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This week in Kano history: December 01 – 07

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Old BUK

1980 – BUK closed after students’ rampage

On December 6th 1980, Bayero University Kano (BUK) vice- chancellor, Ibrahim Umar closed down the university following a students’ unrest.

KANO FOCUS gathers that the students damaged the vice-chancellor’s residence, a lecture theatre, matrons’ house and the female students’ hostel.

President of the students’ union, Tanimu Kurfi said their grievances include the erection of a ‘prison wall’ around the female hostel, lack of consultations with students, fraud in the university’s bursary department, non-release of funds for books and teaching aids, poor food and frustration of indigenous lectures.

The students therefore demanded the resignation of both the vice-chancellor and the expatriate registrar, D. G. Lewis, and promised to boycott lectures intermittently until their demands are met.

In response the BUK senate rusticated some of the student leaders following the report of a committee headed by a deputy vice-chancellor, Dandatti Abdulkadir.

1989 – N22million collected at Kofar Mata stadium appeal launch

On December 03, 1989, Kano state government launched a N50million appeal fund for the construction of a sports complex at Kofar Mata area of the metropolis.

KANO FOCUS gathered that Idris Garba, a colonel and military governor of the state announced the highest donation of N10million.

Major donors included the chief launcher, Aliko Dangote – N500,000, Garba A. D. Inuwa – N250,000, Arthur Nzeribe – N250,000, and Bank of the North – N250,000.

Others were Bauchi state government – N2000,000, Niger state government – N100,000, Moshood Abiola – N100,000.

Also  Kabiru Gaya and Mahmud Baba who designed the proposed Kano ultra-modern sports complex gave a collective donation of N100,000.

2015 – Fire gutted furniture section of Sabon Gari market

On December 03, 2015 fire razed about 65 shops in the furniture section of Abubakar Rimi market, Sabon Gari, Kano.

KANO FOCUS learnt that the fire started around 8:30pm and destroyed properties worth millions of Naira.

The Director, Kano State Fire Service, Balarabe Kabara attribute the fire to negligence.

“People are in the habit of playing with fire especially during the harmattan period.” He said.

Compiled by Maude Rabiu Gwadabe

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Rape: Kano court sentences 70 year old rapist to death by stoning

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

An Upper shari’a court sitting at Kofar Kudu in Kano metropolis has sentenced one Mati Audu to death by stoning after he was found guilty of defiling a 12 year old girl.

Kano Focus reports that the presiding judge, Abdullahi Sani Sarki Yola gave the verdict on Wednesday.

Mr Audu who is a resident of Falsa of Tsanyawa local government confessed to his crime before the judge willingly.

The Judge according to the Islamic teaching gave him chance at three different court sittings to reverse his confession in order to save him from the punishment.

But the old rapist insisted that he defiled the minor, and was willing to accept his punishment.

 

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This week in Kano history: Fire killed 331 in El-Duniya Cinema

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File image of fire

On May 13, 1951, fire razed down El-Duniya Cinema killing 331 out of an audience of 600.

It was the highest number of casualties in a one-day disaster in the recorded history of Kano.

An inquiry by the British colonial government found that the fire started at the projection room and spread along the ceiling of the cinema located beside the Kantin Kwari and Sabon Gari markets.

Almost all the victims were young men aged 18-34 with some children including a 9-year-old who thronged the cinema for an afternoon show.

Many of the dead had been trapped because the theater owner had locked the doors to prevent people sneaking in without paying. Others were caught in the crush as patrons rushed back into the burning theater to collect their bicycles.

The Prophet’s Image

However, the tragedy was interpreted by most Kano citizens as divine retribution for participating in immoral activities.

Rumors quickly spread that the film being screened that day at El-Duniya portrayed the image of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Others believed that during construction of the cinema people passing everyday cursed the builder and therefore it was engulfed not just by flames but by the combined magical force of these curses.

These rumors grew so strong that the colonial Government was forced to take official notice and counter them over the radio.

Twice daily for two days in four different languages, the Radio Diffusion Service announced there was no truth to the stories that the people handling the bodies of El-Duniya victims died, or that Native Authority Warders who helped in the tragedy had all gone mad, or that prisoners from Kano prison (who helped in handling the corpses) could not eat for days afterwards.

Culled from Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria by Brian Larkin (2008)

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Today in History: The assassination of Murtala Muhammad

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Murtala Muhammad

Maude Rabiu Gwadabe

Murtala Muhammad, Nigerian military Head of State was assassinated on February 13, 1976 in an aborted coup.

The 37-year old, Kano-born, 4th Nigerian Head of State was gunned down in Ikoyi Lagos by soldiers led by Lt. Col. Bukar Suka Dimka.

In his 201 days in office, he pursued policies that have brought lasting changes to Nigeria.

Some of them are the adoption of presidential system of government from the former parliamentary system.

This week in Kano History: July 28 to August 3

He created seven new states – Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Imo, Niger, Ogun, and Ondo – bringing the number of Nigerian states to 19.

His regime also initiated the movement of the Federal Capital from Lagos to Abuja.

Late Murtala Muhammad also purged the civil service, demobilized soldiers, and jailed former ministers in an effort to rid Nigeria of corruption.

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