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Shara: Kano community where nobody has primary school certificate

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By Nazifi Dawud

Three years ago, officials of the Kano state government as well as representatives of a non-governmental organization gathered on a small parcel of land beneath a giant tree in Shara–a remote farming village tucked deeply into Sumaila local government area of Kano state.

The aim of the meeting was to build a classroom block for the over 500 school-age children who were forced to stay at home or engage in hawking due to absence of a school in the village.

It was in a bid to address this concern that then Deputy Governor of Kano State, Professor Hafiz Abubakar, who doubled as the state Commissioner for Education, sent representatives to the village to assure residents that a school would be provided for their children.

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Kano Focus reports that the nearest school to Shara community was located more than seven kilometers in neighbouring Matigwai village, which is separated by a ditch that often becomes over-flooded during rainy season. Currently, classes no longer hold at the community school because of the rain season.

Residents told our correspondent that when dry season sets in, children as young as five had to trek the seven kilometer distance to access the school. They added that the footpath that leads to Matigwai village is also full of thorny bushes that put the children at risk of snake bites and other harms.

It was gathered that for decades, none of the residents in Shara village was able to acquire a primary school leaving certificate due to lack of a school in the community.

At the gathering in Shara, which took place precisely in March 2016, government officials at both state and local levels made promises to erect a fully equipped classroom block on a larger piece of land donated by the community members for a school.

Idris Aliyu Rimi, the Education Secretary of the Local Education Authority (LEA) in Sumaila local government council, had told Daily Trust then that the government had not forgotten about the Shara school project.

“You should tell the community members that we are aware of their plight. But as you know, education is a costly venture. There are no projects going on anywhere because there are no funds. So, let them allow their children to continue attending the community school since a teacher has been dispatched,” he had said.

Also, Umar S. Muhammad Kibiya, the Permanent Member 1 of SUBEB, then had also told the newspaper that Shara village would get a classroom block by 2017 as the project was already included in the 2017 budget.

“The village lacks a school because of a river or valley that prevents children from attending schools (elsewhere) especially during the rainy season.

“I reported the issue to the executive chairman and he directed the Director of Physical Planning and the Director, Planning and Statistics to include Shara village in our action plan for 2017 to build a classroom to accommodate the children. By 2017, Shara would enjoy a classroom by God’s grace,” he had said.

However, despite all these promises, Kano Focus reports that three years later, Shara community is still operating a makeshift school under a tree without instructional materials.

“All the promises that were made to us by the government officials have vanished into thin air. Our children are losing interest in education because they have been deceived over and over again by our leaders. We want our children to be educated but the government has abandoned us,” Dayyabu Musa, a resident told journalists.

Malam Dayyabu Musa, a resident of Shara village

Another resident, Rabilu Musa, said even the teacher that was dispatched to the makeshift school became bored and stopped coming.

“Our children are now staying at home. They can’t go to the school in Matigwai because they cannot cross the ditch which is flooded by rain water. It is too dangerous to cross even for an adult,” he said.

Even though they were literally abandoned by government, members of Shara community have gotten assistance from the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), in order to maintain the makeshift community school.

On September 9, 2019, CITAD donated instructional materials including books, sets of uniforms and a board to the Shara school to encourage the children to continue with classes.

In his remarks, Sagir Ado, a representative of CITAD, lamented how the care-free attitude of government officials towards education is causing backwardness in Kano state.

“For three years, nobody brought a single building block in the name of constructing a classroom after series of promises. We have sent letters to lawmakers at both the state and national assembly on the need to build a school in Shara. But all our efforts have ended in vain,” he said.

“If we continue like this, the residents in this village would lose interest in education. This is why we are supporting them to sustain this makeshift school in spite of the challenges.

However, Mukhtar Uba Sumaila, a representative of the Local Education Secretary, Idris Aliyu Rimi, begged the community to be patient, promising that a teacher would be dispatched to the community school while efforts would be made to provide a classroom structure in the village.

“There is a 17-member committee called the SBMC being formed at every school. I’ll guide you on how to set up this committee so that the school can access benefits. I was informed that you have donated a plot of land for a proper school.

“Through the SBCM committee, you can have audience with the chairman of Sumaila local government area Ismaila Hamisu Rimi to discuss how a classroom block can be erected. In addition to this, your children can also benefit from the ongoing free feeding program” he said.

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Kano Emir to head community policing advisory committee

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Aminu Ado Bayero

Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has appointed the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero as head of a community policing advisory committee.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Bayero is expected to work together with a deputy commissioner of police, Balarabe Sule, who is also the chairman of a second committee–the State Community Policing Community–to enhance security in the state.

Mr Ganduje inaugurated the two committees at the Government House, Kano on Friday.

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“The committee will be giving advice on how to come about the issue of security in the state,” the governor said, referring to the emir’s team.

Mr Ganduje said there is need for communities to be engaged in the fight against crime.

“We urge people to cooperate with the security agencies in providing them with useful information. Because it is the people of the community who know criminals among them,” he added.

In his remarks the Inspector General of Police, who was represented by the Deputy Inspector General, (DIG) Andul Dahiru Danwawu commended Mr Ganduje for his efforts on security in the state.

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Ganduje’s 2nd term worst in Kano history – Opposition

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Ganduje Oathtaking

Abubakar Dangambo and Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje’s second term is the worst in history according to the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party, a charge that the government has dismissed.

Former PDP chairman and Kwankwasiyya stalwart Umar Haruna Doguwa made the accusation in an interview with Kano Focus marking the first anniversary of Mr Ganduje’s second term.

Mr Doguwa said Ganduje’s administration has not introduced a single new project within the year under review.

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“In terms of infrastructure I have not seen anywhere within one year where one block of new project was put. Just check. New project? This year? No.”

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Mr Doguwa also accused the Ganduje administration of destroying both the traditional and religious heritages of Kano state within the year.

“Kano traditional institution is known far and even beyond Africa. But it was destroyed by only one person for his selfish desire.

“I am referring to the balkanisation of Kano emirate and subsequent dethronement of Emir Muhammad Sanusi ll. This cannot be forgotten.

“Secondly, take Kano as the centre of commerce and religious learning.

“Even in that learning, there was no time in the history of Kano when system of Islamic learning was worst hit, like this one year of Ganduje administration.

“You know the issue of Almajirai which was supposed to be modernised, but destroyed by this administration.

“The worst is branding a particular group of Ulama as anti-government.

These two actions have direct consequences on government progress,” Mr Doguwa said.

Free or Borrowed Education?

The opposition politician also faulted the implementation of free and compulsory education policy by the Ganduje administration.

He accused Mr Ganduje of excluding tertiary students from the program’s beneficiaries as he claimed was the case during the Kwankwaso administration.

“It should also be on record that total free education being operated by Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was given free of charge, without any foreign or local loan from anywhere.

“The so-called free education being operated by governor Ganduje is for a cost.

“Though it is partly funded by some donors, I learnt that he has collected N15 billion loan, for what?” Mr Doguwa said.

He also criticised the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by the Ganduje administration.

“The way it was handled was nothing to write home about.

“Poor people were put in lockdown without palliatives.

“Even in the steering committee you put children you loved against professionalism. People were not fully sensitised.

“Look, the governor made a pronouncement that the government will give palliatives to 500,000 people of Kano out of about 20 million population.

“Even at that, the governor later said they are starting with 50,000 people, where only four people were selected from each political ward. It is just a sham, and it will not solve the problem.” Mr Doguwa said.

Our government has done well

However, Kano state commissioner for youths and sports, Kabiru Ado Lakwaya dismissed the allegations as mere ranting by the opposition.

Mr Lakwaya told Kano Focus that despite challenges, the government has achieved huge successes in the areas of education, health, economy, youths, transportation and infrastructure.

He said Mr Ganduje is championing the integration of Almajiri into the formal education sector.

“The policy on Almajiri repatriation will continue as it sees the move an opportunity to make life better for them as citizens.

“It is a collective effort by northern governors to tackle insecurity in the region.” He said.

The commissioner also said contrary to claims by the opposition of lapses in the handling of Covid 19 pandemic, Mr Ganduje was the first governor in Nigeria to set up an isolation centre even before the virus reached Kano.

“He imposed movement restrictions and banned inter-states movement all in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus in Kano.” Mr Lakwaya said.

He also dismissed allegations that the government’s only achievement was the balkanization of the Kano Emirate.

“Even the opposition are now happy with the creation of the new Emirates as it helps in developing their communities.

Much needs to be done

Meanwhile, a political analyst, Kabiru Sufi said Mr Ganduje’s second term has achieved a pass mark in the education sector.

Mr Sufi, who holds a PhD in Political Science, told Kano Focus that the government needs to double its efforts to fulfil its promises in education.

“A special launch was made a bill has been taken to the state assembly to secure funds for the program.”

“Launching the program is not enough, as more need to be done, government should redouble effort to actualize the projects, but fairly speaking, government needs to do more.” Mr Sufi said.

The political scientist said the government has also recorded success in infrastructural development though most of the projects are still under construction.

He however argued that critical sectors like agriculture and water supply were not given deserve priority yet, and water supply continues to remain major problem for Kano residents.

Mr Sufi said the government has failed to fulfil its promise of establishing a world class cancer centre though it has launched the project.

He added that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many problems in the health sector which need serious attention.

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Pantami not responsible for NIDCOM’s withdrawal from office complex–NCC

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has, again, clarified that the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, was never involved in the process of offer of office allocation to the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) at the NCC’s Communications and Digital Economy Complex located at Mbora District, Abuja, as the public is being made to believe.

The Commission reiterated this position in a press statement signed by its Director Public Affairs, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, in which it made further clarifications to the members of public and other stakeholders on the situation.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, was never involved in the offer to the office space, nor in the withdrawal of the offer for same office space. the Minister should not, therefore, be brought into the issue,” he said.

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According to Dr. Nkemadu, the decision to withdraw the offer of office space from NiDCOM was purely of the NCC, the custodian of the office complex.

“It should, however, be made abundantly clear that the withdrawal of the offer of the office space, which was unconditionally given, in the first instance, to NiDCOM, was informed by exigencies and change in priorities within the NCC, which led to the taking back of the office space earlier allocated with intention of finding a suitable replacement for NiDCOM,” he said.

The Commission, therefore, reiterates its confidence in the leadership, person and office of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

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