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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.

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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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COVID-19: NCC’s 112 emergency number offers succour to Nigerians

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Nasiru Yusuf

The National Emergency Number 112 established by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is providing succour to Nigerians in the nation’s collective efforts to fight the spread of Coronavirus pandemic, also known COVID-19.

A statement issued by deputy manager online media and special publication, NCC, said Nigerians are able to call emergency response agencies or first respondents with respect to any issue they may want to report on the Coronavirus or other health-related issues and emergencies.

He said already, states and federal government agencies are leveraging the 112 National Emergency Number, whose calls are handled through the Emergency Communication Centre (ECC) established by the Commission across the country.

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According to him the ECC project is the brainchild of NCC to enable easy communication by Nigerians with emergency first responders such as Police, Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, National Orientation Agency (NOA) among others, by dialing the three-digit toll-free Number 112.

He recallled that on assuming office as the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC in 2015, Prof. Umar Dambatta, quickly put machinery in place to accelerate the implementation of ECC across the country in line with the decision of the Nigerian government to enhance security of lives and property and as mandated by the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003.

He noted that the NCC fast-tracked the execution of the emergency project, whose implementation had hitherto been dragging, in recognition of its mandates to promote and enhance public safety through the use of a particular number, which shall be designed as the universal safety and emergency assistance number for telephone services generally.

He revealed that so far, the ECCs, with their operational 112 toll-free emergency number, have been implemented in 17 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He observed that aside FCT, beneficiary states of the ECC include Benue, Kwara, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo, Edo, Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers, Imo, Enugu, Anambra and Adamawa.

“Efforts are ongoing by the Commission to deploy the ECC facility in other states of the Federation.

“Today, the 112 National Emergency Number is fully available in all the aforementioned states and FCT and can be leveraged by Nigerians, as an alternate number to reach first responders at this period of COVID-19 when seeking help and assistance from applicable government response agency during emergencies.

“Already, the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, identified the centrality of the 112 number towards handling citizens’ calls for help in this time of Coronavirus pandemic,” the statement revealed.

Mr Obaseki, in a state-wide broadcast to sensitise the people of the state on the epidemic, urged the people of Edo State to take advantage of 112 three-digit, toll-free number to get help from response agencies in case they want to pass critical information to the government and the State Task Force on COVID-19.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 19, 2020, unveiled the Abuja ECC facility and flagged off the 112 National Emergency Number during the commissioning of the NCC’s Communications and Digital Economy Complex at the Mbora District of Abuja.

The President explained that the 112 Number demonstrates his administration’s resolve to keep Nigerians safe.

President Buhari said ‘We have taken advantage of digital technologies to ensure that Nigerians in distress are only a dial away from the relevant emergency response institutions in the country” via the 112 Number.

According to him, the NCC’s 112 National Emergency Number will go a long way in supporting our efforts to improve the security of lives and property.

With Coronavirus spreading across the globe and more people living in isolation, the NCC’s 112 Number is providing alternatives for people to stay in touch and institutions to provide the needed basic life-saving services to the populace.

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COVID-19: 500 beds arrive Kano for Dangote’s isolation centre

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Nazifi Dawud

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s leading business magnate has begun construction of a field hospital with 500-bed capacity at Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano city,  as his contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr Dangote had announced that he would construct a 600-bed isolation centre for COVID-19 patients in the state.

Kano has not recorded any confirmed case of COVID-19 as all suspected cases have so far tested negative to the virus.

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In a statement sent to KANO FOCUS on Thursday, Hadiza Namadi, a spokesperson for the state Ministry of Health, said “equipment for 500 beds have arrived the venue today Thursday as construction has commenced in earnest.”

The statement added that a committee, to be headed by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa has been formed to supervise the project and to “determine how the center will function including issues on water and power supply and waste disposal.”

“Members of the committee include Commissioner of Youth and Sports Development, Alh. Kabir Lakwaya, Commissioner of Works, Alh. Magaji Mu’azu, Executive Secretary, Primary Healthcare Management Board, Dr. Tijjani, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Amina Abdullahi Umar, and a representative from Dangote Foundation,” the statement read.

Medical and health volunteers to apply online

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has also directed all volunteer medical and health professionals who wish to join the fight against the COVID-19 in Kano to make their applications online.

The volunteers have been asked to file their applications via www.kanostate.gov.ng/volunteers.

The ministry, in a statement said the decision to move the exercise online was to ease overcrowding at the Muhammadu Buhari Specialist Hospital, venue of the recruitment exercise.

Kano receives share of Jack Ma’s COVID-19 aid

Also, the Kano state government has received its share of protective medical items that were donated to Nigeria by a Chinese business Mogul Mr Jack Ma, who is the founder of Ali Baba foundation.

According to the state Commissioner for Health, some of the items donated by Mr Jack Ma include face masks, overall gowns and face shields.

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22 suspected COVID-19 cases test negative in Kano

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Kano state government has revealed that 22 suspected cases of COVID-19 have tested negative just as results of three more persons are being awaited.

KANO FOCUS reports that the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing journalists at his office.

Mr Tsanyawa also dismissed rumours that two persons with symptoms of the coronavirus disease were isolated at the Kwanar Dawaki isolation center.

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He said the state government has taken “drastic measures” against the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, the commissioner explained that the government is planning to establish a COVID-19 test centre to eliminate the burden of transporting samples for tests outside the state.

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