It is very common in Nigeria to hear people talking about military mentality, a statement which means so much to so many people depending on the issue of discussion concerning what in military parlance is referred to as ‘khaki boys’. What all these means in simple terms is disregard to civilians in all ramifications by the khaki boys.
There was this notion of nothing good comes from the civilians, as such they are inferior beings compared to khaki boys. For this therefore, a civilian is equated with little animals or even less to them.
At least this was what used to get into the skulls of military personnel especially during their initial training in the past.
Since violent engagement forms the better part of their training with regards to defending the sovereignty of our country, the military need to be trained in such a way to divest the civilian reasoning and other rational attitudes in them. Hence, the need for them to have a change in their attitude as to reflect the major demand for soldiers.
Also, their mental alertness must be made to come to term with responsibilities of defending the nation that is usually tied to the hierarchy of command as dictated by the rule of engagement.
That could have been the reason they are sometime seen to be acting in a way people consider very rash and aggressive as may be determined by the exigencies of their calling.
This, therefore, is the reason we see them using the road the way they do at times especially in emergency situations like the Boko Haram insurgency we had in the Northern states.
Boko Haram insurgency then was at its peak which eventually put the entire security apparatuses of the country on their toes trying to bring the situation to normalcy.
For that people in the affected parts of the country where made to undergo some security checks at various points which were very uncomfortable to them.
Roads were barricaded for routine security checks and gatherings were usually not allowed and some important places were cordoned all in an effort to safeguard them so as not to allow the insurgents access.
However, with the level of achievement recorded in the fight against insurgents especially in Kano where there has been a drastic drop of activities of the insurgents and their cohorts for some time now.
But even at this, some of the personnel driving security vehicles tend to drive with the exigent apprehension as it was during the peak of Boko Haram activities in the state’s capital.
The situation is so rampant now that not just the Army or police known to be mostly involved in these security issues, other para-military personnel are also behaving as if they too are in emergency that makes it necessary to drive with the reckless abundance they are driving on our roads.
It is now a common site in Kano to see Army or police vehicles driving recklessly blaring siren and forcing other road users off the road just to have their way not minding the consequences of their actions.
There are allegations that even if an accident occurs as a result of their actions they never cared to look back talk less of showing any remorse for what their action caused others.
It beats one why even the para-military personnel also found it necessary to also drive on our roads recklessly knocking other road users off the road without any justification.
But wait, if there is any justification, does that mean it is lawful to cause bodily harm on innocent road users?
In these recent years these reckless drivers have made it a point of duty to put on the blaring sirens on their vehicles with or without any emergency.
The bewildering part of this is when the siren blaring vehicle passes and when you looked at it, it is only the driver inside. That’s to tell you the irresponsibility of these drivers.
The authorities concerned however, do not seem to care about what is going on, because all this long, no one among these reckless drivers has been brought to book for such infractions.
Not even a simple warning has been issued to them by their superiors against such behaviors.
People are suffering in silence coping with the attitude of fast moving and siren blaring vehicles, hoping that the authorities concerned would come to their rescue by putting a stop to it.
Yet, Kano state House of Assembly, though very much aware of it are not making a move to curtail it.
It is high time for the military, police and other para-military personnel to come to terms with reality and make amends in how they drive on our roads.
They should know that this is 21st century world where happenings around the world are seen instantly via modern technology, as such, we cannot be different with other climes in how our military and para-military personnel behave.
It is also the duty of our law-makers to wake up to their responsibility by coming up with enabling laws against such indiscipline being displayed on the roads by the same people paid to protect citizens and their properties.
On their part, the citizens should also come together to work for the stoppage of such immoral attitudes being displayed by the uniformed personnel as we are witnessing in Kano.
Bala Nasir, a journalist and public affairs commentator 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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