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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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Patanmi, Danbatta set for 2020 virtual internet governance forum

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Danbatta and Pantami

Nasiru Yusuf

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, and other key players in the  Information and Communication Technology  sector are set for the 2020 virtual Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (vNIGF).

A statement sent to Kano Focus by the Director Public Affairs in NCC Ikechukwu Adinde said the 9th edition of the annual event, which will hold virtually this year due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, is scheduled for September 23-24, 2020 with the theme “Achieving Inclusive Digital Economic Development in the Post-COVID19 Era.”

The statement said the vNIGF 2020 will be chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Istifanus Musa.

In a statement, the organisers observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the critical importance of digital technologies in fostering inclusive national development and this has necessitated the thematic focus of the conference, where Nigeria Internet Governance Forum Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (NIGF-MAG), the body of organisers of the event, will come together to chat the way forward, as a community of Nigeria’s Internet ecosystem.

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NCC emergency communications centers process 1,500 COVID-19 related calls – Danbatta

The theme of this year’s event amplifies how the focus of the NIGF-MAG, from both the business and policy communities, is shifting from shaping a resilient Internet for societal sustainability to understanding the effect and impact of COVID-19 on individual and corporate lives and activities, especially with regard to women and youths.

“While the NIGF-MAG has assured of a good virtual experience at the programme, it said that that the virtual conference will be preceded by the Youth Internet Governance Forum (YIGF) and Women IGF (WIGF) on September 23, 2020, while the main event at which Dr. Pantami will deliver a keynote address on the theme holds on September 24, 2020.

“Aside Pantami and Danbatta, organisers have also confirmed a lineup of eminent speakers for the vNIGF 2020 who will participate at high-level panel discussions on the thematic focus of “2020 to 2030 Digital Economy Strategy,” the statement said.

The speakers according to the statement “are Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke; Chair of the Global IGF MAG, Anriette Esterhuysen; Coordinator, West Africa IGF, Mrs. Mary Uduma; Prof. Adenike Osofisan of University of Ibadan; and Dr. Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo of Swansea University.

“Others include a digital policy expert at Google, Mrs. Titi Akinsanmi; President and Chief Executive Officer, High Tech Centre for Nigerian Women and Youths, Dr. Wunmi Hassan; Coordinator, YouthIGF-NG, Uffa Modey, among others.

It encouraged members of the public from the private sector, government, civil society organisations and inter-governmental organisations, academia as well as Internet end-users to register and attend the event live on the NIGF event website on https://2020.igf.ng and across its social media platforms, @NigeriaIGF.

According to the organisers, registration and attendance is free. Upon registration, participants will receive the event notifications and updates, free access to the digital edition of the event’s report and more.

The NIGF-MAG comprises stakeholders from the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE), NCC, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Internet Society Nigeria Chapter (ISOC NG), DigitalSENSE Africa Media (DSA), in partnership with other local Internet stakeholders.

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Five factors that increase divorce rate in Kano

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Divorce Image

Aminu Abdullahi

A sociologist at  Bayero University Kano (BUK) Aminu Sabo Dambazau has identified five factors that increase the  rate of divorce in Kano state.

Mr Dambazau told Kano Focus on Thursday that the factors including mismatched characters, rivalry, forced marriage, suspicion, and dissatisfaction.

Mismached characters

Mr Dambazau said intending couples rush into marriage without understanding each other.

“Some people misuse the courtship period in solely expressing their feelings without exploring the characters and expectations of their partners.

“They neither understand the obligations and responsibilities of marriage nor do they have the chance to find out the characters, habits, and life views of each other.

“Therefore after marriage when their true characters appear they would start to have problem in their marriages.” Mr Dambazau said.

Rivalry

The scholar said about 45% of divorce cases in Kano state are caused by co-wife rivalry.

He said a lot of marriages come to an end the moment the husband starts wooing a second wife.

“Most women do not accept a co-wife and prefer to end the marriage than share their husbands with another woman.

“This habit leads to the breakup of many marriages,” he stated.

Forced marriage

Mr Dambazau said another major factor that causes divorce in Kano state is forced marriage.

He said women are still forced into marrying a man they do not love due to financial or social pressure on the parents.

“Whenever a wife doesn’t like her husband she will do anything possible to get a divorce.

“Frankly speaking, forced marriage will never last as no one can stay with a person he hates,” he stated.

Suspicion

The BUK sociologist said suspicion among couples contributes immensely to the high rate of divorce in Kano state.

“No couple will live in peace as long as they are suspicious of one another.

“Unfortunately this is a growing problem as some women always check their husband’s phones in order to find incriminating evidence.” Mr Dambazau said.

Dissatisfaction

He added that some husbands fail to gratify the needs of their wives such as feeding, clothing, and sexual desire.

“Whenever a husband fails to feed his wife he will not get respect from her.

“How will you marry a woman when you cannot cater for her needs?

“This is what is happening in our society.” The lecturer said.

The road to divorce

Some divorcees in Kano corroborated the scholar’s findings.

Maryam Abdullahi, mother of a one year old child said she left her husband after a year because he refused to allow her continue with her studies.

“I was married off to him immediately after completing secondary school even though I told my parents that I want to continue to a higher institution.

“Before the marriage, he promised to allow me continue with my education but he broke the promise after our wedding.” She said.

Ms Abdullahi said she does not regret her decision to end the marriage.

“By God’s will I’ll fulfill my ambition and I’m optimistic to have my desired husband,” Maryam said.

Unfair husband

Another divorcee Surayya Abubakar whose marriage ended after eight months said her husband was giving priority to her co-wife.

“He favored her over me and used to buy things for her that he was not buying for me.

“When I complained, he divorced me.

“Our parents met several times but the mediation was in vain as he did not change.

“I also asked him if I was offending him but he said I wasn’t.” Ms Abubakar said.

I’ll never marry again

But Ramla Yusuf whose marriage lasted five months explained that her husband was a fraud who posed as a rich business man before the marriage.

“I realized that he was a liar during the wedding dinner when he couldn’t provide the bridal gown.

“He lied that he owned a big house but I was taken to an old rental house.

“It turned out that he was jobless and penniless.

“I really suffered in his hand and after only five months I asked him to divorce me.” She said.

Ms Yusuf added that she does not plan to marry again as she didn’t know that marriage could be so painful.

Dirty woman

On his part, a male divorcee, Usman Shehu said he divorced his wife after a year of marriage because she was dirty and did not know how to cook delicious meals.

“I cautioned her to change her habit but she refused and I also complained to her parents but still nothing changed.

“I swear she can spend two days without taking a bath – she was not a wife anybody will bear to live with,” Mr Shehu said.

Another person Umar Ibrahim said he divorced his wife because she did not respect him and his family.

“We married for love but I did not know she was bad until she came to my house.

“She cheated me severely and also inflicted tension between my family and I,” he lamented.

Mr Ibrahim said has been sleeping well since he divorced her two months ago.

How to reduce divorce in Kano

Mr Dambazau, who has a PhD in Sociology, said the best means of reducing the rate of divorce in Kano state is to revive the defunct Zauren Sulhu community forum established by the Ibrahim Shekarau administration.

Zauren Sulhu was one of the ways to discuss community issues such as marital problems.

“The forum will listen to both sides and counsel them without leading to divorce. He said.

Mr Dambazau said the families of the couples can mediate and save the marriages from divorce.

Islamic perspective

An Islamic cleric Nuhu Muhammad said there are things that couples should observe before getting married.

“Every woman or man should make sure their partner has Islamic knowledge and good character.

“Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said you should marry whoever you agree with his religiosity,” he said.

Mr Muhammad advised couples to avoid telling lies before marriage because most marriages breakdown due to false expectations.

“They don’t display who they are because they blindly want to possess each other so after the marriage when the truth is revealed they divorce.” The Islamic scholar said.

He therefore advised couples to build their marriages based on the teachings of Islam and exercise patience with one another.

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Hisbah nabs 4 teenagers for illicit sex

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Kano Hisbah Guards

Zulaiha Danjuma

The Kano state Hisbah Board has arrested four teenagers engaged in illicit sex at Dorayi area of Kano metropolis.

Hisbah spokesperson, Lawan Ibrahim Fagge said two young men lured two female teenagers from Medile into a love nest at Dorayi.

Mr Fagge said one of the girls spent five days with the men  while the other spent three days before they were arrested following a tip off from her brother.

He said one of the young men is the caretaker of the house while the other is his friend.

He added that both couples had been taken to court.

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