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Take over COVID-19 response from Ganduje before it is too late–Kwankwaso warns Buhari

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Rabiu Kwankwaso

Nazifi Dawud

A former governor of Kano state, Rabiu Kwankwaso has warned President Muhammadu Buhari to take control of the COVID-19 rapid response from the Kano state government before the disease overwhelms the state.

Mr Kwankwaso, issued the warning in a lengthy letter addressed to the President and obtained by KANO FOCUS on Monday.

Expressing concern over surging deaths, especially of elderly people in the state, the former governor complained no investigation was conducted to ascertain the alarming rate of deaths.

“Hundreds of funerals have been recorded in all the cemeteries of the eight metropolitan local governments alone.

“Looking at the pattern elsewhere in the world where senior citizens with preexisting conditions were the main fatalities of the novel coronavirus, we are concerned that the inability to conduct tests in the state to determine the status of these senior citizens might be responsible for their death,” he wrote.

Mr Kwankwaso further lamented that the Kano state government under Abdullahi Ganduje, has no active COVID-19 response team, adding that the committee handling the disease is led by “unqualified and incompetent” team.

“What was hitherto, working as a covid-19 committee was a contraption of cronies that are both unqualified and incompetent. As such they kowtow to the whims of politicians without any regards to professional healthcare considerations.

“The committee technically disbanded itself when majority of the members were tested positive for Covid-19.

“I should inform Mr. President that since the announcement of the positive results of the members of the committee, no test was ever conducted in the entire state again.

“This is very frightening as neither asymptomatic nor active cases are being identified and isolated, as such carriers of this dreaded virus are all about and spreading it and causing untimely death of especially our senior citizens,” the ex-governor said.

Read the full letter below:

Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso writes Buhari:

His Excellency
President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR
President Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Federal Republic of Nigeria
Aso Rock Villa, State House, Abuja.

COVID-19 AND THE RISING INCIDENCES OF MYSTEROUS DEATHS IN KANO STATE: A CALL ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR URGENT ACTION TO SAVE LIVES

May I start by conveying my heartfelt condolence over the death of 32 Nigerians including Mr. President’s Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari following their infection with the deadly coronavirus; may the souls of our departed countrymen rest in peace and may those who are tested positive for coronavirus have a speedy recovery.

Mr. President, I feel obliged to write this letter to you for five reasons: one is the very scary rise in the number of people that are mysteriously dying in Kano every day since the commencement of the fight against Covid-19 and the eventual lockdown of the state; two is the uncoordinated and unprofessional manner in which the fight against the disease in Kano state is being waged and the attendant and unprecedented mistrust of the government by the governed; three is the near absence of cooperation and coordination between the state and the federal government on the covid-19 response; four is the frightening reality of the tendency of the present health emergency (which has already placed unbearable financial burden on both the citizens and the nation) to metamorphose into a security emergency; and five, is to offer some suggestions in the overall interest of the good people of Kano State and the success of the national effort against the covid-19 pandemic.

Permit me Mr. President to draw your attention to the spike in mystery deaths among the aged population in Kano State in the last couple of weeks. Hundreds of funerals have been recorded in all the cemeteries of the eight metropolitan local governments alone. Looking at the pattern elsewhere in the world where senior citizens with preexisting conditions were the main fatalities of the novel coronavirus, we are concerned that the inability to conduct tests in the state to determine the status of these senior citizens might be responsible for their death. We are even more concerned that if sincere and efficient machinery is not urgently put in place to understand and mitigate against this, more lives of innocent senior citizens will be lost.

At present, and to all intent and purposes, the state has practically no Covid-19 response committee. What was hitherto, working as a covid-19 committee was a contraption of cronies that are both unqualified and incompetent. As such they kowtow to the whims of politicians without any regards to professional healthcare considerations. The committee technically disbanded itself when majority of the members were tested positive for Covid-19. I should inform Mr. President that since the announcement of the positive results of the members of the committee, no test was ever conducted in the entire state again. This is very frightening as neither asymptomatic nor active cases are being identified and isolated, as such carriers of this dreaded virus are all about and spreading it and causing untimely death of especially our senior citizens. The stoppage of the tests coupled with series of revelations from within the isolation centre in Kano together with the state persistence in asking for financial assistance from the central government has deepened the already existing mistrust of the government by the governed. This lack of trust seriously jeopardizes the battle against coronavirus especially if it were to be led by the state.

Mr. President in times of crisis like this, we require a robust and unifying leadership that will assure the citizens that it understands and shares its concerns; but unfortunately, the State Government is even denying that there is an unusual surge in the number of deaths in the state. This denial has also cultivated mistrust and doubt on the part of the citizens as the state government have failed to provide the desired leadership required at a critical time like this.

Mr. President everywhere in the world, the fight against pandemic is being spearheaded and superintended by central governments. The W.H.O. and such other global bodies, for example, have no business liaising with states on matters of global pandemic. But right from the first recorded case in Kano, the state government was in a tug of war with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the federal agency vested with the responsibility of coordinating the fight against the disease. This is very counter-productive to the people of the state and a serious impediment to the success of the nation in the fight against the disease. Especially given the fact that as at today, the NCDC COVID-19 test centre at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) has closed down ‘due to lack of reagents’.

Kano is the most populous state in the country and Kano city is one of the biggest in Africa. Experts have expressed concern that if the Kano situation is not handled professionally, sincerely, efficiently and competently, we have the tendency of becoming the epicenter of this disease in Africa in a matter of months. Every sincere leader should be concerned about this. Everything that ought to have been in place: from advocacy and awareness campaign to sensitize the public, to the provision of support (material, medical and emotional) to the citizens is conspicuously absent in Kano. Mr. President, in a state like Kano where large majority of its inhabitants earned their living from the informal sector and where big chunk of its citizens live below poverty line, there is no gainsaying that sustaining the lockdown in Kano demands that people are not left hungry. Any support in this regard should not be made on partisan basis. At the moment, the state government palliatives are being distributed based on political patronage (4 persons in each polling unit of 500 persons). This is grossly inadequate. A hungry and angry population cannot be kept in lockdown for too long!

Mr. President, these concerns are what prompted me to write to you to proffer some suggestions that might go a long way to help in the fight against the virus in Kano State. It is my prayer that Mr. President consider the following:

1. The situation in the state should not be seen by Mr. President as a state government matter that should be left to the state. The lives of tens of millions of Nigerians living in Kano state is at stake, as such the central government should be seen to be actively involved in caring for, and saving their lives. There is need for empathy;

2. The federal government should take over the responsibility of rapid response on coronavirus in the state;

3. The State Government should be made to constitute a proper State Taskforce on COVID-19 with members selected base on their professionalism and competence;

4. At least five additional test centres should be established with 10 other sample collection centres across the State;

5. The Taskforce should designate trained medical personnel in all cemeteries across the state that will collect records of all deaths. While another team of medical personnel follow up with inquiry of the cause of death. Furthermore, those that attended to the sick and those that prepared the dead body for burial should also be identified, isolated and contact traced for testing;

6. Since it is undeniable that there is a spike in the number of death and it is probable that these deaths are either as a result of COVID-19 or some other illness, the State Government and citizens should treat and consider all deaths as if it is caused by the virus; therefore all protocols as advised by medical experts be observed whenever death occurs;

7. An independent Federal Government team of experts should be mandated to investigate the rise in cases of death in the elderly population across the State;

8. Palliatives should be generous and general. The virus does not belong to any political party just as hunger and poverty are not partisan.

Your Excellency, while commending Nigerians for their support to, and cooperation with the fight against the pandemic; we appreciate the sacrifices of our health workers and other frontline personnel providing other essential services. Let me also express my gratitude to numerous well-meaning Nigerians who are making enormous sacrifices with their wealth, skills and know how. Mr. President these concerns boarder on matters of life and death.

The time to act on the Kano situation is now.

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Long Live Kano State

Sincerely,

Signed
Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

Hausa

Abinda ya hadani da lauyoyi na-Sheikh Abduljabbar Kabara

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Aminu Abdullahi

Malamin Addinin musuluncin nan a nan Kano Sheikh Abduljabbar Kabara ya bayyana abinda ya hadashi da lauyoyinsa har suka juya masa baya.

Malam Kabara ya ce lauyoyinsa sun bukaci ya basu N 1,500,000 domin su shirya taron manen labarai.

KANO FOCUS ta ruwaito malamin ya bayyana hakan ne lokacin da yake yiwa kotu bayani, a wani bagare na ci gaba da shari’ar da ake yi masa.

Ya ce sun nemi kudinne da zummar su yi taron manema labarai sununa yadda aka zalinceshi ko jama’a sa tausaya masa.

Ya kara da cewa kwanaki biyu kafin a yi zaman kotun baya lauyoyinsa sun samenshi a gidan kurkuku, suka ce masa za a koma kotu za kuma a ci gaba tuhumarsa.

“Sun sameni a gidan yari na Kurmawa, inda nake tsare, suka ce min dukkan tuhumar da ake yimin gadar zarece kawai.

“Sunce idan na amince da tuhumar to ba shakka na fada cikin tarkon da aka danamin.

“Suka kuma gayan tuni aka yankemin hukunci jira ake kawai na amsa a zartar da shi.” A cewarsa.

Na zama kurma

Sheikh Abduljabbar Kabara ya kara da cewa lauyoyin sun bukaci da ya kame bakinsa da zarar anje kotun kada ya ce uffan.

Ya ce sai dai ya tambayesu mai zai biyo baya idan ya kulle bakinsa ya ce ba zai yi Magana ba?

Inda ya ce sun gayamasa kar ya damu za su kula da al’amarin, shi dai kada ya yi Magana.

Haka kuma ya ce sun nemi ya basu N500,000 domin su shirya taron yan jaridar.

“Bayan sun gama wancan bayaninne kuma suka bukaci na basu dubu dari biyar su yi taron ‘yan jarida.

“Hakan ta sanya na basu N300,000, na kuma zo kotu na kame bakina kamar kurma”.

“Bayan na kame bakina ne kuma alkali ya ce a yi min gwajin kwakwalwa da na kunne, amma lauyoyin nan suka kasa cewa komai”, ya kara da cewa.

Wani jami’in gwamnati zai taimakeni

Abduljabbar Kabara ya ci gaba da gayawa kotu cewa, lauyoyin nasa sun hada shi da wani babba a gwamnati don ya taimaka masa.

Ko da dai ya ce ba zai fadi sunansa ba, amma ya yi masa wasu bayanai.

Dole na yarda inda ciwon hauka

Malamin ya ce mutumin da aka hada shi da shi ya gaya masa idan aka tabbatar da shi mahaukaci ne to rayuwarsa za ta tagayyara.

Sai dai ya gaya masa zai kuma shaki isakar ‘yanci, amma zai ci gaba da rayuwarsa a matsayin mahaukaci.

Don haka ya ce sun nemi ya basu milyan daya, don su kira taron manema labarai a karo na biyu su magance duk wani abu da zai batamasa suna.

“Sun nemi na basu N1,000,000 su yi taron manema labarai, don su karemin martabata da sunana.

“Amma sai sukace dole idan za a yi haka sai na yarda inada tabin kwakwalwa, sannan za su taimakamin a sakeni.

Za a kwace min mata

Haka zalika malamin ya ce lauyoyin sun yi yunkurin kwace masa mata.

A cewarsa bayan da aka bukaci a yi masa gwajin kwakwalwa lauyoyin sun yi kokarin kulla alaka da matarsa.

Ya ce al’amarin bai yi masa dadi ba, inda ya ce hakan cin zarafi ne.

Zarge-zargen ba gaskiya bane

Sai dai lauyoyin na sa sun musunta dukkanin zarigin da malamin ya yi musu.

Barrister Rabi’u Shu’aibu Abdullahi ne ya musanta zargi a wani bagare na mayar da martani ga kalaman na Sheikh Abduljabbar.

Ya ce idan Abduljabbar yana gani an yi masa ba dai-dai ba to akwai inda aka tsara ya kai karar lauyoyin.

Ya ce idan ya kai kara a nan ne lauya zai kare kansa kan duk wani zargi da aka yi masa,

Ko ya shigar da kara ko mu bi hakkin mu

Haka zalika Barrister Abdullahi ya ce sun baiwa malamin makwanni biyu ya shigar da karar neman hakkinsa kan zargin da yake yi musu.

Ya ce hukumar da aka tanada don kai karar lauya ba a boye mata dukkanin bayanai.

A don hakan nema ya ce sun bashi makwanni biyu ya kai karar ko kuma su su nemi nasu hakkin.

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Police rescued new born baby abducted at M A Wase hospital 

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Nasiru Yusuf

Police in Kano said they have rescued a one day old baby abducted at Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Teaching Hospital, Kano.

KANO FOCUS reports that Abdullahi Kiyawa, a police spokesperson in Kano revealed this in a statement issued on Friday.

He said the baby was abducted by a couple Abubakar Sadiq and his wife Maryam Sadiq all of Rijiyar Zaki Quarters, Kano.

It was gathered that the couple were desperate to get a male child.

The statement recalled that on Wednesday one Rabi’u Muhammad of Gayawa quarters, Ungogo local government area reported that on the same day one of his newly-born male twin was found missing at Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Teaching Hospital, Nassarawa.

According to the statement the baby was taken from Muhammad’s sister in-law who was looking after the babies at the corridor of the Maternity ward while she was sleeping.

Kiyawa said upon receiving the report, the Commissioner of Police, Sama’ila Dikko, mobilised a team of detectives to rescue the baby and arrest the culprits.

“The team immediately stormed the scene and launched a search. The Hospital was sealed off and thoroughly combed, but the child could not be found immediately.

“Sustained efforts coupled with intelligence sharing led to the arrest of one Maryam Sadiq, ‘f’, 22 years old, and her husband one Abubakar Sadiq, ‘m’, 50 years old, all of Rijiyar Zaki Quarters, Kano.

Abubakar Sadik and Maryam Sadik

“The Child was recovered from them in their home.

“On preliminary investigation, Maryam confessed that the child was taken away from Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Teaching Hospital Kano and that she carried out the act under the influence of her husband who has been longing a male child,” Kiyawa said.

The Police spokesperson said the new born baby has been re-united with his parents and the Commissioner of Police has ordered the transfer of the case to Criminal Investigation Department for discreet investigation.

He said suspects will be charged to court upon completion of investigation.

Mrs Sadik told journalists that her husband Mr Sadik was the masterminder of the abduction, the accusation he promptly denied.

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ASUU condemns DSS brutality against Prof Muhammad, threatens legal action

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Nasiru Yusuf

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Bayero University Kano (BUK) Branch has condemned alleged brutal and uncivilized assault on union’s Kano Zonal Coordinator, Abdulkadir Muhammad, by some operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

KANO FOCUS reports that a statement jointly signed by chairman and Secretary Haruna Musa and Yusuf Umar respectively described the attack as ”unfortunate, tragic, despicable and embarrassing.”

ASUU considered the attack as the highest form of gross violation of fundamental human rights and has exposed the lack of professionalism on the part of those who perpetrated the cowardly act saying “the attack was unfortunate, tragic, despicable and embarrassing to say the least.”

The statement recalled that “the incident happened on August 18, along the Eastern by-pass in Kano metropolis around 2 pm while Muhammad was driving when these DSS operatives, driving on a high speed and harassing commuters with siren, unprovokedly singled out and stopped him, damaged his car and assaulted him repeatedly.”

“Alas, DSS operatives are notorious for crass violation of fundamental rights of innocent Nigerians through torture and assaults.

“We recall that sometime in 2012, they invaded ASUU-BUK Secretariat at Old Campus and assaulted our then ASUU Kano-Zone Coordinator and Immediate Past Branch Chairperson in their attempt to abduct him.”

ASUU therefore urged the Department of State Services to investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to book in order to stop the anarchy, torture and harassment of innocent Nigerians.

The Union said it is ready to deploy all the available legal and legitimate instruments to ensure that justice is done on the matter.

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