kano.
The most terrifying thing of recent was that of Hamisu Bala Wadume, a kidnapper who escaped from the Intelligence Response Team of the Nigerian Police with the aid of soldiers as he confessed. His port of call was Kano.
Every sane person knows very well that government alone cannot commit enough resources to secure the whole of Kano people. Kano residents must therefore stand up and initiate ways to ensure their security so that they will not be sleeping with kidnappers and other criminal elements.
Recently, Tudun Yola community has started taken measures to tackle the security situation. Tudun Yola is a middle class and elite community in Kano. The residents have cooperated and registered every household in their area, the occupants, and their means of earning a livelihood. Even the watchmen guarding various houses are registered by the community after providing valid addresses and references. These steps will make the community to address insecurity bedeviling the area.
Every Tom, Dick, and Harry may come to Kano and hide if government did not address how future settlements develop. If Wadume from one of the farthest northern states will hide in Kano after escaping from the police, who else cannot?
The money spent in creating Emirates in the state would have been used to cooperate with ward and village heads to address hidden criminals in their midst.
Abbas Yushau Yusuf can be reached at email@example.com
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This week in Kano History September 29 – 05 October
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