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Malam Ladi–Kano village grumbles over lack of water, clinic

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By Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Sabon Garin Malam Ladi, is a small farming community in Minjibir local government area of Kano state that has been living without portable water for decades.

Kano Focus, which visited the community recently, discovered that residents and animals drink from a single dirty pond that is located at the centre of the village.

It was observed that the residents also use the same pond water to clean themselves after toilet, bath and do laundry.

As a result of this, the villagers often find themselves struggling with various infections and sicknesses, which are made worse by lack of a health facility, where they can seek treatment.

The residents told our correspondent that, most of the time, they had to transport patients to a hospital in Minjibir town several kilometers from the village, adding that many had died before they could reach the hospital.

Other problems besetting Malam Ladi are lack of electricity and insufficient classroom blocks, a situation that compels pupils to take lessons in open air under the trees.

A resident Murtala Lawal, told Kano Focus said nobody in the village is happy to receive relatives or other guests from the city because they don’t even have good drinking water to give them.

“If we received a guest in our village, the main problem we are facing is that, we don’t know what kind of water we would give them to quench their thirst.

“As you can see, the water from this pond is the one we use to cook our food, give our animals, and our guests. You can see that people are fetching the water while children are swimming in it,” he said.

Another resident, Kande Ali, said despite efforts of the community in raising alarm, the challenges they face still persist.

“Last year we complaint to the government about the water problem but they did take any action, our children get sick almost all the time and they can’t even get treated here until we transport them to Minjibir town, despite the bad road and distance,” she said.

“The only benefit we get from the government is the polio vaccine, we get that regularly” Kande added.

On his part, Alhassan Isa, the ward head of Malam Ladi village told Kano Focus that despite several complaints to authorities, the situation in the community remains unchanged.

When contacted, Nasiru Gabra Kunya, chairman of Minjibir local government council told Kano Focus that he had sent technicians to fix the broken-down boreholes in the village so people can access portable water.

He said the local government is planning to build a health care facility in a neighbouring village so that residents of Malam Ladi can access healthcare easily.

Mr Kunya also promised to improve the quality of schools in the village and provide instructional materials.

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Hisbah, village head to pay N300,000 for arresting man over ‘strange’ Islam practice

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

A federal high court sitting in Kano under Justice A. O. Aguata has ordered the Kano State Hisbah Command to pay a sum of N300,000 to one Yunusa Hamza for denying him his right to practice Islam the way he understands it.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Hamza, had filed a case before the federal high court in Kano, accusing the Hisbah command, his in-laws and the village head of Utai in Wudil local government area of the state, of “trying to teach him religion.”

Mr Hamza, through his counsel Barrister Sale Idris Bello, maintained that the respondents have no right to stop him from practicing his religion the way he perceives it.

It was learnt that Mr Hamza was arrested by personnel of the Hisbah command for allegedly performing only on raka’a (unit) of prayer and prostrating once in each of his five daily prayers.

He had also reportedly ordered his wife to perform her prayers in the same awkward way.

But Mr Hamza’s in-laws intervened and stopped his wife from practicing her husband’s version of religion, and reported him to the village head of Utai.

The plaintiff was said to have been handed over to the police who also handed him over to the Hisbah command in Wudil.

Mr Hamza alleged that he was later transferred to the Hisbah command headquarters in Kano city, where he was allegedly tortured, adding that this was the reason he filed a case in court to seek redress.

In his ruling, Justice Aguata ordered the Kano Hisbah command, its commander, and the village head of Utai to pay the plaintiff  a sum of N300,000 as fine for trying to deny him his right of religion.

Mr Hamza had prayed the court to force the defendants to pay him N5 million as compensation, alleging torture.

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Kano Council of Ulama rejects Ganduje’s Almajiri ban

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Sheikh Ibrahim Khalil

Nasiru Yusuf

The Kano State Council of Ulama has rejected Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s decision to proscribe child beggars popularly known as almajirai  from roaming the streets across the state to beg for alms.

Mr Ganduje, who announced the ban on Tuesday  also threatened to arrest and prosecute any parent that allows their children to roam the streets.

The governor warned that henceforth any teacher with pupils under the Almajiri school arrangement must accept the new approach put in place by the state government, explaining that, “if you think you cannot accept that then you leave the state.”

“When beggars are caught, it is not only that beggar is caught, but his parents or guardians. Such parents or guardians would be taken to court for disrespecting our laws,” Mr Ganduje said.

‘Not serious’

However, in an interview with KANO FOCUS on Wednesday, Chairman of the Ulama Council, Sheikh Ibrahim Khalil said the ban on almajirai  “is not feasible and the government is not serious”.

According to him, necessary steps towards curtailing the practice have not been taken or put in place before taking the decision.

“To us at the Council of Ulama, the government can not do it and is not serious about it. They are just doing it to appease their masters abroad, or get their money or some kind of noise making.

“Or they might have been accused of something from somewhere for which they simply organise a ceremony and that is all. That is our opinion” he said.

Different type of beggars

Sheikh Khalil, a renowned Islamic scholar, who had advocated against street begging gave a brief history of efforts made in the past to curtail the menace but failed “because serious and necessary measures were not taken.”

He  said the real street beggars should be identified.

“The right steps to follow in banning street begging include: the Quranic clerics involved have to be identified because there are street beggars who are Quranic students.

“And there are beggars who were sent by their parents from the rural areas to come and be begging in the urban areas, there is also another form of begging by some physically challenged individuals.

“All these forms of street beggars need to be identified and each one addressed accordingly. But they have not done that.

“So, for the ban to work, there has to be a cooperation between the government and the Quranic clerics. You have to sit with them and understand why they engage in begging, get some statistics, know the total number of those engaging in street begging among them.

“If you identify all these, it is then that you will come to know exactly beggars that are not Almajiris Quranic students,” Sheikh Khalil explained.

‘Join hands with neighbouring states’

The cleric also observed that Kano state cannot unilaterally end street begging without collaborating with neighboring states.

“More so, you can not stop begging in the state without joining hands with the neighbouring states.

“If you recall, there was the case of a man who sent three of his children to the city to be begging for sustenance because he wanted to place his new wife in the room they were occupying.

“You can see that these kids are not necessarily Almajiris or Quranic pupils.

“Therefore, you need statistics of the real situation, know the total number of the Quranic teachers, the total number of the Quranic schools and their pupils, know exactly who the real Almajiris are first.

“You will then know their needs understand their problems and then proffer the right solutions. “You can decide to cater for them or send them back to their homes. But you have not conducted all these,” he advised.

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KUST increases students’ registration fees, hostel charges

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil (KUST) has approved an increment in students’ registration and accommodation fees.

In a statement sent to KANO FOCUS on Wednesday, the university said it resolved to make the increments “to harmonize the charges in the university with what obtained in other public universities in the country.”

Th statement was signed by KUST’s deputy registrar Sa’idu Abdullahi Na’ya’ya.

According to the statement, returning Kano state students will now pay N30,800 for registration instead of N21,500 while fresh students are to pay N33,500 as against the N23,200 they used to pay.

Also, the university said non-native and foreign students are to pay N44,800 and N96,000 as tuition fees respectively.

“This is in addition to the normal registration fees and charges of the University.

“In the same vein, the Senate has reviewed upwards, its fees and charges on Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), Student Work Experience Programme (SWEP), Field Courses and trips.

In the same vein, the senate has reviewed upwards, its fees and charges on Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), Student Work Experience Programme (SWEP), Field Courses and Trips,” the statement added.

As for students’ accommodation, the charges have been raised from 5,090 to N10,090.00 per session.

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