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Opinion: New Kano emirates and 2023 gubernatorial election

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Abba Ibrahim Gwale

To the new emirates and their beneficiaries, the creation of the new emirs in Kano by the state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, is a good development especially for people who used to find it difficult to reach the main Kano Emirate.

There are both positive and negative sides to the creation of the new emirates in Bichi, Gaya, Rano and Karaye local government areas of the state.

But the way and manner these emirates were created has raised suspicions that our politicians may use the opportunity to create more divisions in the state within the political arena.

There were worries when the creation of new emirates in Kano was first announced, but after some months many people that are now direct beneficiaries of it are celebrating and predicting the outcome of the gubernatorial election in the state considering the number of votes from each local government or senatorial zone.

Kano currently has at least 5,457,747 estimated votes according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

But before 2023 general election the commission will conduct further registration for new voters and existing ones who might have lost their voter cards. That means there would be more voters than we have now.

Kano Municipal, Tarauni, Dala, Nassarawa, Fagge, Gwale, Ungoggo, Kumbotso, Dawakin Kudu and Minjibir local governments are all situated within the domain of the main Kano Emirate under Emir Muhammad Sanusi II. These local governments have more votes than Bichi, Gaya, Rano and Karaye emirates combined.

It could be safely speculated that the local governments in the domain of the main Kano Emirate could be deciding factors in 2023 elections due to their numerical strength, political awareness and sophisticated voter education.

It’s too early to start thinking about who will be the next governor of Kano from the main political parties but there seems to be an urgent need to make calculations on how to fill the void created by the inconsequential new emirates.

The notion of “We vs Them” is already in the people’s mind and any party that presented a candidate from the urban area will get a lot of votes from the people in the city while those from the suburbs will also rain their votes to the person that comes from their own domains.

The “Sarkin Birni and Sarakunan Kauye” names-calling will play a notorious role in many people’s mind while the ongoing political crisis that is brewing between Mr Ganduje and Emir Sanusi may intensify.

There are speculations that people who live in the urban areas, will not vote any candidates that come from rural areas as governor while those that live in the city may also support only candidates from the metropolis.

I am optimistic, but the potential pitfalls of these new emirates are alarming. Elders and opinion leaders have a role to play in shaping people’s minds before and during elections’ processes to inform people on the importance of unity and voting for the right candidate. .

But, still, we see the creation of the new emirates as a huge liability as the state government is spending millions of naira for building palaces, buying new cars for the emirs.

Also many people that are working closely with the emirs are now on government pay roles while the government will also provide money for events especially during sallah celebrations.

Many people have criticized the government for deploying huge resources on the new emirates rather than using it for the well being of the masses.

This is especially true considering that there are several communities across the state that lack school buildings, furniture and learning materials as well as decent hospitals, medical equipment or drugs.

Kano state is still lagging behind in agricultural sector despite the fact that the government claims to invest more on agriculture, health and education.

The government is still insisting that the emirates are here to stay despite the court saga, but the fear is the next governor of the state might not be more concerned about the emirates and may continue to recognize the number one emirates even if he is from the same party with the incumbent unless he has the same grudges with the incumbent which is unlikely.

As a result of these new emirates many local governments could not benefit from infrastructural development, loans for farming, proper consideration and benefit for employment and many policies from government that can directly affect the people.

Curiously, people are asking why Governor Ganduje appears to give more priority to Bichi emirate led by Aminu Ado Bayero despite the fact that among the newly created emirates only Bichi did not have a history of being an emirate.

Is it because Aminu Ado Bayero, the son of the late Alhaji Ado Bayero is the emir of Bichi? Or is it true that the governor wants to dethrone Muhammad Sanusi II so that Aminu can replace him as the Emir of Kano?

 Regardless of what will happen in 2023 general elections, the new emirates and in fact the whole emirates saga will play a major role in the state’s politics during campaigns and on elections day, especially the gubernatorial poll.

Gwale can be reached at Abbalggwale18@gmail.com

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Kano records 1,114 cases of gender based violence in 2019

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Kano state sexual referral centre, Waraka, has recorded 1,114 sexual and gender based violence in 2019, according to the state’s chief judge Nura Sagir.

Justice Sagir revealed this on Monday during the public sitting of the special investigation panel on sexual and gender based violence organised by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for North West geo-political zone, held in Kano.

The chief judge, represented by Maryam Sabo, said the judiciary has treated 194 sexual and gender based cases in 2019.

He also assured speedy trial and severe punishment for perpetrators of sexual violence to serve as deterrent to others.

According to him, all hands must be on deck to address menace of sexual and gender based violence.

In his address, the Executive Secretary of National Human Right Commission, Tony Ojukwu, said the panel was constituted to hear complaints and investigate alleged violation of human rights by individuals, security agencies and other law enforcement agencies.

Other mandate of the panel according to him is to identify victims of violation and abuse and make recommendations for further action including prosecution, disciplinary proceedings and damages.

Mr Ojukwu recalled that, the panel was constituted as a result of complaint received, where armed security personnel led by Abuja Environmental Protection Board under the auspices of the FCT Joint Task Force raided night clubs and the streets of Abuja.

He observed that, although about 71 women accused of prostitution were arrested in the raids, no men were arrested for committing similar offence.

The Executive Secretary noted that, members of the panel were carefully selected to represent diverse interests of the society. They include academics, gender experts, civil society and professional groups.

“So far the panel has received 114 complaints and memo across 6 geopolitical zones, with South East accounting for the highest number of 35, representing 30% of the total complaints received. North Central accounts for 19; North West has twelve; South South has 26; South West 15 and North East 4.

“The commission has completed its sitting in Abuja, Lagos and Owerri, and has recorded success stories already where victims of SGBV and other members of the public who submitted memorandum and complaints were heard in close chambers,” Mr Ojukwu said.

He noted that, the essence of the public sitting is to check the scourge of sexual and gender based violence in Nigeria and provide opportunities for fair hearing to both complainants and alleged violators of human rights.

Also speaking the executive chairman of Kano state Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Commission (PCACC) Muhyi Rimingado said over 30 percent of over 7,000 cases treated the Commission, were human rights related.

He noted that human rights abuses is so alarming in public and private institutions more especially sexual and gender based violence.

The Kano state ombudsman said many victims of sexual abuses are suffering in silence due to stigmatization and cultural values.

The public sitting continued in private after the opening ceremony.

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Pantami tasks NCC to get rid of ‘improperly-registered’ SIM cards

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami has directed the new Chairman, Board of Commissioners of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Adeolu Akande to purge the industry of improperly-registered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards.

Dr Pantami also charged the NCC to develop regulations on the number of SIM cards an individual or organisation can have at any particular time, as well as ensure seamless integration of SIM data with the national database of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

Dr Pantami said this on Thursday during the swearing-in ceremony for Mr Akande, who is representing the South West zone, as the chairman of NCC Board of Commissioners, and Chief Uche Onwude, the commissioner representing the South-East zone.

The event took place at the Minister’s office in Abuja.

Mr Pantami gave the new chairman a marching order to hit the ground running by providing necessary direction for effective regulation of the telecoms industry in Nigeria.

He said: “The NCC board must hit the ground running. There is no time for celebrations now and no time for honeymoon. We would congratulate the NCC board after you must have completed your tenure with resounding successes and achievements that have positive impact on Nigerians.”

Meanwhile, Mr Akande, who spoke after taking his oath of office, assured of his readiness to work with other members of the Board and Management team of the Commission to exceed expectation in providing quality directions for effective regulation of the nation’s telecommunications industry.

Mr Akande, who had served as chairman of the board of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) before his present appointment, said there is no doubt that the NCC, as the nation’s telecom regulator, has a major role to play in the development of the Nigerian economy, especially in the area of effective regulation that can bring efficiency across sectors.

He said: “We want to thank everybody who has been with us since our nomination by the President in the last two months. There is no doubt that NCC has a major role to play in our national life at this time, especially in the area of security.

“For instance, many people on the street believe that security of lives and property will be bolstered once the NCC is able to properly address issues connected to Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registration because we would have helped to resolve a critical percentage of our security issue significantly.

“I know our minister is someone, who normally sets high expectations and standards. I have worked with him at NITDA and I know he is somebody who normally expects the best from his team. To this end, I give you the commitment of the board and management of the NCC to work together to meet and exceed expectations”.

Who is Professor Adeolu Akande?

Mr Akande is a professor of political science and notable scholar of media and politics. He was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari as Chairman of the NCC Board on December 23, 2019.

He was subsequently confirmed on February 5, 2020 by the Senate, the upper chamber of Nigeria’s federal bicameral legislature.

With the swearing-in of Akande and Onwude, the NCC now has a fully-constituted board of commissioners as stipulated in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003, and all the six geopolitical zones are represented on the Board.

While giving the Vote of Thanks, Prof. Umar, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, expressed the Commission’s gratitude to the Minister for his continuous support to the Commission and requested the minister to kindly convey the Commission’s appreciation to the President for “ensuring that we now have the full complement of the NCC board members.”

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Woman, 4 girls die in pit while excavating sand in Kano

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By Abubakar Abdulkadir Dangambo.

A woman and four children died in Dauni village of Minjibir local government area of Kano state while excavating sand following the collapse of the tunnel from which they were conducting the activity.

KANO FOCUS reports that the accident occurred on Thursday.

Spokesperson of the Kano State Fire Service, Malam Sai’idu Mohammed, identified the victims as Sa’ida Lawwali, 32, Dije Shu’aibu, 8; Hadiza Shu’aibu, 12; Nana Idris, 12; and Wasila Nuhu, 13.

He added that a 5 -year old boy Ibrahim Shuaibu was rescued from the site with injuries along with other survivors.

Mr Mohammed said most of the survivors sustained serious injuries in the accident and are currently receiving treatment.

According to him, the accident occurred on Thursday at about 2.45 pm at Ramin Farar Kasa in the village when the victims were excavating white sand used for make-up powder.

“We received a distress call on Thursday afternoon from Dauni village through one Malam Danlami Murtala at about 02:45 pm that a heap of sand has trapped six people, who were digging sand.

“Upon receiving the information, we quickly dispatched our firemen and a fire engine to the scene of the incident. We made frantic efforts to rescue the victims but we were only able to successfully rescue the little boy of about four years old, who was found alive,” Mr Mohammed told reporters.

He said bodies of the victims have been handed over to the village head of Dauni, Alhaji Bello Rabi’u for burial.

A resident of the area, Zakari Ya’u Sanbauna said the victims usually visited the site to extract a particular variety of sand that is used to produce makeup powder for women.

“They usually take the sand to Kano city, they are very popular in the village, this is a sad incident for us because it has never happened before,” Mr Sanbauna added.

Another resident Abdulkadir Hassan, called on government to regulate sand excavation and mining activities in the area through training on safety standards.

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